While I don't blame my then-wife for "going for it" and asking for everything she wanted: the money, the house, the custody, I don't think she was thinking beyond her interests. And we can all cite studies about mothering and nurturing, but today, just as many modern studies show the dad is of equal importance in bringing up healthy kids.
If drinking is a little like Ambien, I do understand the draw towards daily drinking. It's not for me either, never has been, but daily Ambien, I could see how I might enjoy that if not for the side effects that it kills my hopeful attitude the next day and has me making promises my actually emotional state won't let me fulfill.
It was a reality I could not manage. In the end, it was a reality that should've split us up and did. I am now free to have a relationship with a woman who enjoys life, and who wakes up laughing as I do.
If I can leverage that into some measure of hopefulness, then I am well along my path of recovery. I don't have to aim for joy when I am activated and functioning properly.
I'm coming out of my illness and beginning to feel my hopefulness again. But I'm not able to climb a quarter-mile hill right out of the gate, my first five minutes on a bike. It takes some time to build up to that. My friend who sold me his used bike said, "Start out in the flats, build up to it."
The first time my current sweetheart crossed my path I was in no mood or frame of mind for anything beyond my own sad story. When we crossed paths the second time, she was well prepared with my trigger words and actions. And I was broadcasting on all channels my desire for a partner to step up and be enveloped in my madness.
It's all about the kids. If you've still got a beef with your ex you need to get over it. There's no point. You might have disagreements about stuff, but those should be handled with the same intensity as a convenience store clerk.
Yes, divorce is hard. Trying to whitewash every single detail of a co-parenting relationship in some fantasy land haze would be of benefit to none of us. I am committed to owning my part in the divorce, always. And I am hopefully clear on my self-awareness when it comes to my own struggles with money, depression, communication breakdowns, and disagreements with my ex-wife.