The trick in keeping your relationship vibrant and healthy, is to micro correct towards each other, towards the join between you. By showing your partner you are willing to own and handle the little issues that come up during the course of a week, you are giving them assurances that you can do the same over the longer trajectory of your relationship.
There are plenty of times when it's difficult not being with my kids. But what I can give them is 110% dad when they are with me. I have the rest of the time, when they are not with me, to heal and focus on myself and my goals.
Do you get frustrated when you're not in the highly-functional and kicking-ass zone? I am happiest when I'm in the 6's and 7's. But I'm learning to love myself even when I'm in the 3's.
I loved the family routine. I loved being their dad. I knew I was going to crash when I was no longer welcome in my own home. I knew depression was weeks away. I knew there was very little I could do to stop the sadness freight train that is divorce.
As we get our barriers and boundaries in place, we can focus our energy and attention back on what's more important than our ex: everything. We can take our joyous energy and focus on our kids' happiness. If we can get out of our own way we can heal back into happy and healthy single parents.
I am responsible for my actions alone. And my actions as a divorced dad have been 100% honest, 100% open, and 100% mom/kid-friendly. Her actions... Not so much.
I wish I could've had more time with my kids. I wish my then-wife had agreed to 50/50 shared parenting. I wish my ex-wife would be a more collaborative parent. But even as I wish about these things, even as I can feel regret about the lost time, I am HAPPIER NOW THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN IN MY LIFE.
My role is to help you identify what's stressing you out, work on lessening that stress, and begin to focus on what's good for you. And as important, what's good for your kids. And here is a simple list of things we're going to work on together.