In my marriage, perhaps we hid too much of the anger. My kids don't have many healthy examples of anger negotiation. And thus, even as young middle-schoolers, their response to anger is often to shut down completely, and even cry, depending on the severity of the anger.
We all learn about anger at a very young age. Before we can understand the language we are being given verbal and physical clues about what is a right thing to do and what is a wrong thing to do. For most of us lucky ones, this guidance is done without the injection of anger or physical abuse.
Speak your expectations and disappointments. Find agreements that you can both live with. But agreements are not meant to change a person's fundamental personality. I wasn't concerned, therefore, aware of a lot of the chores and details of house management, or lawn management. So I went along my merry way thinking things were peachy, until I was told they were not.
For anyone with a family, reestablishing a home is a critical part of the rebuilding process. So I was proud and hopeful when I moved us all into the little home near the lake. And that first summer we swam and played and compromised on the roommate situation for the kids, with my daughter setting up shop in my bedroom most of the time she was staying with dad.
Suffering under massive financial hardship due to the initial divorce decree can be important for your survival and ability to thrive in your new life. Sure, you're going to court, but you had to do this in some form before to get divorced, and if it's absolutely necessary, at least make it as non-confrontational as possible.
As single parents, dating, those choices now are much less dramatic. We can date, decide to continue or not continue dating, and that's it. No big breakup, no big divorce. Just "we're not dating anymore, maybe we can maintain a friendship."
If I had it to do all over again, I'd probably argue with the counselor and my ex-wife and negotiate something a bit more even. You will be advised not to do this. "It's easier for everyone if you just accept this plan, it's been working for families for years."
My dad died when I was 21 years old. He was afraid to die. And he was angry at God and the world for allowing his death to happen. He was no longer angry at me. He was no longer capable of being a scary figure in my life. He was small, curled up, and very angry. But like today's man, he was no longer capable of hurting me with his anger.