Listen, I realize that divorce happens. People grow apart, our feelings change, our circumstances change, and sometimes two people can no longer be together. Other times, someone does something to their partner that can’t be moved past. Sometimes the cut is too deep, and the whole thing has to be called off, so that everyone can try to pick up the pieces and move forward.
You fall into that latter category. This divorce is your fault. You hurt my friend, you lied to my friend, and you betrayed my friend. She’s handling this like the strong, resilient, compassionate badass that she is, and the two of you are managing to cohabitate in relative peace until you are able to help your kids through this transition and life change. You are both amazing parents, and she’s putting aside her pain to put the needs of your kids ahead of her need to have you move out immediately. You are treating each other with respect during this time, and even finding time to laugh and share family meals, and I admire the hell out of both of you for that. While your arrangement isn’t a feasible option for all separating couples, many folks could take a page from your book here to mitigate some of the hurt and anger that often accompanies the splitting up of a family.
BUT, just because she’s being a fucking pillar of dignity and strength, doesn’t mean that I’m not pissed. Oh, I’m pissed. I’m pissed, and I’m looking at you, sir. You see, this is happening and it has to happen and it should happen, but you are the reason this is taking place. She is willing to recognize what a good father you are, and acknowledge your redeeming qualities as she works to forgive you for your indiscretions, but I don’t have to do that. I get to pull the Best Friend Card here, and I get to just be pissed the fuck off that you are the catalyst for the heartbreak, pain, anxiety, and overwhelming stress that you are causing my friend. So, FUCK YOU DUDE.
Fuck you for making her sad. Fuck you for making her question her own value and self-worth. Fuck you for making her question your entire relationship. Fuck you for making her feel like she has to figure out what she did wrong. Fuck you for making her feel guilty that she can’t keep up the facade forever and pretend like everything is fine. Fuck you for making her stress out over money. Fuck you for making her stay up all night crying. Fuck you for making her heart break as she attempts to prepare herself for spending 50% of her time away from the children she adores beyond comprehension. Fuck you for making her stay up all night as she worries how this will affect their future.
She has to co-parent with you. She has to share space with you as you attend basketball games, awards assemblies, recitals, and science fair presentations. She has to help your children process their anger, hurt, and confusion. She has to encourage them to forgive you and recognize that you are still the same adoring father they’ve always cherished. She has to convince them that she will be okay, so that they do not lose sleep worrying about their mama.
And that shit is a heavy burden to bear, man. Especially when you fought so hard to never be in this situation. Especially when you have been blindsided. Especially when you wish you could figure out a way to make it work, but you just can’t fucking do it anymore.
So while she continues to take the high road, you can understand why I’m spitting nails over here, right? You can understand why I want to junk punch you hella hard. You can understand why I kind of want to call you up and be like, “I HOPE YOUR NEW HOUSE HAS ROACHES. SO MANY ROACHES. I HOPE IT RAINS ROACHES. But only when your kids are not there, of course. Okay, bye fucker.”
Because it is her job to be the bigger person as she guides your family through this uncharted territory, and it is my job to be her sounding board. To validate her feelings. To support her choices. To lift her up when she feels too weary to keep pushing forward. To show up with takeout and cheap wine when the shit hits the fan. To keep reminding her, “Girlfriend, on the other side of this bullshit mountain is something amazing. What? I don’t know, but I know it’s fucking awesome. A whole new brand of happiness and freedom and you are going to rock it because you don’t need a fuckin’ man, and this is your year, baby.”
And it’s true. She’s going to be happy again. She’s going to be stronger. She’s going to do this thing on her own. She’s going to forgive you. She’s going to remind me of what a good dad you are, and how you are emotionally invested in helping the kids through this because you know you fucked up royally, and I’m going to be over here waving my middle finger in your direction.
If you get a shipping compartment full of roaches, don’t call me. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Fucker.
Love, The BFF