The Silver break-up. Should you remain friends with your ex?

dicea2011-0012-0001 We’ll be friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’  

Till death do you part takes on a whole new meaning.’

So the forever stopped, tore apart and lies bleeding in the sand.  It happened, and more disturbing, it seems to happen more and more when we are in our Silver Street part of our lives.  The Grey Divorce is unnervingly common nowadays and personally, I blame it all on the bucket list thing.  But I digress.

From the first stab of separation, until now, it never occurred to me to make someone I loved, an enemy.  I don’t like having enemies.  Yes, things got ugly, yes lawyers had a bloody time and seemed to enjoy it at our expense, but never did it occur to me to not to endeavour to remain friends.  In the end. 

This seems to be contrary to all advice.  Cut him dead, they said.  Cease all communication if you want to move on, they said.  End it.  Spent. Done.  Get over it and eliminate him from your life.  Sorry all, I beg to disagree.  And I will tell you why:

  • At our time, in this Silver Street time, your relationship most likely spanned the best and biggest part of your life.  It meant a great deal. To both of you.  Made each other what you are and it is into those chapters of the good you need to delve. That the relationship did not last is not a loss, but part of life. In creating an enemy you are saying that major part of your life was wrong, and you know it wasn’t.
  • There are most likely children.  They are the result of your time together and they should be accorded the friendship you keep. By respecting their father or mother, you respect them.
  • The futility of hate. 
  • Oh,  that famous blame game. Stupid game. There is always a little bit of blame on both sides, so don’t delve, wail (ok for a little while) but let this define who you are.  That you loved is a great compliment – that you can remain friends, an even greater one.
  • As the years pass, so does the intensity of loss, regret and disappointment.  Instead you begin to remember the fond times, and you know what, your ex is part of that so if it is raw now, remember it will get better.
  • For some, it also meant losing your best friend.  The person who knew you better than most. For some that is the most difficult to deal with, so be a good friend to them, after the hurt, and they will remember how awesome you are. Remaining friends will heal both of you.
  • I defy anyone who wants to live with the knowledge that they hate, bear grudges, feel insignificant and invisible.  Being the better person and forming a new understanding, a different kind of friendship, will aid the healing, give credence to the person you are and allow you to go forward, with peace in your heart.

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May not seem possible, but you will smile at the beautiful times you had.  They are the ones you will remember when the pain subsides, they will be the ones you cling to when Silver turns to Gold.

So, from someone who knows, and chooses to remain friends, I say to you – being friends is what is being grown up is all about.  I choose to love, to be friends and make my life with my ex significant in the most positive way possible.  Tough when they move on and re-marry, uber tough on that score, but only you can choose the new chapter and how the words will be written – and I choose love, in a different, but embracing form.  

Till death do us part, I want to be friends, for our children, for the significance of my life.

When all is said and done, when the battles are fought, and lost, or won, you want to live a full and healthy, positive life.  In our Silver Street, loving the one you lost, in a different way, is the greatest compliment you can give yourself.

We’ll be friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’  

Even longer.’

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