I was having a cup of coffee with a group of women one day; when one of the ladies hadn’t shown up. I called and texted but no answer. When I got home, I checked her social media pages; which to give you a hint; Face Book had just come online. I decided to reach out to her husband, when I discovered she had just returned home from being locked up overnight.
She told me ” let’s do lunch tomorrow because you won’t believe what just went down”.
The next day we met up and I could tell from her appearance she had been in some sort of physical altercation; some of her nails were missing and she had some scratches on her arm as well as a swollen right hand. I told her ” tell it, tell it”. She had just met with her husband ex-wife the day prior on the ex-request. The ex-did not like a photo she had posted on her social media with the kids.
You see my friend had custom tee shirts made with the family last name and had taken family photos. On her page she captioned it ” My family”. Somehow that provoked the ex-wife and she wanted my friend to remove all pictures of “her” kids. My friend said, ” absolutely to the hell no!” From there the conversation escalated and before any common sense could set on them both, hands got to swinging.
The cops were call and allegedly my friend caused more physical damage to the ex and was taken in. Things got sorted out and it came to light that it was the ex who had started it so she was able to get release. She told me she was thinking about pressing charges just because she could and ask for my opinion.
My opinion was a question:
” how would that benefit the kids? “.
The aftermath of that fight became years of hostility, negative energy and eventually court time. My friend had gone from being a neutral supporter for the kids to having to go to court, because the ex “banned” her from picking up the kids or attending the kids school functions. Her husband and her won the cases and eventually got joint custody of the kids; which increased the craziness and fights. I remember one year she called me and told me how sad she felt for the kids. She could see it was taken a toll on them.
You see the
kids love was vast and was easily able to love their mom, their dad and their gained mom.
They enjoyed the added gifts and additional parent. They were watching as their love capacity overshadowed the adults’ love. My friend asks me more years later as she reflected ” should I had never taken the pictures?” My response: ” Absolutely Yes!”
You see in my opinion it was never the pictures to begin with. The pictures were a
gateway for the ex
to finally have something to “finally” express her authentic feelings towards the marriage and my friend’s new role in the kid’s life. It takes two to make things right and it takes two for the most part, to make things wrong.
In this situation I do not think my friend was wrong in uploading a family picture nor was she wrong for defending herself once someone placed their hands on her. I feel like her wrong move on the board was meeting up with the ex. They didn’t have a friendship, just a cordial air in front of the kids, she had just posted the family pictures and the ex-had a history of talking to her husband in a disrespectful way, whenever she wasn’t around. Unfortunately in some modern families, everything has to be assessed when kids are involved and both parents haven’t accepted or desire blending of the families.
Just remember that
every step takes you towards a direction, but any step can change that direction.
I think personally my friend had been walking the line of staying cordial, letting things go until her patience meter ran over. Maybe she too went anticipating the possibility; that she could also release her true emotions and feelings towards the ex. What my friend’s crazy and chaotic experience taught me was it isn’t worth it, and to try my best to avoid a similar life lesson.
I mean think about it. What actually happens:
Someone gets beat up and someone wins a fight,
Someone wins the court case while the other person loses.
Then the kids are asked again to adapt a little bit more. They feel and see the negativity, but their struggle comes from how to still love all parties without hurting anyone.
Your need to get things off your chest could be at the expense of them learning another hard curve ball of life.
Don’t get me wrong, I get it, there is always that one true exception, but I normally see situations where the reasons never outweighs the realizations of doing something that ends up being truly irrelevant.
There so many other options to consider but my first advice is to be the Super Mom. If you sense negativity or get the vibe that the ex is trying to create a bad scene
you have your own authority to remove yourself from the ex.
If you try to keep it cordial with short communication and a smile, and the ex wants to engage, disengage. Get flawless with quick ” hello and byes” and perfect your selective hearing to purposely ignore any ignorance or provoking out of the ex mouth.
Follow your gut and remember your focus and objective: your gained kids.
I encourage meet ups and if possible, some type of bonding but unfortunately that doesn’t happen all the time, so do what’s best for your home and your family. Let my friend’s story be a caution reminder whenever you might need to re-focus and reset who and what is important.
Just know that you are a Super Mom, keep learning, keep loving!