My four year-old daughter still calls me “Daddy’s wife.”
I haven’t figured out the right response to that, really. Would a four year-old even understand what it means to be an ex-wife? I think she wouldn’t. What does being an “ex” mean to a child that young? What do the words, “We are good friends” mean to a child? To my daughter, boys and girls (she doesn’t term it as men and women) are together and married… friendships between “boys and girls” don’t quite exist. Such are the issues when you divorce with young children.
So, who am I to my ex, now, other than his ex-wife? Am I anything other, or just the ex-wife? The connotations behind the words “ex-wife” are enough to make you NEVER want to be one in this or the next lifetime. Defining who he is or is not to me in my life, and who I am or who I am not in his life, has been a process. I hear the catch-all phrase uttered by many divorced people: “He’s my ex. He’s my friend.” Or “She’s the mother of my children.” Simple and clean phrases to describe someone you once shared dreams, finances and body fluids with.
Read More: Why I Don’t Want to Be Just the ‘Ex-Wife’