As you look to build the long term relationship with a spouse, remember your kids are important, and in some ways, they are priority number one, but that will change over time. As you become less of a priority in their lives, as they move on to college and their own lives, you will be left with what's next.
This morning I give thanks for the flexibility and caring my ex-wife shows me and my kids when they ask for some new connection. We've both worked hard to get here. And as we work better together everyone benefits.
I was lead to believe that the kids needed their mom more than me, that a mom's love is somehow superior, or more comforting than a dad's love.
I've given up imagining that my words or actions can change her in any way. We'd like to think we can make another person happy, or comfortable, or secure. Unfortunately, we cannot.
In my future, I have my ex-wife to thank for the hardship of used car loan rates in excess of 19%. And she could care less. She claims to be all compassionate and always interested in protecting the kids' interests. But suing your co-parent is not protecting anyone's interest.
I can be present, I can be honest, and I can be vulnerable with them. Today I saw the joy and blessing of a little girl with her mom and dad. I saw myself 10 and 15 years ago. And I woke up.
And so, I've been girlfriend free since the end of the summer and it's fine. I'd rather not be. But I'd rather be alone that coping with another person's major emotional distress. I don't need drama or high theater.
For the last years of his life, my buddy will do whatever he does as an old dog. I will watch him zigzagging around the back yard and try to remain happy for him rather than sad for him. I will love on him as much as I can. And I'll be aware of how my emotional attachments and complaints are mine alone. He's a dog.