My Ex-Husband’s Girlfriend by Conlee Ricketts
Whenever I talk about doing things with “my ex-husband’s girlfriend” I typically get a cautiously spoken, “Oh…how is that?” or a bold “Ugh, I bet that’s awkward.”
There always seems to be the expectation of animosity between me and my ex-husband, or me and his girlfriend, but we all get along great. The truth of the entire situation is “my ex-husband’s girlfriend” is possibly one of my closest friends in the world. Weird right? I think I need to just change my vocabulary and say “my friend.”
When I broke my wrist last year it was “my friend” that I called at 6:30 A.M. because I knew she was already awake. When I had a horrible reaction to my pain medication it was “my friend” that brought me supplies and sat with me all day so I didn’t have to be alone. When I get depressed or down on myself it is always “my friend” who calls to say she has a coupon for a mani/pedi and that we should go have a girl’s day with my daughter. When I didn’t have a car it was “my friend” who drove me and my daughter to all our doctor/orthodontist appointments. When I found out the person I invested my trust in had lied to me for a year it was “my friend” who brought over the bottle of wine and kind words for my shattered faith in mankind. This list is endless and amazing when I consider all she had done for me and my daughter. She is a wonderful person.
My divorce is simply that—my divorce. I don’t expect it to be a model for anyone else; this is just my story and I consider myself to be lucky. To give you the quick back-story (because I’m not one to mince words) my husband asked me for the divorce. Nothing sinister, no affair, no craziness, nothing—he was simply being honest with himself and with me. He just didn’t “Love” me anymore; I chose to respect his honesty and say good-bye to our marriage. Of course there are a zillion layers to that, but who cares? Was I devastated? Yup. Sad? Yup. Angry? At times. Bruised ego? Majorly—but what I couldn’t tolerate in my splintering world was hurting our daughter. She was six at the time, so I accepted the end of our marriage, helped pack stuff, helped him get organized, and waved good-bye as he drove off.
Most of the time I refer to my “ex” as “Skye’s father” because I don’t really like saying “ex,” and when he entered into a new relationship it didn’t even occur to me that I might not like his girlfriend. She’s a wonderful woman and I see why they work so well together. The big winner in all of this is my daughter because we are all able to hang out together on her birthday and Christmas morning.
The entire experience taught me the value of being honest. As difficult as it was for my husband at the time to sit down and pour his heart out knowing that it would hurt me, he did it anyway and it was by far the most honest thing anyone has ever done for me. Years before I had been on that side of a relationship that wasn’t working for me and the fear of the repercussions, the fallout, and the future alone, kept me paralyzed and denying my truth. Ignoring the small voice in my head telling me I wasn’t happy was a painful
mistake learning opportunity for me. So when my husband was being authentically and gently honest with me about his feelings, I found myself unable to stand in the way of his happiness.
As a result my daughter now has three adults in her world she can count on, and I have a great friend who has always been there for me!