Today, I release the devil I know in both him ("step-dad" stereotype personified) and my ex-wife. I hope that their mutual anger and unresolved pain can find resolution at some point in their lives. I no longer have to give him a centimeter in my heart.
By sharing my pain about the divorce, my struggles with depression, and my adventure to become the best dad I can be, I believe I am giving others a chance to feel some of their pain and loss through my story. By living through it, by persevering, and by continuing to live on the positive side of life, I am giving my kids an example for our to live their lives.
The parents in Marriage Story tried. And when the mom is unable to read the things she loves about her husband, we see her hot flash of realization as she leaves the mediation without engaging in the process.
There was absolutely no reason for my ex-wife to file against me with the welfare connections system of the state of Texas. She did it specifically to hurt me financially, emotionally, and physically.
We're all walking down our own little hallways. We're all singing our inner songs. And we're probably all a bit distracted and unsure of exactly where we should go. We know the way to our homeroom. We may not be sure about how to navigate the rainy Fridays along the way.
Know this: your father is out here, rooting for you with everything I've got. And if you need me, I will do almost anything to support you.
I have to let go of what I wanted the divorce to look like. I have to let go of the part of me that wanted to remain close as co-parents and celebrate our children's victories and rally around them in their discomforts. Today, I cannot do this.
My belief is moms and dads should agree that they will both ask for 50/50 custody in the case of a divorce. My agreement is more of a set of vows. I have not written a legally binding contract, like a pre-nuptial, that governs the money in the case of the divorce. I have written an agreement that governs the promise between the two parents to share the love and parenting of their children in a balanced way for the rest of their lives.