We can't start by emasculating ourselves or our male children. The battle of the sexes is not really a battle, it should be a dance. Let's refine our dance moves, set the music to a tempo we like, and get along in new and better ways.
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.
Don't have that drink. See how you feel. Notice you want a brownie. Pause. Check-in with yourself. Are you hungry? Tired? Sad? Lonely? If we consider all of the drugs…
When I get in a tough place I try and picture my kid's faces. In the moment I am feeling upset, I can send them a "How's it going, I love you" text. I can SnapChat a silly face.
That same hope and energy is present in my life, at the moment. I have an abundance of joy to share. Walking through the crowd of people on a beautiful day I could hold each of them in my hopeful prayer.
And as we ask for and receive the love we need we are also going to have disappointments. My response in life, now, is "No worries, just desires." If my desires start getting squelched or compromised due to continual misses, then it is up to me to speak up.
Drink if you want to. Make sure you are aware of your motivations when you begin to fix the third cocktail. In my experience, that Third Glass came to represent a turning away from me and away from intimacy. I would choose to drink with her from time to time, but I could not follow her into the nightly oblivion. I wanted a close relationship.
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.