Stepbomb: I've always been a proponent of therapy. I believe in taking care of the mind just as you would your body. I've gone to individual therapy in the past, and my husband and I now see a therapist for "upkeep." But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself sitting in a therapist's office next to my husband and across from his ex-wife and her new husband.
After all of the unnecessary drama, I asked my husband's ex-wife if the four of
us could meet. And it was she who suggested seeing a therapist. My husband and I
readily agreed -- maybe this was just what we needed to get on the same page,
start fresh, start putting aside the anger and begin co-parenting peacefully (or
as peacefully as possible).
The session was productive. We didn't hash out the past; rather, we talked about
what we wanted from the future. She acknowledged that she had repeatedly lashed
out at us and agreed to start respectfully communicating with us. I apologized
for not doing a better job of understanding the insecurities she must have felt
when I volunteered in the classroom. We agreed to be open and honest and
respectful. My husband and I left on a high, feeling hopeful.
I wish I could say it worked. But two days later, we were scolded via voicemail
for not getting out of the car to talk to her when we dropped off the kids.
Never mind that it was raining and we were on our way to a doctor's appointment.
Never mind that we'd asked her to always be respectful even if she was upset
with one or both of us. Unfortunately, it was as if we'd never gone to therapy.
I know you can't ask a zebra to change its stripes -- especially not overnight.
But two days later?! I had thought we might make it at least a week. I wish my
husband and I didn't have to constantly live in fear that we're going to get
yelled at or scolded over e-mail. I wish she could do the one thing we'd asked: communicate with us respectfully. When she's upset, can't she just take a deep
breath before reacting?