Yours, Mine, Ours… and Hers/His?

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Yesterday was Father’s Day, so obviously I’m sure everyone’s social media was bombarded with posts and tags for all the father’s in everyone’s life. I pretty much stayed off of mine all day, of course it is still the story today.

So, what’s the issue? Being tagged and wording. Now, this I understand is a TOUGH situation. I have briefly been through it, and I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t handle how I would now if given the opportunity.

Let me explain my experience. After my divorce, ex and I were still together. During that time he was still seeing someone else, but did not talk to me. When I found out I said I was done. She wanted him; she could have him. BUT, I am still the mother of my child. I tried keeping ex as Facebook friends. It was horrible. They posted pictures of them together – kissing – or during family activities. I was so heartbroken. It brought me to tears, or on the verge of throwing up. I didn’t understand why ex was getting this family and I was alone. I wanted more children – he didn’t – and now he has a girlfriend with three children. So, what hurt the most? When ex posted pictures of our daughter – by herself – and tagged girlfriend. I was destroyed. My child is my pride and joy. She is my entire world. And here he is taking that from me and pawning her off onto a woman that I could not stand or trust. A couple of years ago, he posted a picture of our daughter and tagged girlfriend for Mother’s Day weekend. I was crushed. I tried talking to him about it. I tried to get him to see it from my point of view – how would he feel if I tagged another man, which even to this day has never happened. So, I have never gotten to experience ex’s reaction. So, instead I got the response “if you don’t like it, unfriend me.” I did. Out of sight, out of mind. I know they still tag each other with her pictures. I know he still paints a picture that I don’t – and never did – exist. Oh well, that’s the reality of divorce.

Ideally, I would like for the three of us – myself, ex, and girlfriend – to get along. To have that support system. To do activities together and to tag each other in pictures, because what is important is my child. We are not there. We are no where close to being there. I am not sure if we will ever get there.

The next issue is the choice of wording. I typically write “my” child, because she is mine. Especially right now – with him being deployed – I have her 100% of the time. I also use “my” because ex and I are not together. We are not friends on social media. If I am in his company, I will say “our” child.

I seen a screenshot of an ex’s wife posting Happy Father’s Day, and thanking him for being a wonderful father to our children. Supposedly, the couple does not have children together. Biological mom said the children in the picture were hers and ex’s, not stepmother and ex’s. Biological mom was so mad of the wording. She screenshot the post and needed to vent about it.

Years ago, I probably would have felt the same way – pretty much guarantee I would have felt the same way. Now, I know my daughter loves me. I know I am mom. I am important to her. Even if ex and girlfriend would like me out of the picture, I am in it. Can not erase the fact that we have a child together. I just want acknowledgement. If girlfriend wants to claim my child as a bonus child – step child, if they ever get married. Great! Care for her and love her like she is your own child. I do know the dynamic and what happens when I am not around – my child is old enough and does tell me if something is bothering her.

So, despite the feelings of the adults in the situation, think about what is best for the children. If it is in the child’s best interest to not be friends on social media – Please don’t!! If you and your ex are able to get along and each of you are in a relationship, and all of the adults are supportive of the children then do activities together. Whatever works for your child. Remember, if it is not working right now – or is not what you want – keep striving to make it better for your child.

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