Last updated on July 27th, 2023 at 12:59 pm
When you marry, you never imagine hearing the word “divorced.”
My original dream of spending a lifetime with my husband over the years shifted to a dream of being divorced and the ability to co-parent healthily for our son’s benefit.
Many divorced couples are not able to communicate or compromise. While our divorce proceedings felt like they took forever, it’s been a shorter legal hassle than many others. But my main hope throughout all of it was that we could someday be the kind of exes who are friends who share a child.
I come at this way of thinking from personal experience.
My parents struggled with communicating after their divorce and, to this day, barely speak to each other. The burden of being a child who was forced to coordinate my parental visits has stuck with me throughout adulthood. It is one of the reasons I waited to end our marriage. I didn’t want our child to feel like mom and dad hated each other or that he was responsible for our breakup.
The legal part of the divorce was nowhere near friendly or amicable. I’m proud to say that we’re at the stage of trying to be friends. We share a child. We shared our lives for nearly 13 years. We were friends. That friendship is still underneath the pain.
As awkward as this new situation is, I can see that our son is happy. And what’s best for him is a new dream in itself. Since becoming a mom, my needs are second to our son’s; divorce makes this no different.
But something funny happens when you imagine new dreams.
They can feel impossible. You don’t want to believe you have the ability to make them a reality. You worry that obstacles will stop your forward progress before you’ve had your chance. My dream of being friends with my ex-partner isn’t easy, and sometimes we still struggle to communicate effectively. I still hold on to the dream we will nurture goodwill and have a healthy respect for one another.
When I met my ex-husband, I was struck by the feeling that I wanted to watch him laugh for the rest of my life. That was my big dream for many years. Since the divorce became final, I’ve been trying hard to make things amicable and communicate well.
“Process is nothing; erase your tracks. The path is not the work. I hope your tracks have grown over; I hope birds ate the crumbs; I hope you will toss it all and not look back.” –Annie Dillard
I want our past negative relationship tracks and miss-steps to grow over. I want it replaced by a new path where we are content in our different homes and lives. I dream we’ll do blended family holidays where I can still experience his laughter.
I spent the past Father’s Day working on my new dream. I invited my ex-husband over for dinner to spend time with our son and see the parenting routines at my place. I also offered to take pictures of them together as a Father’s Day gift.
We’ve both commented about a million times that it was weird, but in a good way. We hope we can keep it up. I want our son to know that his parents respect each other and that our love for him comes before everything else.
And that’s a new dream I can be proud of.
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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