Sorry for my lateness in posting today. My day job has had be on overload lately. Today and tomorrow I'm the Director of The Salt Lake County Water Quality Fair for 1700 FOURTH GRADERS! Needless to say I have been busy, as well as, my 50 awesome volunteers.
What I wanted to share today is a conversation I had this afternoon after all the kiddies were headed back to school. A few of us grabbed a bite to eat and one of the guys volunteering today (Matt) shared his story about his 20 year marriage ending last year, two months after they moved into their dream home with their kids.
His wife's(ex) father died, then a month later she asked him for a divorce and then remarried a family friend four months later. Needless to say, Matt was very bitter over the whole ordeal. One night he was so upset he sent a very angry, mean, bitter text to his ex-wife. The next morning he received a call from his teenage daughter. Her message? "Dad the only person you hurt with that text was ME! Now Mom says that the custody agreement will be by the book, NO EXCEPTIONS!"
Matt said at the moment he realized that he had to let go of his anger and bitterness and move on for the benefit of his kids. He apologized to his daughter and then to his ex-wife that same day. They have since gone back to working together as co-parents of their children.
We have all experienced that moment when you have just had it with the other parent and you want to let them know exactly what you think. The lesson I walked away from hearing that story was, STOP AND THINK before pushing the send button. It's always harder to apologize instead of never sending the exchange to begin with.
If you're on the receiving end of the angry message, STOP AND THINK before reacting. I know for me, sometimes the simplest things have turned into the biggest problems in my relationships with the other family. Listening to someone I know very little about share his own story made me realize how simple and easy it would have been to STOP AND THINK first for both sides of the equation. Not usually the first thing that comes to your mind when you have been wronged.
I also realized that his daughter was a very confident and strong young woman to tell her Dad, listen that kind of thing hurts me not Mom! Depending on the age of our kids and/or their personalities they may not be able to share that sentiment, but we should always be mindful that our actions are not in a vacuum when it comes to the Ex, Bio-Mom or Step-Mom.
I will be posting again on Friday. Tomorrow I will be entertaining 4th graders.