Why I'm Rooting For My Ex-husband.
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Full-disclosure: the first 6 months of my divorce was f*cking messy.
There was drama, power struggles, texting battles, social media chaos, a poor rebound choice on my part, and more. It wasn't pretty. Even after my ‘I did this’ epiphany of letting my ex go, I was struggling to integrate the tools that I had, and make good choices.
The hard truth is that having a breakthrough and integrating a breakthrough are two different things. Letting go of heartbreak, disappointments, and betrayals takes time. Creating a new mindset takes practice. And I was stuck in an old cycle of conflict, resentment and blame. I needed help.
I started seeing a therapist to expedite the process and I had a massive shift. I realized that how I feel about my son’s father would directly impact the type of relationship they have, and my son's experience. If I’m exuding negative energy towards my ex (even internally), then my son will feel that. He will become anxious and scared, and hate going to his father’s house, which was the last thing that I wanted.
I knew that if I was serious about this mission to change the toxic, divorce narrative I needed to walk my talk. It was time to set my ego aside, stop engaging in the dysfunction, and model something healthier. This was no longer about my story with his father. It was about my son's well-being. I needed to relearn how to 'love' or at least appreciate, his father again, and embody radical kindness.
After receiving a bit of coaching I was able to reframe my mindset and change my attitude. I chose to focus on this new chapter and the positive attributes that my son was going to receive from his father. Before exchanges, I would share the highlights of going to Dad's house and why he is fun to be with. I started rooting for my ex-husband's health, happiness, and success.
At first this wasn’t easy, but as the weeks went by, it became effortless and healing. At one point I decided to hang a picture of the 3 of us in my son's play area so that he had a positive image of us together. Afterward my son, who was 3.5-years-old at the time, wrapped his arms around me and said 'Thank you so much mom, thank you.' That was when I knew the shift in my attitude was not only impactful, it was vital.
What’s amazing is that we have the power to change our beliefs and our perspective, and to heal ourselves. Over time this practice softened my heart, healed the past, and became a new model of relating. Frustrations and triggers still arise from time-to-time, but my default setting returns me to appreciation, compassion, and gratitude for his father.
I’m rooting for my ex-husband because I want my son to have a healthy, happy and present father. And just because my ex-husband and I didn’t work out, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deserve to have an incredible life. We all do.