Dad's Message About Becoming Friends With Wife's New Husband Is Co-Parenting Done Right

Sean Whalen
Sean Whalen/Facebook

Co-parenting definitely ain't easy -- especially when there are lingering feelings of hurt and anger left over from the divorce. But no matter how hard things may seem at times, there are ways to make it work. Sean Whalen of Salt Lake City, Utah, is proof that doing the hard work to forgive your ex and accept the new partner isn't just possible but totally worth it. And he's recently shared his own story in a Facebook post that's gone viral.

  • In his post, the dad of three admitted that for years, he hated his ex-wife's new husband.

    Whalen's ex, Summer Williams, met her new husband, Justin Williams, after their divorce was finalized in 2012, according to the Daily MailBoth financial worries and the 2008 financial crash had put strain on their relationship, and ultimately, they decided to part ways.

    At the darkest points of their breakup, Sean said he and his ex could barely manage to communicate, let alone co-parent.

    "It got so bad that we spent six months picking up and dropping off our kids [without really speaking]," he recalled. "It led me to a point where I became suicidal and didn't really see value in life any more."

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  • His anger and resentment only grew after Summer met and married Justin.

    "I hated this guy," he wrote in a November 28 Facebook post. "I hated that he was around my kids. I hated that he hugged them and tucked them in at night.

    "One of the single greatest struggles of my life was my anger," he continued. "My bitterness and resentment towards my ex and our divorce. Justin naturally wanted to protect his new love and I wanted them both to hurt."

  • In fact, Whalen admitted that at one point, the two men almost came to blows.

    Though they never actually fought, they certainly came close a few times. 

    "It wasn’t too long ago he and I stood in the front yard of my ex wife’s house d--n near throwing down with police en route," Whalen wrote.

    But now, with the benefit of hindsight, he can see that his anger was driven by hurt.

    "The most difficult thing I’ve ever done has been to build a relationship with BOTH of them," he wrote on Facebook. "Not just my ex, but with Justin as well.

    "I could tell so many stories," he continued. "I have so many reasons to be 'mad' and to hate them both. But I learned that building a relationship with them wasn’t for my kids or for us; going into the deepest parts of my PRIDE and EGO and SOUL to learn to love them, TO TRULY LOVE THEM was for me."

    Ultimately, he asked himself what kind of person he would be if he carried around hatred for both his ex and her husband in his heart. It was his desire to grow beyond being angry that caused him to completely change all of their lives.

  • Now, Whalen is urging other men to take a page from his book.

    In fact, the dad has so successfully made amends with Williams, that the two were even able to have Thanksgiving together this year.

    "Today he and my ex and kids all had Thanksgiving at my house and when he walked in he gave me a big hug and said 'Happy Thanksgiving man,'" he wrote. "That hug was highlight of my day."

    Whalen even included a photo of the two men as they prepared their holiday dinner.

    "I know a lot of y’all reading this right now are angry," he wrote. "You carry weight and say 'WELL HE OR SHE DID ___.' Trust me friend I GET IT. When God made me he gave me an extra portion of PRIDE & EGO so I know full well how deep this [expletive] runs."

    "I want you to know one thing," he continued. "You MUST love your ex for one reason. You MUST FORGIVE and TRULY LOVE for one reason. YOU."

    Although Whalen fully admits that the work is hard, he can clearly see now that he's on the other side of things that it was worth it.

    " I can promise you friend, the PEACE and FREEDOM YOU WILL FIND is priceless," he wrote. "Absolutely PRICELESS. The man or woman you will become through this process is PRICELESS. Keep going friend."

    His final word of advice? "LOVE THEM and don’t stop or give up until you do."

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