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monday 09.25.2000
working together

the traditional stereotype of divorcing couples is "war of the roses", where the couple battles everything out to the end, from who gets what property to who sees the kids when. now i admit i have seen this kind of attitude in action (see for my children). personally i despise it. grown adults should not act like toddlers fighting over the best toy in the toy box. peace of mind and life is worth whatever material possession you suddenly think you must have at all costs. especially if you want the person completely out of your life (and i understand that there are cases where that is not only wanted, but necessary). so just give it up if the other person wants it so bad the s/he is willing to start a war over it. there is nothing so valuable that you need to lose your personal peace over it. (besides, they may be starting a war over it just to keep in some kind of contact with you and feel this is the only way.) at least, this is my view of the whole war of the roses attitude in divorce.

i guess i have been lucky so far. my first husband and i were and have been determined to make things work for the kids if nothing else. children get caught in the middle of adult wars and take the most damage. my mother divorced twice and i know...i KNOW what happens. my birth father lived (lives? lord knows) in puerto rico. when my mother left him, she moved all the way out to california. i never saw him again, child support stopped before i was 3. there is a man out there that i am biologically related to and knew for maybe a year of my life if that much. he may even have wanted to be a part of my life, but being over 2000 miles away is a huge barrier. knowing my mother, she wouldn't have worked with any kind of visitation for him. my stepfather got to see me for awhile in summers after the divorce. but mom worked the nasty brain washing thing and by the time i hit my mid to late teens i was convinced he was a horrible man. now days i can see that he was hard but not horrible, and i regret the mess made of our relationship. i do not want these things happening to my children. this man is their father and they have a RIGHT to know him. and they have a right to form their own opinions about him. so he and i work together still at raising our kids. i honestly think that that's the way things should be.

admittedly the soon to be ex second husband has been a bit more problematic. he appears to believe i am his one and only true love and is finding the whole thing hard to let go of. thankfully he is finally sounding less depressed, so is apparently is at least trying to accept the inevitable. the saddest thing i think is that i still love him. i don't show it and i won't give in to it, but it is there and it hits at the oddest times. he and i are working on being friends. it is harder for him, seeing how he really wants so much more than that, but we're working on it. i think that's one reason he is working so hard to accept what is going on. he WANTS to keep my friendship and doesn't want to drive me away with the negative, draining moods that come over him. i am still the first one he calls when he is in distress and that can be very hard for me.

with no children in the picture, there really isn't any reason for us to stay in touch and work together as friends. but we do. i do it because, other than caring for him, he is actually an ok guy. at least he has been when we're not married. no one is sure WHAT brought about the drastic personality changes when we married, but he's back to the charming man i met almost 4 years ago. not that i will risk the turn around by getting back together with him, but it is nice to see him being the person he was when we met. we recently came to an agreement. with my medical needs i must have insurance, but with my financial situation (which will not improve enough even if i get that job at his work) i can't afford it. so he will keep me insured. and while he would probably keep me insured anyway, i am going to get his domain back up and maintain it for him while he is off-line and computerless, and have agreed to not ask for alimony. considering the amount he has to pay for me in insurance, even with the domain payments, that is more than enough alimony for me.

in both cases there have been, and probably will still be, bumps in the road along the way to becoming friends rather than lovers. but i keep my peace. and i once saw something in these men that had me fall in love and get married. whatever that was for each of them, they can still add to my life in a positive way. divorce doesn't take the good out of a person unless you let it.

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