My ex and I were young when we married (and, four years later, divorced), so our time together was at a critical point in our individual emotional and intellectual development. After amicably parting ways, he moved on with his life, and I did the same with mine. It's been years since I've seen him, and many more since we started down our own paths with different people. I'm happy, and I hope he is, too. However, there are some things I wanted to say out loud when I heard my ex was having a baby. It was his third child, with another woman after he had divorced his second wife, and, well, you might be surprised at what those internal thoughts really were.
Once my ex re-married and had his first two children, I lived a parallel life with similar choices and experiences. I've been with my current husband for 13 years, and we have two amazing children together. Back then, when all the feelings of marriage and divorce were still raw, I never thought much of what my ex-husband was doing with his life, because he was seemingly happy, and I'd long since moved on. We might have been young when we married and later divorced, but we were still adults.
However, something happened when news broke of this new pregnancy. Those feelings I had long since buried, resurfaced. Despite how far we've come since our divorce, my immediate reaction, I think, is indicative of how much I've matured. On that note, here's some things I really wanted to say when I found out about this soon-to-be baby my ex and his lady are about to have.
"What the WHAT?"
I mean, to be fair, my initial reaction to all unexpected news is the same: pure, unadulterated confusion. I'm a creature of habit, in a habitual love affair with predictability, so if there's news I didn't see coming (however typical or expected), it's a shock. Even when my grocery store stops carrying my favorite yogurt, I don't understand what's happening.
With that said, I saw this pregnancy announcement and, for a few minutes, felt taken aback. It's not because anyone owes me an explanation of any kind (they don't), or that I even have stock in my ex's life (I definitely don't). It was just news I didn't expect to see. From anyone.
"How Long Have They Even Been Together?"
OK, so my next thoughts were a string of internal questions. While I have no idea what my ex does with his life, because we share a history I couldn't deny my curiosity. From what I know, he's been married, had two children, got divorced, then began dating. When this pregnancy was announced, I didn't know he was seeing anyone (thank you, social media connections), which is why, I think, the news was so surprising. I was happy to hear he'd found a girlfriend because, again, we split amicably. I've always worried he wouldn't find the kind of love I have with my current husband.
We were in high school when we met, which means I knew my ex-husband at a time when he had yet to figure out who he was or what he wanted from life (same goes for me, by the way). So, in a way, I feel protective, and desperately want him to find lifelong happiness with someone the way I have.
"Why Do I Even Care?"
As with any news any of my exes share publicly, I had to do an emotional inventory to take stock of why I was feeling any particular way about this pregnancy. Why did I care so much about this?
On the surface, it might seem like I'm jealous or that I miss my ex-husband. Not true. Actually, seeing that post reminded me of my own fertility and the struggles my husband and I have had. Something about it triggered a memory of my miscarriages, how difficult my pregnancies were, and the intense labor I experienced with my son that almost killed us both. I felt all of that in a flash upon seeing the words, not because I wished it were me having that baby, because I don't, but because it forced me to remember the life I left behind when we divorced, and what I've endured since.Without him.
"It's Not My Business"
For a long time after our divorce, I didn't stop to think about what my ex was doing or who he was dating. I'd found my place in another state, with another man, with a career and children, and all the things he and I never had. It wasn't until he appeared at my grandmother's funeral viewing (the woman we lived with through parts of our marriage), did all the history flood back. I'd missed him, the person, but not as my life partner, and I think the feeling was mutual.
When it comes down to it, no matter my questions, curiosities, or feelings, not a single bit of it is my business and I'm OK with that.
"I Honestly Wish Them The Best"
From the day my ex and I decided we couldn't make our marriage work, and we'd be best to move on, I've wished him nothing but the best — whatever that ends up meaning. There's a part of me that will always care about the man I shared some of my most memorable experiences with. However, the girl I was then, has grown into a different woman now.
While this announcement felt unexpected for me, who's to say it was to my ex? Maybe this is what they've been hoping for; the very thing that will bring him the joy I wish for him. So, with that I give my heartfelt congratulations. May the future be everything you hope for, and more.