Nice divorce?

In a perfect world…not having been divorced but being a 2nd wife and having friends who have gone through divorce; I’ve seen a bit of everything. I think so much depends on:

  1. Reason for the divorce. If there was infidelity and the other party is hurt, it is hard to put those feeling of betrayal aside.
  2. Kids - once children are involved it is often more difficult to remain cordial, especially if there are disagreements about custody or if one party sees the children as a tool to manipulate the other.
  3. New Spouses/Girlfriends - What I have read on this forum and seen in my own life is the 2 people are very cordial until one gets a boyfriend/girlfriend or new spouse. This often stirs up a lot of bad feelings and resentment. Usually it is better when both parties finally have a new boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse and worse when one has moved on and the other has not.
  4. Time - how much time has elapsed since divorce. Time IS often the great healer. Sometimes even the worst divorces become more amicable over time.
    Bottom line - I applaud you for trying to put the kids first and stay business-like and friendly - hope this works!

Mal is right, but nice divorces CAN happen. Unfortunately, it’s the lousy divorces that make the most noise and get the most attention.

Mine didn’t involve kids or a house…we separated for three and 1/2 years. Since he lived out of state, it wasn’t convenient to do all the paperwork until we had time for us both to get together. Since neither one of us was interested in remarrying, there was no hurry for the divorce. I can’t say that we are really friends anymore…but his current girlfriend and I correspond several times a year as friends.

My previous boyfriend also had a very amicable divorce…even with a child. They had decided upon divorce prior to his daughter being born. As a mutual agreement, they decided to continue to live together “until the daughter was out of diapers”, which they did, sometimes bringing their new significant others over for a big family dinner.

Custody was split 50/50 and the daughter adapted very readily to spending weeks 1/2 with mom, 1/2 with dad. Occasional disagreements would come up as to the raising of their child, but that would’ve happened whether or not they were married.

The girl has just graduated high school and has always grown up with a sense of both parents putting her first and being surrounded with a large extended family because of family friends and significant others. She still spends time with a couple of the significant others who are no longer dating her parents but are now more like treasured aunts/uncles.

Also, I am a child of divorce myself. My parents didn’t have an amicable divorce between themselves, however they both took care to keep me well out of it, for which I am grateful. Although they didn’t speak to each other except when absolutely necessary about schedules, both were supportive (sometimes too much) of each other’s parenting, and both were fond of their ex’s new spouses.

35 years away from my parents’ divorce I can honestly say that the divorce itself was far less damaging to my psyche than their marriage was. They were ill-suited for one another and had married far too young. They differed in temperament and lifestyle and I’ve gone through many years of therapy to heal the scars of the chaos of their marriage. (Not blaming them here…they were doing the best they could and what they thought was the best thing.) They brought out the worst in each other.

When they divorced, for the first time in my life, I finally stayed at the same address/school for more than 6 months and regularly had food on the table. There was less conflict and I was treated much better on the whole. I didn’t have to witness screaming or my parents crying anymore. Divorce was the best thing that happened to our family.

Thanks for the replies. So far after the peace of it things are ok.

Neither of us has been happy for some time. 3 children involved so we want to do what is best for them. I want her to be happy in life and she says that she wants me to be happy. I don’t feel we can be happy together as the things we both lack we will at some point look for somewhere else and I don’t want to be “that” guy. Nor do I want her to be “that” person.

I don’t know what the feelings will be at the point one of us finds that other person down the road.

Is it possible to have a nice divorce? In my situation after a lot of yelling and screaming we have finally come to the agreement that acting that way is not best for the boys long term. That if we try to “win” every time none will come out the better.

Is it possible for this to hold? we have both let down our guard and talk more as friends as opposed to combatants. I know the emotional steps will still take time but for now it is very cordial. Can you remain friendly for the sake of the children? I know in a forum such as this there is a lot of anger but didn’t know if anyone had experience with a divorce that went well.