We can either be traditional or non-traditional in the way we do things.  I think my husband and I are being pretty non-traditional in the way we are going about our divorce.  We haven’t involved lawyers, choosing instead to do it the DIY way.

We are having a non-traditional “Friendly Divorce”.  People have asked us why we are going through with it if we are able to be so gosh darn friendly about things.  If we can get along so well, they ask, then why don’t we give it one more try?

Fair question.

Here’s the thing:  I am not a fool.

Make no mistake, I want this divorce.  I don’t hate him yet, but I am afraid that I will if I am married to him for much longer.   And I am just as certain that he will soon hate me as well.

We keep hurting each other.  Again and again and again.  We have been together long enough to know each other’s vulnerabilities, and we know how to use that knowledge against each other.  Each of us can inflict more pain on the other than anyone else in our lives can do.  We are both the “bad guy” in our situation, and we are both the victim.

I don’t want him back.  He doesn’t want me back. I don’t want to be married to him any more than he wants to be married to me.

I can be snarky and sarcastic, and I am fully capable of trashing him here, or on Facebook, or to our mutual friends.  I could air our “dirty laundry”, tell exaggerated tales of his misdeeds, and I could make him utterly miserable.

What purpose would that serve?

He has his own set of skills.  He can be cruel and hurtful, controlling and antagonistic, and at times his sense of humor can be downright devastating.  He could make my life a living Hell.

This could very easily become one very traditional, very spiteful, very ugly divorce.  All we have to do is say the word.  But again, what purpose would that serve?  One way or another, he and I are going to have to have a relationship for the rest of our lives because we made three little people together.  Three little people who need both of us to act like adults and set a good example for them.

I have been accused by some of being a pushover.  Advised to hire a good lawyer and go in for the kill.  I am the semi-crippled, unemployed mother of his three children, and he fell in love with another woman before divorcing me.  I could ask for his testicles to be gold-plated and gift-wrapped for me if I wanted, or so I have been told.

In ten years, do I really want a set of gold-plated gift-wrapped testicles, or do I want a decent relationship with my ex-husband and father of my children?  Once upon a time, we loved each other; I think there will always be a small kernel of that love between us because of everything we’ve shared.  I don’t think either one of us really wants to hurt the other.

We just want out.

We have made the decision to be non-traditional because we are being practical and putting the needs of our kids and each other first, for the first time in a long time.  Maybe that means we are finally growing up.

Or maybe we are starting a new tradition for others to follow?

Author: A.J. Goode

I am a romance novelist, single mother of three, and a high school lunchlady. To be completely honest, I have no idea which of those jobs is the most rewarding and which is the biggest challenge. I love them all. I write romance novels about the kind of people who might pass me on the street every day. My characters are often hurting in some way, and need to learn to trust others in order to heal themselves. I also blog about trying to focus on writing, and about my day-to-day experiences in small-town America. I write about life. The good, the bad, and the just plain odd.

8 thoughts on “Tradition!”

  1. This is great post. I think a lot of couples assume they have to have nasty divorces. I give you and your husband a lot of credit for being able to put your differences aside and think of the little guys.

    Good luck to you with everything!


  2. This is really a very mature decision of the two of you. But please make sure that you are taken care of and provided for. Unfortunately, I’ve had to experience that a person very, very close to me has come out of her divorce really really bad off financially because she wasn’t advised properly. Good luck to both of you and your family!


  3. I bought the blank divorce forms at the office supply store when my ex and I decided it was time to split. That was back in 1984. The closer we got to the final date, the more things he began demanding. I ended up needing an attorney. I hope you can make this work. No sense it letting lawyers take the money that would benefit you and your children. I wish you the best!!


  4. My heart goes out to you. Even if the two spouses never got along from the, beginning divorce can be a real ripping apart, especially with children. Stay strong!


  5. Wow, I’m completely in agreement with everything you said. I started an amicable divorce with my first husband but it got ugly when he opened a bunch of credit cards in my name at the end of it (we were young and had no children). I think that it’s admirable and awesome and perfectly perfect that you’re both refusing an ugly divorce and instead are going for mutual respect. You’re right. And I hope that it continues this way – I really think it’s amazing and best for both of you to not hang golden testicles (or other body parts) up as a trophy.


  6. I hope the friendly divorce follows through to the end. I don’t get why some couples have to get so nasty. But, then again, I’ve never gone through a divorce or been even close. Good for you both for being a good role model to others! (Visiting from FFTS!


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