She asked me not to write about her or the kids, ever. But, I'm sorry, that's the only way I can talk about what's going on for me at this amazing juncture in my life.
As much as we wanted to remain in love and grow in love as parents, there were some fundamental shifts that happened in our lives and in our aspirations. What I learned from my first "touch" lover was that my needs for closeness are fundamental to my complete happiness.
As we grew into our parenting roles, we had different ideas about how that should look. And I fess up, I was unhappy. I was asking for a massive change. And in the end, we disagreed on what we wanted as a couple.
Down has become the new up, and I have become a new single dad, still committed to his kids, and in many ways, to his ex-wife as well. We are still a family, still connected, even when we're not together.
Allow the hurricane to arrive and blow away the old aspects of your lives. Reset your expectations and parenting lives around the love and support of your children. Then, even if things don't work out with the marriage, the closeness and love that you've established with your kids, becomes the strength and bond that guides your relationship even after divorce.
It's not uncommon for the dad to be the big "player" in the house. I continued to wrestle and chase and hug-hold-squeeze my kids with abandon and intensity. Perhaps at some point, I was using that affection to replace what I felt was lost between me and their mom. Still, we sailed along as a family, doing the best we could.
And I'd go back to the filters each morning, as some sort of symbol of the countdown of my divorce. Some weeks I would be a total butt. Some how, I imagined, that she would be sorry that she had angered me. That didn't work at all.
As I walked away from my house and into my single dad life, I took up the responsibility for my own happiness in a new way. Even with the grief and growth that was necessary to recover from the divorce, I knew that at some point I would be happy again.