In the nine and a half years since the divorce, I have seen my daughter approximately 8 days to every 22 days that my ex-wife gets to see her. This arrangement seems to support the idea that the mom is the primary caregiver in the family, or that moms deserve the majority of the children's time.
It is only through constant micro-corrections that we can stay engaged, in love, and connected in your primary intimate relationship. We don't ever get a day off from being compassionate and thoughtful. And when you are well-attached to your lover it becomes easier to make choices that move towards their heart rather than away from their heart.
I believe we cannot heal from our divorce/relationship trauma without getting back into the ring and giving it another go. Only IN RELATIONSHIP can we learn how to be healthy in a relationship.
We've got to learn other ways to celebrate our victories and process our hurts. And by showing up in our own lives in a big way, we demonstrate for our kids how to recover from difficult situations and thrive in spite of the setbacks.
And when things don't go in our favor, even when we are not given 50/50 parenting, it is still our responsibility as men, to lead from a position of love and strength.
I believe a father and a mother should agree to parent 50/50 forever. If things happen and that agreement changes in their future together, at least they started out with their hearts and vows in the right place.
By putting the kids first, we can value the contributions of both the mother and the father. And by joining in 50/50 co-parenting (before, during, and after divorce) we can give our kids the positive aspects of both parents.
How does she tell herself, daily, that she made the right decision for all of us, and not just for herself?