I wanted her to be something different. She wanted me to be something different. We didn't agree to a separation, we got a divorce. BUT, we tried, and continue to try, to make it a responsible separation. We do our best every day as co-parents.
I believe that our child-centered lifestyle and choices allowed us to let go of the marriage in favor of the kids' welfare. Regardless of who blinked first in the marriage, in the end, it is a mutual decision.
I am learning better how to tap into the power of feelings and how they can motivate me towards doing better, being better. But I'm also too aware of how my feelings can lead me down dark and lonely paths. I am constantly trying to find the balanced walk down the middle.
Positive divorce is a choice. And the process to get there requires time, insight, and often the help of professionals. But the alternative is bitterness and continued failings at love relationships as you make the same mistakes, miss the same red flags, and put up with the same behaviors that got you into the divorce in the first place.
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."
I was raised by strong three women. After my dad checked out via divorce, when I was about five, I was left in the house with my two sisters and my mom. I was far from being a mama's boy outwardly, but I was growing a soft heart, through the tragedy of the divorce and emasculation of my father.
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."
Two smart people with good intentions entered into a contract and sprouted two beautiful kids. What would've gone wrong did. And the foundation which still seemed strong and intact to me, was no longer sustainable for her.