May 16, 1998 I married my ex. We were married for 13 years. This date has very little meaning for my happiness these days, but it isn't a reason to be unhappy. See, we may be divorced, but we are still coparents. Reid has a mom and a dad. Both are important to him. I have learned a lot since I was 20 years old. First, I learned that just because two people aren't good to each other, or aren't good together, doesn't mean they aren't good people. I have learned that marriage is not something to enter into because you want to be in love and married.
Did I love him? Sure, but I don't think it was the same kind of love that one needs to be married. I was twenty and didn't know the difference in types of love that were necessary to build certain types of relationships. We were married for thirteen years mostly because I was too stubborn to admit that I may have been wrong. Chris wasn't a bad guy. Sure he did things that pissed me off to no end. If you go back far enough on this blog, I am more than sure that you will find proof of that very fact. I know that I did the same to him. That was then. Are we the best of friends, now? No, not really. I do have to say, though, in the realm of exes, I would rather have him than some of the others I have seen. I have a laundry list of reasons for why we should not be married that I can blame on him, and I am absolutely sure that he has the same. We are great people who don't belong together.
Here's what I can say:
He is a great dad. He wants what's best for Reid. He takes time with him and makes him feel good. He takes his time to come to games and take him to dinner. He makes sure that he is well taken care of. He's a good guy.
If you are going through a rough split and have kids, don't rush things. Be patient. The split is your choice, but don't expect to magically get along. Chris and I were nasty to each other when we were married and when we first split. We would never be that way to each other now. We have come to terms with our split, and we realize who is really important, Reid. No one but Reid. Now, if I need something, I know I can go to Chris if I need to, and he can come to me. We can eat dinner together because it makes Reid happy. I can pick Chris up from the airport when he needs a ride because his ride bailed on him. I can give him relationship advice and talk to him about what is bothering me if I need an impartial audience. Why can we do this? Is it because we are in love, love each other, or belong together? Nope. Absolutely, positively not. I could not be married to him again if you paid me, and I am 1000% sure he would say the same. Does that make either of us bad? Nope. We are incompatible. He is a great fella, and I think I am a pretty good gal. Good gals and great fellas don't always belong together. I now have Everett, and he is a great fella too. He is my other half and my great fella. Chris is someone else's great fella.
I appreciate him for who he is. He is Reid's dad. Reid loves him endlessly as he does me. He worries about him and he worries about me. That is all that is important. Reid. We care for Reid and take care of him together. He isn't my son, nor Chris's; he is ours. We parent together. We handle what Reid needs as a team. I am grateful to him. He gave me the greatest son I could have asked for. As a matter of fact, he also shared his oldest son with me, and Tyler will always be mine in my heart. Tyler has a great mom and I wouldn't replace her, ever, but I will always love him as my own. Chris is a great dad and has two great kids to prove that. Sure Tyler's mom and I have a hand in that too, but genetics plays a part, and the fact that Chris makes sure his kids know that he loves them is incredibly important.
Twenty years ago today I married a guy I had no business marrying, but I wouldn't trade that choice for all the money in the world. My twenty year old self thought that loving someone would fix the incompatibility. I love lots of people, but I would never marry them. Don't disparage your ex if you have one, especially if you have kids. You may have made the wrong choice in partners, but it doesn't mean that there wasn't something wonderful to come from that choice. Chris made the wrong choice in marrying me, but I am sure he'd do it again to have Reid. So, twenty years later, I want to thank him. Thank you for teaching me that there are very different important types of love. Thank you for being a good guy. Thank you for being a great dad. Thank you for having my back when we parent our son. Thank you for being there when I need for you to, and trusting me to be there when you do. Happy anniversary, sort of.