Conflicted

Last night I got to talk to my ex wife. Actually she’s my ex’ wife, but I affectionately call her my ex wife. She’s my boys’ step mom.

I like her. I like her a lot. I pray for her a lot too.

Dear Lord in heaven, please don’t let him screw this up. Protect her. Keep her safe. May she be a light to her husband and our children.

She’s been a blessing not only to my ex, but our children as well. I’m very grateful for her.

Last night we talked. My son, Justice, who now lives with them full time, is angry. He’s angry at me, but also very sad.

I was grateful she called.

He’s angry at me because for 12 years he has lived with me full time. He thinks I’ve kept him from his dad.

He doesn’t think it’s fair. He thinks it would only be fair, that since I got his childhood, his dad should get his teen years. That’s his black and white thinking.

But he’s sad. Yeah, we know he’s always sad, but she says it’s a different kind of sad. He misses his mom.

I miss him too.

What do I do? How do I explain to him I felt I was protecting him. How can I get him to understand that living with me was what I believed was in his best interest,  without bashing his dad?

I don’t want to share the details of my decision if sharing them hurts my son. Hurts their relationship. Hurts how he sees his dad.

Things are different now. I feel he is safe. His dad is in a better place. This is why he was eventually allowed to live there, instead of just come over.

I just don’t want to be the one to tell him why things have changed.

How conflicted he must be feeling. Being angry at me but also missing to be home. I hate that he’s hurting.

My ex wife is giving me a chance to talk with him this afternoon. What am I going to say?

You know my parents divorced. I wasn’t 14, but I was still living in their house. I stayed with my dad.

Both my parents have remarried since then. You know what was weird? Seeing them together. Not seeing my mom and dad together, but seeing my mom and her husband and my dad and his wife, all together.

Isn’t that weird? I’ve never seen them fight. I’ve never heard them speak badly about the other. I never felt like one parent was trying to persuade me not to love the other one.

I knew why they got divorced. I asked and my dad told me. He didn’t bash my mom. He didn’t let his emotions tell him what to say. He didn’t make her sound worse than what she really was. He was honest with me.

Maybe that’s how I need to be with Justice. I don’t need to bash his dad. I don’t need to let my emotions tell me what to say. I don’t need to make the reason he stayed with me worse than what it was.

Maybe I should just be honest with him. And if he’s still angry, then he’s angry. If he wants to still stay with his dad, he can stay with his dad.

But regardless, I’m going to hug him, and squeeze him, and tell him that I love him.

And whether he lives with me, or lives with his dad, or when he lives on his own…

I’m always, always going to try to protect him, look out for him, and maybe start being a little bit more honest with him.

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