Divorce, Tequila, and Second Chances

Friendship with my Ex-Husband

“If you want to sing out, sing out… and if you want to be free, be free.” This was the song running through my head as I approached the courthouse on the morning of my divorce. I went to take a seat in the gallery, smiling at my soon-to-be ex-husband as I took my place. After a year and a half of separation and a final mediation just 90 days earlier, here we were. We managed to avoid the time and financial burden of litigation and sidestepped the ugly court battle my husband had threatened. It took tremendous compromise, but I can confidently say that I made the best compromises for myself and my children in the grand scheme of things. The next few years won’t be easy, but I believe we’ll make it.

We sat, listening to the stories of other broken marriages, many of them being couples who could no longer look at each other. They were so sad and angry that they wanted to walk away not only from the marriage but from the children it had produced. I felt a lot of sadness that morning, but I hoped it would strengthen our resolve that no matter how my husband and I felt about each other, we could work together for our children.

Our turn came, and after a scramble for updated paperwork and a brief recitation of words to the judge, it was done. I didn’t feel that different after our long separation, but a huge relief washed over my now ex-husband.

We drove to a nearby Mexican restaurant, one we had visited many times before, and each ordered a celebratory shot of tequila. We fell into easy conversation, amazed that it was all over so quickly, considering it had felt like we’d been waiting for so long. With the obligations, financial and otherwise, now behind us, we had less to argue about.

I don’t think about it a lot, months later. Until the other night, putting the kids to sleep and we were talking about relationships. “But you and Papa are friends,” my eldest said happily, without a trace of doubt. And I knew he was right. Friends, as we were in the beginning. Friends that our marriage, in the end, had made it impossible to be. “That’s true,” I confirmed to them both. “Your Papa and I are good friends.”

*Author’s Note: I wrote this in 2017 when we divorced. Today, we are still good friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *