Hey! It’s Layne here, and I’m ready to share my post-divorce story – the ups, the downs, and everything in between – a year and a half post-divorce. Buckle up, because it’s been quite the rollercoaster ride!
The emotional part
Now, let’s be real for a second – the beginning was tough. Emotionally, it felt like I was navigating uncharted waters without a map. You know the feeling, right? Many nights I reconsidered our decision as breaking up a family is a challenge and I was still really hurting. It was not easy and looking back, I can honestly say that time does heal wounds, even the lingering, deep ones. There is still pain, for sure, but I have come so very far and both of us are so much happier and better versions of ourselves. I see my therapist, Ed Green, weekly and I wouldn’t be this healed without his guidance.
At first, we weren’t sure how this whole co-parenting thing would work out. It felt distant and there was a lot of trial and error. But we had 2 motivating factors to make it work: our boys, Liam and Noah. They are very busy athletes and it was going to take us working as a team to make sure the boys didn’t miss a beat in baseball or in life. It wasn’t always easy; there were times when we stumbled and maybe even took a few steps backward. But we kept at it because we knew our kids deserved parents who could work together as a team, even if that meant not being together romantically anymore. We also accepted that it’s okay to accept outside support, for example, my parents still play a huge role in Liam and Noah’s life. They have been imperative in care and love for the boys.
Post divorce story: Finances
Financially, it was no picnic either. I mean, let’s face it – divorces aren’t cheap. I ended up buying my ex-husband out of our family home and geez, that is a huge amount of stress. The stress manifested in grinding my teeth, weight loss, then weight gain, and a lot of anxiety. All of a sudden I was a single mom, who owned a startup while trying to keep my boys in their dual-income lifestyle. It still is not a cakewalk. I have prayed many days and nights for reassurance that this career and home is the right path for me and the boys. Today, I have found my financial footing with the help of a very caring advisor and feel so much more confident and on track financially today.
Every now and then, Facebook or Google Memories serves me up a once joyful picture memory of us as a family unit and that can still be hard. Even a year and a half later, it still causes a twinge for me. It feels like a failure and makes me wish we could have been better partners in marriage. No one gets married with the intention of divorce. I assume this will soften as time goes on.
Post divorce story: Disagreements
Sure, we’ve had our fair share of disagreements. Who doesn’t? We fought when we were married too. Why would we think that part would change? The difference is now we try and handle them with kindness and respect. We don’t have to live in the same home and face the awkward exchanges anymore, so that’s a relief. After all, we’re still family, even if it’s a bit of a non-traditional one. And we’ve discovered that cooperation has an incredible way of smoothing out rough edges.
The new relationship
As time has progressed, we’ve found a new kind of relationship – casual, yet kind and respectful. It’s not the same relationship we had when we were a couple, but it’s genuine and warm with the full intention of supporting the boys well. And that’s pretty amazing. So, here we are, a year and a half post-divorce, happy, balanced, and mentally healthy. The boys are thriving and happy, they have healthy friendships and a faith-based lifestyle. We did see some rocky behavior in the beginning and some lower grades, understandably, but that has eased as well. We worked hard to focus our energy on caring for the kids. It wasn’t a fairy tale, but it was real life, and it’s made us better people and parents.
I know not every post-divorce story sounds like this. We are aligned on parenting the boys and have a mutual vision of putting the kids first over everything else right now. My ex-husband is a great dad and I trust him with the boys’ mental and physical health. They have a great relationship and that is incredibly important to me. I read Conscious Uncoupling by Katherine Woodward Thomas MA MFT, and that perspective was very helpful while I navigated the first steps of separation and divorce. It makes things soft, and gentle kindness is so healthy in a co-parenting relationship.