I do intend to marry again. I love the idea. I love being married. And while the first two didn't work out as planned, I have new information and a stronger resolve to be a lifelong partner in the same way I expect my next lover to be.
We could've separated and agreed to a 50/50 parenting and 50/50 custody schedule as I requested. That was more in keeping with the way we parented. But it did not match up with my then-wife's objectives. Those "options" she learned about from the attorney, rather than the options about staying in the relationship she could've learned in the couple's therapy.
Dear single mom, I am not the enemy. I am also not in pursuit of you when I smile or ask you how your day is going. I understand divorce is a bitch. Single parenting is a bitch. And we move on.
I can. I am. And I am learning to be better to myself. I'm good with others. I have compassion, empathy, and support for just about any struggle my friends or family are going through. But when I look at myself and my failures, I'm often harsh and shaming.
Not a percentage of salary earned. No, she believed, still believes, that the child support is her entitlement. This is no longer a relationship it's just a business contract. I am no longer a person to her, I'm a debtor. I'm the problem. I'm the reason she's unhappy.
At some point along the way, I fell behind on my child support payments. I tried to be clear and honest about the situation. I asked for a bit of leeway in how I would repay her. And for whatever reason (I don't think it's healthy or helpful to say what another person is thinking) she felt it was in the best interest of the kids to file our decree with the Attorney General's office.
By allowing you to experience and process your own distress, without my interference, I am giving you the utmost respect. I am viewing you as whole, strong, and capable. And in my affirmation of you and your inherent ability to be strong and sufficient, I am reaffirming my belief in you.
Always treat your co-parent with respect and compassion. A metaphor for co-parenting might be, "Treat them as well as you do a convenience store clerk." You want to get in and get out with as little hassle as possible.