I heard that an acquaintance of mine is getting divorced and that it's "getting kind of ugly". I see her pretty regularly, but don't know her well.
I started thinking about my situation, naturally. Divorce was (is) not common at all in my family or my circle of friends. I didn't have many people to talk to who had walked in my shoes, although my family was instrumental in helping me cope.
Because there was a child involved, I took what was going down very seriously. This couple does not have kids, but I think what I'm going to say still applies. I thought (and this continues) that it was very important to keep things civil for Mr W's sake. Because his dad, my ex, is part of my life for a while yet. I believe it's easier on the child when their divorced parents get along well enough that decisions are made in the best interest of the kid.
Hate is a difficult thing to carry around with you. I know some folks who still hold to so much hurt and hatred for their ex-spouses, that they have had trouble moving on. I'm not saying that one's feelings, however strong, shouldn't be processed and dealt with. But making decisions that deliberately hurt someone who has hurt us can escalate a situation. And it takes time to come back from that level of spite and anger.
That is my view anyway. I was terribly hurt that my life as I knew it was going to change. (OK, that's a bit of an understatement). But somehow I knew that if I sank to a place where I was dealing with my ex in a way to deliberately screw him over, that that would leave a residue on me that I'd have to work to wash off later. So I have tried to keep things civil, and as a result, get flexibility in the parenting schedule, and an ex that kicks in his share of the expenses.
I didn't come out of it unscathed; I'm still wary of getting the rug pulled out from under me again. But (and this is the important part, I think) I came out of stronger and more resilient, which I think is important because life doesn't stay the same for very long.
My two cents'.