This is the last in my series on Lauren from My Life Incomplete. You’ll remember she was just 28 when she and her husband divorced. That was two years ago now. They’d been married for five years, together for 10. They have a son who is now four.
Lauren and her ex have a pretty remarkable relationship and it’s certainly different from what our society would lead us to expect. Lauren has avoided following those expectations with her other relationships and that means, an altogether different perspective on divorce. Here’s what Lauren’s divorce taught her.
I feel that people expect that divorce is a bad thing. I certainly don’t condone it and I’m not a divorce advocate. I would much rather see a couple work out their problems and be happy together but I don’t think that your life is over because you got divorced. I don’t think because a couple chooses divorce that that makes them bad parents.
I was worried about splitting up for my son’s sake. That’s what kept me from saying “I think we should get a divorce” a month after I started thinking about it. In our case, I am 100 percent certain that our son is better off this way than he would have been if we had stayed together. This way, we can both set good examples for our son.
Because we had a collaborative divorce and we are friendly with each other, I don’t think he is going to have many of the same issues that children with divorced parents have. That’s not to say that there’s nothing that going to be difficult for him but I think my ex and I are really good at putting our son first.
My son has people in his life now he wouldn’t otherwise have. He has my boyfriend and his family now so there’s a bunch of little kids that we play with. We didn’t have any other kids in my ex’s family. My boyfriend is great at imaginative play – he could play dinosaurs all day while neither my ex nor I have that mindset. We’d sit down and play a board game or cards or a puzzle but we don’t have that imaginative play. Since my son is an only child, he needs someone to do that with.
He also has my ex’s girlfriend and I think the example she and I set is that even people who are not expected to get along can be friends. That can’t be anything but a good message to send to my kid.
One of the commenters on my blog said I must be very secure with myself to be comfortable with the relationship that my ex’s girlfriend has with my son and I think that’s very true. I think a lot of people cannot accept their ex’s new person because of their own insecurities about their worthiness as a parent or being worthy enough for their child’s love. Maybe they’re threatened by the idea of another person being in their child’s life.
From my perspective, as long as she’s a good person, (and my ex’s girlfriend is) she brings qualities and characteristics and experiences to my son’s life that he wouldn’t otherwise have and I see that as a benefit. The fact that she’s different from me doesn’t mean he can’t benefit from a relationship with her.
I had so much guilt going into the divorce and I was so afraid of what it would mean to my son but I’ve learned that divorce doesn’t always have to be bad for kids.
The Divorce Coach Says
Like Lauren, I had had no experience with divorce before my own. No one in my family had been divorced and none of my close friends had been divorced. There was a lot to learn and since I’m not dating, I expect I still have much to learn … hopefully:)
Like Lauren, I can now be much more empathetic with someone who’s going through divorce and the idea behind this blog is to demonstrate that there is good that come from divorce, even when it seems like the worst possible thing that could ever happen to you at the time.
Here’s a big thank you to Lauren for sharing her story. I’m looking forward to checking back with her in the future and hearing where her life’s taken her. And in the meantime, I’ll be following her posts at My Life Incomplete.
My next series is about Lora who was married for 18 years. She left her marriage thinking she was looking for her ideal partner and instead found she had much work to do on herself… Hope to see you back here.