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Sunday, April 8, 2012

"Doesn't his wife care that he brought his girlfriend?"

That is an actual quote from a well-meaning aunt, that was shared with me by a cousin, at  Easter dinner. She was referencing the fact that I was at Easter. And so was my ex-husband. And so was his girlfriend. So I kind of see her point. Maybe I should clarify.

A) I am his ex-wife, not wife in the current form
B) It is technically his family, but they like me more than him so my attendance is still expected/required at family events
C) We don't have now, nor have we ever had, the "typical" post-divorce situation. We still holiday/vacation/hang out for fun and for the sake of neither one of us wanting to miss anything with the Princess. We decided before we separated that the Princess and our time with her would always be put before any other factor when making plans. And because neither of us want to give up our time or be without her for holidays and such, we get along and make it work.

Don't get me wrong, he annoys the piss out of me from time to time and I'm sure it's quite mutual but we can grin and bear it for the greater good. And really at this point, we have nothing left to fight about or be upset about so we actually usually end up having a good time. I'm close with his family aside from him so it was not really an issue to continue that relationship despite the divorce and likewise with him and my family. It's unconventional, but it works for us and our family's are good about being flexible. We are lucky.

He has been with his girlfriend for about 2 years... but just formally decided there were future intentions in the last few months or so. Our agreement was that when there is someone with future looking prospects that would be spending a lot of time with Princess, the other of us would be introduced out of respect. Now was that time for this girlfriend.

I already had good will towards this GF because 1) she wasn't a crackhead stripper like the girls he dated when we first separated (She is a mother of two older girls and actually has a job where she gets to keep her clothes on which is a plus) and 2) the princess approves of her and her girls and enjoys getting to spend time with them. I figure if she is OK with her, then I should be OK with her until/unless proven differently.

When the Ex suggested an intro dinner prior to the family Easter extravaganza, I was in without hesitation. And for the record, I offered to not attend Easter at his family's if it would make the GF feel uncomfortable or if she would prefer to have the family to herself for the first major holiday. We left it contingent on the general feeling after our pre-dinner meeting.

It went well. She is actually quite lovely. Yes, I just said my ex-husband's girlfriend is lovely. And I'm not being snarky about it at all.

I ended up having them over early on Sunday morning for breakfast and Easter Bunny madness with the princess. Yep, I even cooked for the ex-husband's girlfriend. They stayed all morning and conversation was easy. I see why he likes her, she is a good compliment for him. I know... weird to say that as the ex-wife but I'm happy that he is with someone who appears to not be crazy at this point and that they are happy.

They arrived at grandma's a few minutes before the princess and I so there was some warning to the family that would care that we would all be attending as one big happy "family". And it was fine. I didn't pick up on any weirdness and everyone seemed to go with the flow and just enjoy the company of all three lovely ladies that he brought to the occasion. Well, everyone except the one aunt that was concerned but I don't really count her because she has a reputation for being crazy and more than a little odd on a good day.

And I took Grandma asking me why I didn't bring my boyfriend with me (to my ex-husband's family Easter?) as a sign that she was cool with the situation and that was really who I was most concerned about.

The day ended uneventfully, with hugs all around and we went our separate ways with plans to get together again sooner rather than later. I know that this "one big happy family" vibe may not last forever but for the time being I'm glad that we can all agree to get along and maybe even like each other in the process. I figure it will be easier to get along with the woman that will be spending time with my daughter, probably lots of time at some point and with the title of step-mom, than to be adversaries or have bad feelings about her. I hope she feels the same and we can just do what needs done with as little drama as possible.

Besides, I sure as heck don't want him anymore, so she can have it!

24 comments:

  1. That's awesome that you can do that. I know over the years I've really missed some members of my ex's family. (not him mind you - just his sister and his niece and nephew). We still have some conversations - mostly geared towards arrangements for getting together the 2 cousins since we all live about 2 hours apart.

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    1. I stayed close with my sisters-in-law in particular, the one I see almost everyday during the summer so it was pretty easy to stay on good terms with the family in general. I know I'm lucky to still get to have those relationships after the divorce, I would miss them!

