Regina King and her ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr. were married for 10 years before parting ways but she took the first step towards improving their friendship for the sake of their son.
Growing up in a broken home changes a person irrevocably. Adults who grew up in a broken home might make efforts to actively stop that from happening to their own child in the future but that's not always something we can control. After all, couples grow apart all the time, which is why Regina King, 49, who won the Emmy award for lead actress in a limited series for the HBO superhero show Watchmen, made active efforts that her son has both parents.
King was married to Ian Alexander Sr, 64, an actor, from 1997 to 2007. They decided to part ways after a decade of being married and had a son Ian Alexander Jr. Her son saw his parents and their rocky relationship, including a rocky divorce. A child of a broken home herself, she wanted her son to have a better childhood than she did, which is why she chose to end her strife with her ex-husband, according to Purewow.
She wrote in an essay featured in Essence in 2018, "Because of our issues, Ian was becoming the kid whose parents were so disconnected that they couldn’t even sit next to each other, let alone have a civilized conversation. I had been that kid once and it wasn’t fun."
She mentioned the turning point in her previously acrimonious relationship with her former partner. They had been at their son’s basketball game and were sitting at opposite ends of the arena. Alexander was a "present father" and it wasn't unusual for him to go to his son's game. "I can’t say that I was happy about him being there, though. Actually, I was still pissed about some of the messiness that had gone down during our breakup, so I really wasn’t in the mood to see him at all, anywhere. Then something clicked," she wrote.
She caught herself repeating a "familiar pattern." She took it on herself to improve the relationship and when the game was over, she sought him out in the crowd to tell him that she wanted to talk.
"I really wanted to tell him how I was feeling, right in the moment. I wanted us to at least start the conversation, face-to-face. 'You know what? This is not good for Ian,' I said. 'Let’s put this shit behind us, because it has nothing to do with how much we both love him.' He heard me out and after taking a deep breath, he agreed. I think we both were relieved to be taking the first step toward releasing the heaviness we’d been carrying around. That was our turning point," she revealed.
While she had no doubts about him as a father, she had wondered if she would ever be his friend again but they made an effort and as co-parents, their bond became better. "He was front and center for Ian, who was in seventh grade then. That’s the kind of father he’d always been," she added.
She went on to reveal incidents from her childhood as well. She was almost the same age as her son was, when her parents divorced. She wasn't even surprised that her parents decided to split after seven years of being married. She had been embarrassed that neighbors would find out about the door-slamming and other fights but never thought that her father would just leave.
While her father had assured her and her younger sister that things would be alright and he would be there, none of that happened. "I was more disappointed and even more hurt when my father seemed to just drift out of our lives," she added.
She remembers taking acting classes and both her sister and she started working at the age of 13 on television but her father was never around. What her childhood taught her was that kids need both parents, but they also need parents who are happy together. It shapes women as much as it shapes men to become confident individuals.