Should You Stay Friends With Your Ex for the Kids?

My husband of nearly 10 years and I decided in July that were going to take a detour from "marriage city" to "divorce rock city," which isn't nearly as good as the song, but I digress.

After a decade together and three kids under our belts, we'd become more friends than partners, and it was time for us both to move forward in our lives. Just ... apart.

But we've been careful -- beyond careful -- to put aside personal differences and make sure that we stay friends after the divorce is final.


Simple: The kids deserve it.


I'm not here to be all glib and say that this is the easiest thing ever, because it's not. Divorce, no matter how you slice it, is so far beyond hard that sometimes I'm overcome, breathless, terrified, and down. Other days are easier, but nothing is quite the same as it was.

Seeing my husband moving on, seeing him build his life without me while I build mine alone ... well, it's tough to watch. Devastating, even. 

But we're separating because it's what's best for our family, no matter how difficult those moments may be. Putting up with the minor stresses like those means we're able to do things like have family parties and even go to them together. We're still family; we always will be. He's the father of my children, and no piece of paper will change that.

He and I speak most days about our lives, our children; we work together to ensure we each see the children as much as we can and that the custody arrangement is fair to us all. I'm proud that we've been able to put aside our squabbles and focus on what we truly are: friends.

As they grow, I hope that our children learn the value of friendships and understand that we all have the ability to overlook our differences and stay friends with the people in our lives who truly do matter to us. That's an important lesson, and one I wish I'd learned when I was young.

I'm sure it will be confusing to other families when we show up to events together with our children. It's certainly not the norm, and it's certainly not always easy to explain, but in the end, we know we're doing the right thing for our family.

Because that is what really matters.

Would you remain friends with your ex for the sake of the kids? Why or why not?

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