I know what you are all thinking by now. Some have asked. If you haven’t said it, you’ve probably thought it. So, NO. I am not dating my ex’s wife’s ex-husband although we all have all been living together for seven weeks!
I’m also not getting back with my ex and his wife isn’t getting back with her ex and there are no late night rendezvous’ between any (though I sure hope my ex and his wife have found time and privacy!)
There are, however, really interesting things we have learned about this whole living experience. While my ex and I have had a mostly amicable and decent relationship since we separated eight years ago, I wouldn’t say we were friends. As with most separations and divorces, we have had many challenges, fights, arguments, and explosions. But we were always respectful and no matter what the challenges have been, we have always been able to come to agreements related to our kids, their schedules, and being flexible in helping each other if we had a work or schedule conflict.
We have fought about money. We have fought about things we didn’t like about the other or didn’t agree with in regards to tone, discipline and partners. But we were always able to do right in front of our kids. We have always been able to be in the same place and to say hello (though many times with limited eye contact). We have been able to be kind and civil and cheer the kids on at their sports together. Our kids will also say, especially when they know there are others who don’t have the relationship that we do, that they are glad their parents are friends. Or so they thought. We have done well at faking our friendship.
But the thing about quarantining together is that I actually think we might be friends now. If you didn’t know us, and spent time with us, you would just think we were longtime friends. You would never think we ever dated or were married. You would never think we were faking any friendship. We have real conversations. We bounce thoughts and ideas off of each other. I ask him to take photos for me for my work. Our extended families shared a zoom holiday. I have introduced him to virtual dates. (Really! 🙂
We have had a few fights although the stress level has remained low during those. They never got out of hand. I think that’s because we now can. They haven’t escalated. They haven’t been hurtful. They have been regular disagreements about parenting or things that annoy us, as one would have with someone they are living with for seven weeks.
I’ve sent only one text threatening to leave. That’s quite an accomplishment for this amount of time with your ex-spouse. I don’t know what life will be like after our blended quarantine; but I do know for sure we won’t go backwards. I know we can have calm conversations. I know we can help each other. I know I can count on him. I won’t worry about sharing information that could backfire. I now really know I chose a perfect ex-husband. I now really only know that after living with him eight years after we separated.