I lost everything in that moment. I lost my fighting spirit. I agreed to the Standard Possession Order (SPO) schedule and I agreed to let my wife be the custodial parent.
Parenting is the biggest adventure you can set in motion. By becoming parents you are agreeing to give a priority to your children, over yourself. The sacrifice of becoming a parent is about making a better life for our kids.
- Dad vs. Moms: We’re All #Parents or #SingleParents
- Dear Ex, We Are Different By Design
- Moving from WE to US: How Becoming Parents Grows Our Love – Episode 8
- Bad Habits We’re Supposed To Outgrow As We Become Parents
- The Prayer for All Single Parents (downloadable)
- The Blurry Lines Between Divorced Parents: Entitlement & Narcissism
- The Joy of Young Parents
- The Love Hurricane: Becoming Parents
- Love All Parents: The Single Parent’s Manifesto
As parents, our relationship may not work out. In divorce, we’ve got an opportunity to remain connected as a cooperative co-parent. Our role as divorced parents is to support our kids with less concern for ourselves or our disappointment in our ex-partner. It is important to leave your anger and frustration behind, and pay attention to your kids and their needs.
Divorce is not the end of the world. However, it's often the end of most dad's major bonding and influence with his kids. Most divorces end with dads being marginalized by the family court precedents.
I walk away from this story knowing I did everything I could to keep the marriage alive. And after the divorce, I've done everything I can (outside of shutting down my writing) to be a good father, a good man, and a reasonable person.
What you can do, is support your kids with all of your heart and mind. And, in this case, when the other parent poops out and is too self-absorbed, you can step in and be the solid presence in your kids' lives.
1. Focus on yourself and your health/ 2. Give your kids 110% of your available attention / 3. Shutdown the angry communications with your ex
At this point in my life, 8 years divorced with two teenage kids, I have a lot of life ahead of me. As I see this woman standing beside me, I see a partner who can join with me in my dreams, who can challenge me in my beliefs and fallacies, and who is solid enough in her own life path that she shares joy and confidence in our potential lives together.
My goal, as a good dad, is to be available emotionally and physically to my kids all the time. They know where I stand. I've never bad-mouthed their mom. And as they continue to grow and mature into adults, I'm back to having an equal opportunity to be with them.
My influence, now removed, will probably not be missed as they embark on the new adventure, VT, and starting 6th grade. I love you. I will never stop.