We can either be traditional or non-traditional in the way we do things. I think my husband and I are being pretty non-traditional in the way we are going about our divorce. We haven’t involved lawyers, choosing instead to do it the DIY way.
We are having a non-traditional “Friendly Divorce”. People have asked us why we are going through with it if we are able to be so gosh darn friendly about things. If we can get along so well, they ask, then why don’t we give it one more try?
Here’s the thing: I am not a fool.
Make no mistake, I want this divorce. I don’t hate him yet, but I am afraid that I will if I am married to him for much longer. And I am just as certain that he will soon hate me as well.
We keep hurting each other. Again and again and again. We have been together long enough to know each other’s vulnerabilities, and we know how to use that knowledge against each other. Each of us can inflict more pain on the other than anyone else in our lives can do. We are both the “bad guy” in our situation, and we are both the victim.
I don’t want him back. He doesn’t want me back. I don’t want to be married to him any more than he wants to be married to me.
I can be snarky and sarcastic, and I am fully capable of trashing him here, or on Facebook, or to our mutual friends. I could air our “dirty laundry”, tell exaggerated tales of his misdeeds, and I could make him utterly miserable.
What purpose would that serve?
He has his own set of skills. He can be cruel and hurtful, controlling and antagonistic, and at times his sense of humor can be downright devastating. He could make my life a living Hell.
This could very easily become one very traditional, very spiteful, very ugly divorce. All we have to do is say the word. But again, what purpose would that serve? One way or another, he and I are going to have to have a relationship for the rest of our lives because we made three little people together. Three little people who need both of us to act like adults and set a good example for them.
I have been accused by some of being a pushover. Advised to hire a good lawyer and go in for the kill. I am the semi-crippled, unemployed mother of his three children, and he fell in love with another woman before divorcing me. I could ask for his testicles to be gold-plated and gift-wrapped for me if I wanted, or so I have been told.
In ten years, do I really want a set of gold-plated gift-wrapped testicles, or do I want a decent relationship with my ex-husband and father of my children? Once upon a time, we loved each other; I think there will always be a small kernel of that love between us because of everything we’ve shared. I don’t think either one of us really wants to hurt the other.
We just want out.
We have made the decision to be non-traditional because we are being practical and putting the needs of our kids and each other first, for the first time in a long time. Maybe that means we are finally growing up.
Or maybe we are starting a new tradition for others to follow?