Today I have a very wonderful and amazing new friend over at my place. I am SO glad I found her in this vast blogosphere! Her posts are always something beautifully written and incredibly thought-ful. I always love that in a writer. Please welcome Ilene from The Fierce Diva Guide to Life! And when you are done reading here, be sure to take the time to check out her site. She has a gift worthy of your time. Trust me.
In Defense of Ex-Husbands
If you had asked me “what happened” a year ago, the answer wouldn’t have been the same.
It would have been fueled with emotions, charged with anger, accusatory.
I rode out that “him against me” feeling for months, with many of you reminding me that I was right in the matter as a way of showing your support.
I admit it. I asked you to tell me I was right. I needed that kind of support at the time. It helped justify what I was doing.
But am I right, or do I just hold a different world view?
We’re all holding onto our world views, and we hold on tightly. Our world views mean everything to us. Those world views are how we make sense of things.
Those world views are our truths. We will do almost anything to protect our truths.
Yet, just because it’s our world view, it doesn’t mean it’s the right view. It doesn’t mean it’s the only view. It only means it’s the view that has been working for us.
What happens when we’re willing to look beyond the limited scope of our view being the only view?
If you were to ask me today what happened to my marriage, I would tell you that we had polarized views on many issues that held importance to me, and we couldn’t meet in the middle.
There’s no anger in that statement. There’s an implicit agreement to disagree. There’s an ability to appreciate and respect a man who was a part of my life for fifteen years and who will continue to be a part of my life as the father of my children, who will continue to be a part of my life as a friend.
There’s an ability to want what’s best for him.
When world views collide, it’s too easy to jump on the defensive, to be angry, to want to tear the other party down. It’s too easy to fight to the death to hold onto the notion of being “right.”
I see this all the time, not only with marriage, but with friendships gone awry, siblings who argue. I’ve seen it during heated debates at PTO meetings at my children’s school.
Instead of being attached to the need to be right, how about trying to respect the other person’s point of view?
Instead of judgment, how about asking questions?
Instead of anger, and looking for ways to separate ourselves from others, why not look at them with the understanding that underneath the surface, we’re all more alike than we are different.
You are not showing solidarity with me when you judge my ex-husband. Judging him – or anyone else for that matter – would be denying the divine that lives in him and by doing so, denying the divine that lives within all of us – because we are all connected by this divine source, despite our petty disagreements.
Last week, I sat next to my ex in the bowling alley where my son plays for an after school league. As this jovial 7 year-old boy threw strikes and spares down the lane, we, as parents, shared in his moment of childhood triumph. I was reminded of a time, several months ago, where I mourned the loss of my vision of the future. It was the reality that I would never sit at the head of a table with this man, as my husband, thirty years from now, sharing the joy in watching our grown children and their spouses and our grandchildren, and feeling that deep satisfaction for the family we had raised together. That moment in the bowling alley made me realize that I will still share that table with my ex, perhaps not seated next to each other, but seated across, each of us with our respective partners, people who love us in ways we were never able to love each other, while we marvel at our legacy.
That afternoon in the bowling alley reminded me that we have the power to rewrite our future any time we choose.
Ilene Evans, the Creator of The Fierce Diva Guide to Life, is a writer, yoga teacher, soccer mom, foster parent to over a dozen rescue dogs, believer in possibilities, and a highly flawed individual.
As a huge fan of the kind, thoughtful, transparent, and inspiring Christine Carter, it is an honor to guest post at The Mom Café today!