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  2. I envy your ability to be one big happy family! My ex and I made it one whole year before we decided that sharing holidays with each other was yet another thing about our marriage we were glad to be rid of. :)

    Even more, it's awesome that your families are grown up enough to handle it! Congrats on being wonderful parents. Princess is a lucky girl!

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    1. We can both be brats when it comes to issues just around the two of us but when it centered around Princess we can get over ourselves usually and play nice. I hope it continues.

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  3. Sounds like me and my ex-husband. Except that we meet the others significant before they meet the Lil One. My ex recently remarried and he hates that we get along as well as we do. He thinks that we are trading secrets about him. Of course we use this to conspire against him and make him think that's the case, but it's all in good fun and he doesn't get mad about it. Usually at family events (his family) his new wife will stick close to me cause she doesn't really get received warmly by his family and I will talk and hang out with her while everyone else is ignoring her. Really, in the end, it is better all around for us (especially our Lil Miss) for us all to get along. And it just makes things easier. No having to worry about hurting anyone's feelings for not getting invited, no separate birthday/holidays, no separate teacher conferences. And it shows our daughter that even if you have a problem with someone it doesn't mean you have to ignore them or treat them badly. Glad to hear I am not the only one in this situation because most ppl (on both sides) really cannot understand it. They just cannot see how we can go to the beach together or have BBQ's and sit around and laugh and joke with each other.

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    1. It sounds like your set up is a lot like ours. I really do like his GF, and I hope that we can actually be friends and conspire against him, or at least make him think we are because I know that would irritate him and I still get a little smile when I know I can do that from time to time!

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  4. I'm sure it isn't without its trials and tribulations but I'm happy that you guys make it work. I've seen what it looks like when you don't get alone (my sister & her ex) and it doesn't benefit anyone. I hope he knows how lucky he is that you're amazing. While you should be the status quo you are more definitely the exception when it comes to ex's. Then again...I always knew you were far superior to most women. :)

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    1. You are too kind darling, thank you! I have seen it go badly when the divorce comes and the kids just don't win in any way when there is constant conflicts with mom and dad. He came from divorce, I didn't, but he knew what not to do from his parent's train wreck situation. I respect him a lot for that.

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  5. I always admire people who can make these situations work. Kudos to you for that!

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  6. I think it is marvellous that you and your ex still have such a good relationship it always makes it better for the children.

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    1. The Princess loves her daddy, I don't ever want to stand in the way of her relationship with him.

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  7. Whatever is best for the kid!! Plus you are just weird enough to make it work.

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    1. Thanks...oh wait... are you calling me weird?? The nerve!!

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  8. You, my friend, are a REAL woman! I applaud you both for putting differences aside for your daughter and in turn everyone is happy.

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    1. Well, I don't know about all that but thank you!

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  9. You continue to amaze me. I learn so much from you, and you are young enough to be my daughter!!!!

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    1. I'm glad that we are learning from each other, I have enjoyed your posts (and vaca pics too!) as well. And you are much too hot to be my mother!

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  10. That's amazing that you can do that. I had an ex-girlfriend whose family I really missed after we broke up. They invited me to an event roughly a year after the break-up, but it was just too awkward for me to attempt. So, props to you for being mature about it!

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    1. I would be really sad to not have his family in my life anymore. We have always tried to be open and not make the family feel like they have to take sides or pick one over the other. In the end, we know that our own family will back us up if there is ever a major issue but we try to make it the least awkward as possible on the families, we know it was a hard thing for them to go through the divorce with us, everyone was impacted not just us. We try to be sensitive to that.

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  11. Well, good for y'all :) As long as your daughter approves, that's all that matters :)

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  12. Ex-hubby is obvious a dumbass (he did shit that caused him to lose you), but I'll give him credit in that The Princess' feelings and happiness are most important to him. My admiration of your dedication goes without saying.~

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  13. Wow, you have given civility as whole new meaning. It is wonderful how you much ready you are to work out things with ex and his girlfriends. Bravo, your ex is a dumb and your daughter is lucky.

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  14. I don't think any of this was weird-- I think it means you're a sane, well-adjusted human being. It works for you and there's no drama-- what could be more perfect than that?

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