Yesterday morning Courteney Cox made a surprise appearance on the Howard Stern show with her estranged husband, David Arquette, to set the record straight on their relationship. Much of the country, even not typical Howard Stern listeners, eavesdropped on the beautiful, yet troubled couple’s frank conversation. I have to admit that I was very impressed with the love and respect that they still maintained for each other through their very public drama. One thing really stood out was a comment made by David Arquette. David said that anyone who would be with him if it (his marriage) didn’t work out with Courteney, would have to understand that she would be third in line, behind Courteney and Coco. I swear that at that moment I could hear a booming choir of women with children cry out “AMEN”! This statement has to be one of the most honest and straightforward realities of dating someone with children. It doesn’t matter if it’s a woman or a man, if you are dating someone who is actively involved in the life of their child(ren) from a previous relationship, you can expect to stand in line behind not only the child(ren) but occasionally behind the ex.
The same women’s choir may be raising up a new tune now, one of discontent and frustration. Because, there is a pretty good chance that they will be dating someone with children of their own from a previous relationship, and find themselves on the flip side…standing in line. Most people, and by people I am speaking of mature adults, understand that when they date someone with children, the children needs will always come first. Where the rub comes is when the wishes, demands, or requests of the ex begin to take precedent over yours. Ouch! This is a much tougher pill to swallow. Now try not to get your panties in a bunch. There is a very good reason for this and chances are, in 99.9% of the cases, it is not that your girlfriend/boyfriend is trying to reunite with their ex. It is way less scandalous than that. The truth is that when ex’s co-parent, they will need to treat each other respectfully and make joint decisions about the children they share. These are important decisions that can affect travel plans, holidays, or even where you can live. These decisions, to be perfectly frank, are where the ex’s wishes will have more consideration and weight than yours do; however, you can expect that these decisions will affect you peripherally. Unfortunately, you can also anticipate this to be a permanent situation and one that you can’t ammend. You really have only 2 choices when dating someone who has children: 1) accept it and roll with it or 2) date people who do not share custody or have child(ren).
Personally, I have new respect for David Arquettte. At least the man is upfront and honest about the role his (potential future) ex and daughter will play in his life. I personally feel that when a person continues to prioritize their relationship with their children, it shows depth of character. All the traits we look for and admire: loyalty, commitment, and a sense of responsibility. If you’re anything like me, you totally despise waiting in line, not to mention, having a lack of control over the decisions that affect your life. I’ll tell you the same thing I repeatedly tell myself…it’s worth it. It’s all worth it! To be with someone you can admire and respect is worth it. The children’s well being is worth it! Doing for someone else’s child as you would want someone to do for your child is worth it! So, yes, every once in a while, I do stand in line behind my boyfriends ex. It’s my reality, but I keep telling myself…HE’s worth it and my ego and frustrations whither. Thanks David, for being an example for others with children and trust me someone will know that you and your daughter are… worth it!