Embracing Dysfunction

January 9, 2012

in Life Lessons


Last night, with my bluetooth in my ear, I was upstairs multi-tasking. Talking to The Boyfriend as he drove home from a visit to see his children, applying make-up, and flipping laundry; I was a flurry of activity as I prepared to go out for the evening.

Downstairs I heard the kids laughing, while playing with our dog and the person who would be watching them while I was out with friends. As voices carried upstairs I could hear the three of them making plans for what they would do while “mommy was out.”

After ending the call with The Boyfriend, I joined the group on the main floor, asking the three of them what they wanted for dinner. Once a consensus was reached, I started to heat it up for everyone before AC arrived to pick me up for our girls’ night out.

When I returned from dinner out with friends, the kitchen was cleaned up from dinner, both kids had bathed, Monkey was asleep, and Princess Daisy was heading upstairs for the evening. Everyone had a fun time at home while I was able to spend some quality time with two special friends.

The only thing out of the ordinary in this story is that I didn’t reach for my wallet to pay the sitter as he left. Because he isn’t a sitter. He’s the kids’ father and my ex-husband.

Talking about my childcare arrangements when I left the house for the evening, I commented to AC, “We are so functional in our relationship as ex-spouses that we are actually dysfunctional.”


Not operating normally or properly.

We work together in a company we founded 12 years ago, successfully co-parent, are friends, and help each other when needed. We are an atypical divorced couple.

It hasn’t always been a great relationship. It was strained in the beginning of the separation. There were fights and disappointment during the divorce negotiation. What remained constant during our negotiations in 2009 was our ability to step away, calm down, and try again. There was no irreparable harm during the process as a result.

Part of redefining our relationship was also working on forgiveness. The only way we were able to do this was to focus on looking forward instead of fixating on what was behind us.

Letting go of the difficulties in our past was challenging, but it has also been rewarding. It brought about inner peace, happiness, and greater depth of connection with those in my life.

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”
– Hermann Hesse

Letting go, moving forward, and redefining life and relationships as I go. It’s progress.

And, in my case, dysfunction I am happy to embrace.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lance January 9, 2012 at 9:02 am

Maybe it’s my anxiety disorder, maybe it’s being divorced and remarred, or maybe I’m just insane; but I kind of embrace dysfunction.

I can’t explain how I work. I also can;t explain how my wife and kids and our relationships work. But we work.

I think dysfunction is interesting and sexy.
Lance recently posted..House of CardsMy Profile


Naked Girl in a Dress January 9, 2012 at 9:07 am


There’s a great post title: Dysfunction is Sexy

Life is more interesting when it is outside the defined norm for society.

Glad you also embrace it!


Random Girl January 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

Some call is dysfunction, I call it awesome. To be able to still see value in your relationship, the new one, with the person you used to be married with and to have that be positive and on-going and beneficial is awesome.
Random Girl recently posted..The Screw Up Fairy strikes againMy Profile


Naked Girl in a Dress January 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

Thanks Random Girl! It’s working for us, as odd as it might be.


Eric January 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

I haven’t spoken to my ex-wife in almost 15 years. It is better this way. It was a bad time and a very bad marriage. I think I got it right on my second try, though. ;-)

It’s good to see that not all marriages end in hate and anger. I applaud your efforts on keeping your divorce dysfunctional. You seem happy and I’m certain your children are going to be wonderful people as they grow.
Eric recently posted..I Should Be Working for GeekSquadMy Profile


Naked Girl in a Dress January 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm

After reading your three-part series last week, I definitely think you got it right the second time around! Starter spouses help us in so many ways. At least that is what I believe.


David January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Interesting – it sounds like a nice balance actually. Bravo. And I know dysfunctional that works when I see it. Trust me, having an Autistic spouse and three Autistic kids, I can see it over the horizon and by it’s breathing a mile away. Enjoy the week NG!
David recently posted..Tomorrow’s JubileeMy Profile


Naked Girl in a Dress January 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Thank you David. I do appreciate the dysfunction I have with the ex. Great for the two of us and, of course, the kids.


Brett Minor January 9, 2012 at 11:41 pm

That is awesome. I have only met a few people that have pulled that off. I have the same relationship with my ex-wife. We discussed who was going to raise the kids and who would get what. We then hired one lawyer to draw up the papers. She supports me in whatever decisions I make about the kids and we never have any visitation issues. People think it is strange, but I love life without drama.
Brett Minor recently posted..Abscessed Adventures with AdamMy Profile


Naked Girl in a Dress January 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I love life without drama too. Since I worked so hard to have this type of relationship, I refuse to date anyone with the typical divorce drama. It narrows the dating pool considerably as a result, but I am happy without the craziness that can exist between divorced people.

Glad you have a similar experience!


Amy January 10, 2012 at 6:17 am

Good for you if it works – especially for the kids. You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din. :)
Amy recently posted..Walk With Me…My Profile


Naked Girl in a Dress January 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Thanks Amy!


Marie January 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

I am floored. Truly. Kudos to you both, though that is a weak word in the glow of what you’ve accomplished, what you’re maintaining. Happy New Year!!
Marie recently posted..Still Morning (Small Stone January 10th)My Profile


Naked Girl in a Dress January 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Thank you Marie, for the visit and the kind words.

Happy New Year to you as well!


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