I spent most of the day today with my ex and our 2 kids. I’m weird, what can I say. Our oldest had a public speaking competition to attend that was out of town so we decided to all travel together. My ex and I get along for the most part so it really isn’t that big of a deal.
Well, on some level it isn’t that big of a deal…. but on another level it can be exhausting.
I won’t share the details of the break-up here, suffice it to say it was a long time coming and was not my idea in the first place. But it is what it is, things cannot be undone or unsaid and we have parted ways. For the children’s sake, we have created a workable relationship that involves a lot of communication and the occasional instance where all 4 of us hang out together. Today was one of those days.
Things were fine, we rarely fight any more. The trip there was catching up on some stuff that needed follow-up or hadn’t been discussed yet. The time at the competition was really focused on the kids, and the victory celebration afterwards involved ice cream so how can that be bad? 😉
The weird part was when we met up with one of his old friends that I hadn’t seen in ages. He was the best man at our wedding so I knew him quite well. The 5 of us just hung out at a coffee shop and chatted. (The friend’s mother had passed away recently so it was good form to visit.) One of the comments he made though rubbed me the wrong way. For some reason, during the conversation he referred to me as “the ex”. It wasn’t a derogatory comment and I doubt he meant anything by it but it made me feel tired all of a sudden. Exhausted really. I was no longer participating in the conversation without effort and I was ready to start the long trip home.
I don’t know why that comment stuck out, stuff like that shouldn’t bother me any more. This is not a new situation. We took a very long time to break up. We’ve been broken up for a long time…
I think that perhaps I have a limit on the amount of time I can spend with my ex without it feeling like an effort. Once that comment was made it appears that I automatically hit my time limit. The limit can vary though so I’m not always sure when it will happen. But on these long days together I guess I should remind myself that it probably will happen at some point during the day and perhaps I should have an escape route or a back-up plan to make it out without too many additional scars on my psyche. Or maybe I should just put a time limit on our “family outings”.
Feel free to tell me how weird it is that I hang out with my ex. It feels weird. But I do it because I love my kids and to them it is their normal. AND it is good for them to see their parents get along.