Is It Ever Too Late To Have a Better Divorce?

You may be divorced for years and still feel angry and bitter…
Your ex may have left you in a financial mess?
Your ex may have cheated on you with your best friend?
What if your ex abandoned your children?

Although people, situations, and divorces are unique, and of course, “no one shoe fits everyone,” it’s my belief that no matter how difficult, ugly or mean-spirited your divorced may have been, it’s never too late to have a better divorce. I know this from my own life, which is why I wrote Befriending Your Ex After Divorce. Because stories remind us of the potential for new possibilities, take a moment and read an excerpt from my book. It’s a story about how Betsy (a pseudonym) came to a better place with her ex after two decades:

When Betsy first learned that her twenty-five year old son, Bobby, had invited Stuart, his father to his upcoming wedding she thought she was going to explode with anger and anxiety. Stuart had been estranged from Betsy and the kids since the divorce twenty years earlier. She’d worked hard, remarried, and raised the kids alone, while her ex had sent an occasional Christmas card, each time with a new return address. And now he was going to just show up! Whenever Betsy thought about seeing Stuart again she felt a host of unpleasant feelings surfacing. Resentment that he had not contributed a dime to child support and loss that he’d been absent when the boys were growing up. Apprehension that his presence at the wedding events would be disruptive. Fear that he’d somehow wreck the new life she’d carefully built. But she had to face the facts: her son wanted his father to attend. This was one more bitter pill she would have to swallow.

Although it didn’t happen immediately, the wedding transformed Betsy’s relationship to her ex. First, Betsy had to tell her extended family and friends that Stuart was coming. That gave her a lot of opportunities to talk things out. She saw the happy transformation in Bobby as he and Stuart got to know one another in emails and phone calls. Although meeting again was awkward at first, she felt touched and proud when Stuart asked to speak to her privately and told her she’d done a great job raising their son. When Bobby and his wife said their vows, she looked over at Stuart, saw the tears in his eyes, and was surprised at how moved she felt to be sharing these special moments with her son’s father. Ultimately, the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony and celebration, and the ‘day after party’ gave Betsy and her ex a neutral place where the ice around her heart began to thaw and she was able to reconnect, let go, forgive and befriend her ex.

Posted by Judy Rabinor

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