I can only talk about myself and my experience. And my experience includes some serious lapses into depression. Hard for me to admit, I've got an achilles heel, that scares…
It's all new territory for me and most of us out there dating again after divorce. And I'm okay with that. We're all just trying to figure it out. It's a process. Onward we go with good illumination and perhaps a glass of wine.
In spite of the anger and resentment, you've got to drop your psychological work elsewhere. Your kids don't have any skills for dealing with your sadness or anger, and your ex has got better things to do.
Pray for your lover's health and happiness, then let go and let them pursue it however it best suits them in the moment. If you are supportive and standing by, you will also be included in their journey.
My dream in all those years of aloneness, in all the workout-cardio tennis classes, was to get myself in good enough shape to attract a woman and get her on the tennis court. BOOM. At that moment, even before we'd struck a single ball, I GOT IT. This is what I was missing.
If I am genuinely looking for a relationship and not just a date, then my concept of holding out for resonance becomes more critical. I've had a resonant partner once before. I know how that feels and how transformative that can be for both people. Anything less than that is a distraction.
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.
During my failing marriage, I got very good at listening for the sirens of destruction (I had done something wrong) and looking for an escape or some heroic journey to fix the problem. Both in my marriage and in this relationship, that was not the right approach.