And here’s why
When I married my ex-husband, I knew he wasn’t a perfect man, but at the time, his flaws didn’t matter—I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Over time, we found ourselves growing apart as our relationship slowly broke down. Before we knew it, I had lost hope; the man I fell in love with just wasn’t “there” anymore, and I gave up.
Today, I stand behind the reasons I left, and despite everything, I still think my ex-husband is a good person and great father to our children. I still try to move mountains for him so our new coparenting relationship can work. Here’s why:
I want a better outcome for our children than they would have if their father and I were constantly fighting. My ex-husband and I didn’t have the cleanest divorce possible, but we did do everything we could to keep it civil for the sake of our children. We agreed they didn’t need to see us yelling at each other, and even though there was some pettiness between the two of us, I was thankful we were able to work through the feelings behind our actions so we could be better parents.
I don’t want our children to “know” what divorce is. I recall reading a post on social media from a friend about how she didn’t realize her own parents, who were living in separate homes and had moved on with their romantic lives, had gotten a divorce until later when she was in middle school. Because her parents worked so hard to maintain a civil relationship, they all went to the same events without anyone in the family feeling awkward. She never remembered her parents fighting, and just reading this changed my outlook on my own divorce. I realized that despite what the court documents said, it wasn’t “me versus him” at all. In that moment, I realized I needed to step it up, be a better person, and allow my heart to grow bigger to make room for whomever he decided to bring into our children’s lives. I wanted our own children to have a similar experience with their divorced parents as my friend did with hers, and I didn’t want divorce to become a “dirty” word in our home.
I want their father to be exactly that: their father. One complication in our divorce is that my ex-husband serves in the military, which means he will eventually change duty stations and have to move. After our divorce, I moved about four hours away to our previous duty station because I loved it there, could easily find a job, and had a support system already in place. However, after our divorce was finalized, it hit me that my ex-husband may have no control over where he goes next, and that could disrupt the great relationship he has right now with our children. He sees them regularly, often takes them on an extended basis (to go on holiday trips and such to see his family), and is able to keep in touch with lots of phone calls—especially on the weekends he doesn’t have them. After a lot of contemplation, I asked my ex-husband to keep me updated if his new duty station was far away so I could find a new job within driving distance. Financially, I’ll be hoping for the best, but I know in my heart that staying close to him is the best thing we can do for our children as they grow.
I want our children to know where they come from. The relationship I had with my former in-laws had an influence on my deciding to divorce my husband. I don’t think they’re bad people by any means, but I think we come from different places and that had a harmful influence in the early days of our marriage. Even though they may not always understand me or where I come from, I think they’re great people who deserve to know their grandchildren. My children also deserve to know their father’s side of the family and be able to form their own opinions about them in general, which means it’s up to me as a Solo Mom to keep any negative feelings I may be working through to myself.
Finally, I want my children to be happy and at peace. As parents, we all want our children to be happy and at peace with their environment. Through the divorce process, I realized that the way I treat my ex-husband will certainly affect the way my children feel about him and their own situation, and how they navigate their own relationships. I want them to be able to maintain healthy relationships, both platonic and romantic (when the time comes!), and to have a happy childhood instead of one they look back on with painful memories related to our divorce.
Divorced or going through a divorce? We have a Tribe of Sisters to help you navigate the journey from separation to positive coparenting and everything in between.
Tara Glenn is a Solo Mom of four who currently resides in Pensacola, Florida. She has a background in public affairs, writing, and photography. Tara spent five years in the Navy and now volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol as a public affairs officer. She enjoys working with small businesses as a ghostwriter as well as encouraging her children’s love for aviation in her free time—the running joke being that she only creates pilots, as all of her children love to fly!
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