There is a popular meme that I see periodically that says, “If two past lovers can remain friends, either they never were in love, or they still are.”
I call BS on this. It could possibly be that they are adults, and quite probably parents.
When you have lived a life together, and have brought small human beings into this world, you do not get the opportunity to never see the person again.
Holidays need to be scheduled, shoes need to be bought, living arrangements need to be worked out, the list goes on and on. You will see that person at conferences, concerts, sporting events, church events, graduations, weddings and so forth.
Many former couples struggle with this concept. The idea is that “getting along” with the co-parent is 100% NOT about the parents. It is 1000% about the kids.
My children’s father and I are not friends. We do not hang out. We do not call or text each other to chit-chat.
After 5 years, we are, however, connected on various social media. This makes it easier to tag each other in items concerning our kids. We do tend to sit in the vicinity of each other at events. This is so that our children only need to find one spot in the crowd and not multiple.
The part that is hardest for some to understand is that enacting a truce between the two of us, embracing a peace, does not remove all of the garbage from our past.
It is still there. We are both fully aware of it. I am quite certain that when not in my presence, he lets the people who are his sounding board know exactly what he thinks of me. There is a very long, very painful list of reasons that our marriage ended, which is without a doubt for the best.
However, because we are adults, we put that aside. We make a concentrated effort to “get along” in the areas that concern our children.
Forgiveness is hard. Moving out of a painful situation and relationship is some of the most intense internal work. Still having to communicate with that person on a regular basis is definitely next level.
It is much easier in life to forgive the person you will never talk to again. The pain is there, but the healing process is much different.
Forgiveness and healing lived out is different. It is not forgetting the history. It is not condoning the actions or behaviors of the time. It is accepting where things are now and recognizing what is in the best interest of everyone involved, most importantly the kids.
Still not besties, but able to have a conversation or share a joke at a school event.
From where we were five years ago, I would definitely call that a win.