We, you and me, make plans. We co-parent with our former spouses. If something comes up, maybe at a family meeting or in casual conversation, before we commit we might say, “That might work. I’ll check with…” Or: “Hey cool. I’ll see what Kathryn and I come up with.”
We don’t go to our ex’s for advice. We find best friends, coworkers and each other, because we rest in our own dignity and innate appropriateness. By refraining from this emotional intimacy with our ex, we also honor our current relationship and give space for conscious love. And finally, we allow our former spouse room to live in a new way without us, and give them room to bond again. Really “being there” might be being there less.
We knock on our former spouse’s door and wait for an answer. We respect their privacy because it’s just cool and right. We want to be whole and happy, not sloppy and fumbling. We want our kids on solid ground, knowing what’s cool. And what’s definitely not.
The “drop off the kids” times are friendly, but brief, with the focus on the kids. “Hey Cindy’s got some new moves in aerial. Check it out.” Or “Hey, Reba’s got a funny story about…” In the beginning while feeling around for a respectful groove, maybe just smile and stand close to the door. With words and body language say, “I respect you. I respect myself. I’m cool with this new way of being with you.” That clarity and “can do” lightness brings in the fresh air of moving on and “it’s all going to be just fine” that we, and the kids need.
We don’t go on vacations or spend the night with our ex’s. Nope. Because we respect ourselves, it doesn’t even come up. And if by chance it does, by saying no, we’re saying “I set you free, both to love and to move on without me. I also don’t need you to need me. I believe in your ability to take care of yourself. And, I respect my new love.”
I’m ready to love, all big and luscious—because this relationship is safe, sane and respectful. I’m ready to build a deeper level of personal dignity by knocking first and keeping it brief and friendly. I include my soul friend/love in decision making, saying to whoever is in front of me, “Cool I’ll talk to…” I don’t spend the night or go on vacations with my spouse, though I’m naturally inclusive. “Come over on Christmas! Have one of Sarah’s cookies! Stay for a hand of poker.” I accept that we have a new way of being a family.
A toast lovelies,
To being the best version of ourselves.
To that “I’ll Always Have Your Back” kind of love.
Love and Lettuce,