What It’s Like for Us to Co-Parent While Living with My Ex

Just three months ago, coming out as a lesbian marked the end of my marriage. Encouraging my ex-husband to date again seemed like the right thing to do, yet by the next morning, I found myself grappling with unexpected feelings of envy. This is my journey navigating the intricate dynamics of what it’s like to co-parent while living with my ex.

I suggested that my spouse have a one-night stand. You may think I’m insane after reading that, but I assure you I’m not.

When I came out as a lesbian to my family, my spouse and I agreed to continue raising our children together while seeing other individuals. Now everyone wants to know how dating will evolve in the future.

I wanted to give my husband the personal contact and affection he deserved, but I could no longer push myself to do so. Yet, I was unprepared for how I would react when it happened.

The Initial Date

The first date and hookup inevitably arrived. When my husband informed me that his girlfriend wanted to meet in a hotel, I thought, brace yourself, buttercup, for here it comes. It was time to apply everything we had been talking over the previous month. Let the courtship games commence!

Throughout the days and hours leading up to the day, I felt slightly anxious but otherwise fine. I could tell that he was both anxious and enthusiastic. As we lived together, I assisted him in selecting his attire, and he was off and running.

My anxiety and emotions were predominately anticipatory; what would transpire knowing what was going to occur? While I am already a light sleeper, I opted to take melatonin to counteract my overactive imagination. It helped somewhat.

I tossed and turned until almost midnight before falling asleep. Nonetheless, I could not quit imagining them. When you have been with someone for a long period, you are familiar with all of their “moves.” It’s like a dance with a pattern you’re all too familiar with. Why was I unable to quit tormenting myself?

The Emotions

I believed that I could not feel envious of the deed because I had been unable to enjoy or be intimate with my husband for years. I wanted nothing to do with it, so what was I feeling? It’s not like I have a lot of pals to discuss this with; we were in a new area.

When he returned home the following morning, I was practically unable to look him in the eyes. He inquired whether I had any queries, to which I responded in the negative. It felt strange. I felt disgusted. I needed some time to process it alone.

I rushed to my neighborhood hot yoga studio and perspired profusely. Midway through the session, my favorite crazy song of the week played, and I began to cry. Naturally, in complete silence, in the yoga studio’s shadows. Fortunately, it was so dark inside that no one could possibly have known, and that was evidently the release I required.

The further I delved into this sensation, the more I realized it wasn’t about the sex; I was jealous that he got to stay at a hotel on the beach without his children. This exhausted mother understood that I, too, needed a break.

The Sorrow

I realized that, from my perspective, nothing had altered in our relationship up to this moment. We were already celibate, raising our children in a platonic relationship as friends and comrades. But my affection for him never changed.

When I informed him I was attracted to women, he began to mourn our marriage. Although we still lived together and saw each other daily, nothing had changed for me up until this point.

Now it was my turn to experience my first marriage loss. At times, we cried while discussing how we were both feeling. It was a good part of the healing process, and I am so proud of both of us for continuing to prioritize our family.

The Complexity of Relationship

I’m not sure if we learn jealousy or if it’s always been a part of us, but some of us can love more than one person simultaneously. In recent years, polyamory (consensual non-monogamy) has gained more acceptance in this region. Obviously, cheating is still cheating if the other person is unaware or disapproves. In order for polyamory to succeed, you must establish limits and be honest with one another.

Friends and family also play a role in a person’s emotional well-being, as no single individual can fulfill all of one’s emotional needs. Several individuals have already implemented it, so you may not even be aware. Consider, for instance, how different aspects of your personality shine out when you are with different people — whether you laugh so heartily with one of your pals or perhaps you have a sensitive, caring, nurturing relationship with your family.

This need for various interactions is also the reason why parents occasionally require a night off – we are recharging our emotional selves. Polyamory is the same notion but more sexually or romantically oriented. We’re no longer intimate, thus, I don’t consider us to be polyamorous. As we have children and want to live together for the foreseeable future, the fundamentals remain the same: communication, boundaries, and having difficult conversations about feelings. Hence, we must be as transparent and truthful as possible.

We Did It!

Once the first 24 hours had passed following his date night, our emotions began to settle, and within 48 hours, we were back to normal. We did it. We survived a situation that could have ruined most partnerships.

A few weeks later, he went on another date with another woman, and the sting of the first date had worn off; I felt much more at ease. I was concerned about his safe return home because I cared about him.

You may be wondering how in the hell someone could endure anything like this. You are imagining yourself and wondering how you would feel if this was you.

Well, we didn’t get here overnight. It took several weeks and frequent dialogue to determine what was acceptable and how it made us feel. Surprisingly, the majority of our emotions nearly vanished simply by discussing them. But, understanding one another’s feelings and opinions goes a long way.

What Follows?

They are also curious as to whether or not we will divorce immediately or at all. I take a step back and consider folks who divorce; they are typically so disgusted with one another that they never want to see each other’s faces again. We have a different circumstances; we are still living together and raising our children as a terrific, solid team. To address your query, there is no pressing need. Eventually, yes, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

For now, we will continue to prioritize love: the love for our family, the love for our children to have both parents every day, and the love for our happiness and satisfaction.

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