When there is a disconnect between parents, the tie that makes them responsible for and interested in the welfare of their children remains unbreakable. My husband and I separated when our sons were 16 and 18 years old. We will remain separated without getting a stressful and expensive divorce indefinitely. We are still tied to each other for having known each other for 40 years with a connection that likely won’t ever go away.
Staying connected for the sake of the kids is not an original concept, but our connection is more similar to people who have a romanic tie in some ways. We are the ones we call in a crisis even if we are romantically involved with new people. When he lost his wallet and his coat in the airport at the start of a vacation with the kids, he called me first.
It wasn’t just to let me know to cancel the credit cards. He simply wanted to share his distress with me. It’s a 40 year old habit. I called him from the urgent care center recently when I was having an x-ray of a fractured foot for the same reason.
Our history makes it easy to continue to have fun in our “relationship”. We know each other so well that we still bust each other’s balls for fun on a regular basis. We are civil when we talk. We even flirt with witty banter in text messages like a couple. This flirting will not go anywhere other than having fun. There are even little fights sometimes about money or home sharing schedules as we share two homes.
Our sons are now 20 and 22 years old so technically they are adults. They both live with me so in reality they are still children with brains that have not fully developed. Being parents is the only relationship in life that is guaranteed to last “until death” for both their father and me.
We met when we were 16 and 19 years old. We got married at 23 and 26. He moved out at 52 and 55. We just had our 33rd anniversary and spent Thanksgiving together. We are disconnected, but there is a permanent, unusual bond that is working well and will likely continue.