Must We Remain Friends With Our Ex Husbands?

by: Nancy Lang

The Universe can have a very ironic sense of humor. I recently had an altercation via e-mail with my ex-husband (about money of course), and all of my old buttons were not only pushed, but got stuck in ‘I’m hurt, I’m not respected, I’m not appreciated, I’m pissed, and I hate you!’ mode. For two days I stewed and chewed on the not so petty file in my memory drive, as I was reminded of the many reasons why we got divorced.

Several days later, ironically enough, I find myself with the opportunity to write about maintaining a friendship with ones ex husband.

In recent news, Denise Richards (perhaps we should call her Mother Denise?) has raised the bar for all ex wives: offering to have temporary custody of her ex husband’s (Charlie Sheen) kids from his last marriage to Brooke Mueller (third ex-wife), who is in rehab for the 20th time. This arrangement has been approved by L.A. County Juvenile Court.

Clearly, Ms. Richards has put the needs of these children before anything else. They are, after all, half sibs to her children with Sheen and she is providing them with a more stable environment than either of their parents can provide.I’m guessing she would open her heart and home to them even if she and Sheen weren’t getting along. So, while it’s great that for now they are able to co-exist or even co-parent, whether everything remains copasetic or not, the priority is the well-being of the children.

Is it possible to remain friends with your ex-husband? This depends on the reasons for the split and the level of hostility.There are also other things to consider:

·If you don’t have kids, and you think friendship is possible, first give yourself some time to move on and adjust to who you are as a single person.

·There is a difference between being buds and maintaining a good relationship. If there are children involved you will always be connected to your ex, so it is best to at least get along. Kids hate when there is tension between mom and dad.

·If regular communication would bring up old hurts, then keep it peaceful and keep interaction to a minimum.

·If you can’t be friendly, try not to bash your ex to your children, no matter their age. (I made the mistake of saying my ex was a short name for Richard. Not my best Mommy moment).

Yes, the Universe works in mysterious ways. Many years ago, when I was beginning my acting career in Los Angeles, I was an extra in a movie starring Martin Sheen. He played a man with a wife (Blythe Danner) and kids, who discovers he fathered a child from an affair. The mother of this child dies, so his wife (Ms. Danner), understanding of the circumstances, suggests they take the child into their home.

Six degrees of Charlie Sheen. We come full circle. Thank you Universe for the laugh and the lesson.

Nancy Lang is a certified Life Coach, published author, professional actress, and M.D. (Maven in Dating!). It was her role in life as a divorced woman that inspired her to write the book, You Want Me to What?!—The Dating Adventures and Life Lessons of a Newly Divorced Woman (available on Amazon) and www.you-want-me-to-what.com. Nancy has also written for Huffington Post, Life After 50 Magazine, and many other publications. She was co-writer and co-star of the original musical sketch comedy, Shtick Happens! which played to crowds from West Hollywood to Minneapolis. Nancy also writes for HopeAfterDivorce.org, FamilyShare.com, CupidsPulse.com, and LAFamily.com. Visit her blog at www.nancytellsall.com.

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