Coffee with your ex-husband is an art. I’ve been divorced for several years now, my ex-husband and I have moved on and both have serious significant others. It’s pretty safe to say we are over most of the emotion that comes with ending a marriage, and are now just committed to giving our daughter the best life we can. Because of this, we get together every once in awhile for coffee to go over our daughter’s life events, schedules, etc. Sure we can do this via text and phone calls, but if we’d been good at communicating with one another, we probably would have done a better job at making our marriage work. So, instead we’ve found these little coffee adventures are a good way to keep up-to-date on all things daughter.
Today as we sat met at the coffee shop and got to talking, we both laughed at the fact that our entire coffee visit is a complete (and totally unnecessary) power struggle.
What It’s Like To Have Coffee With Your Ex-Husband
As I drive past the coffee shop, down to the light so I can turn in, I survey the parking lot. Is he already here? Did he score a primo parking spot? Not today! I beat him. Oh, wait, that big pickup truck turning in from the other direction? That’s him– and he ganks the only parking right in front of the building. Looks like I am hoofing it.
Well done, ex. You’ve won the battle, but not the war.
He waves, and waits at the entrance. I let him open the door for me. Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because I want to be first in line. I order my coffee, and turn to him. motioning for him to order, and he does. I reach for my credit card as he reaches for his. “I’ve got this,” I say, smiling and handing my credit card to the barista. You might think the winner of this battle is the one who scores the free coffee, but you’re wrong. The winner is the one that selflessly picks up the tab for the both of you.
“What’s the name for the coffee?”
“Just put Jamie.” She will call out my name instead of his.
This point goes to me.
“Where would you like to sit?” He asks. It’s innocent enough. Until you realize that this is the biggest decision of the entire outing. If I choose the seat in the middle of the coffee shop, we can’t discuss anything embarrassing. If I am not in the mood to divulge that life information, then that is the right choice. But today, I don’t have anything private that needs to be discussed, and I know we will be negotiating trips, Christmas presents, who will handle picking up her instrument from the repair shop, taking her shopping for her new swim team suit, etc. This is something divorced people do that married people do also, we just do it a little differently, and with a little less love or concern for the other person’s free time.
I choose a table off to the side, in case things get heated– they sometimes do when we get together, but we try to keep them pretty civil. Now, who sits where? One of the seats is in the direct sunlight. That person will have to squint, get shorty style…
And I position us so that he’s staring at the sun, squinting and wanting to get things done as quickly as possible. I’ve got this– in, out, and on my way in no time. I’ve won the war, and that’s that.
Then he leans in, puts on his sunglasses and pulls out his agenda.
Well played, ex-husband. Well played.
He always was the organized one…