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.
You can't control the other parent. But you can choose your response. If you can diffuse the urgency and your need to be right, smart, witty, or even a jerk, you will go along way towards lessening the drama and making things easier for both you and your kids.
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.
It seems the biggest marker for success is the general outlook of the other person: Happy camper vs. unhappy camper. In my second marriage I thought we had a match, but the stress and change brought on by having kids sort of flipped her mode.
Today I have more energy and joy for them when they are with me. I'm happier in my life than I was in the later years of my marriage. My kids are seeing me living my life to it's fullest. And when they are part of my life, I get to rub off on them as much as I can.
Today I'm not really people watching for attractive young women. I notice the allure and draw of their energy and physical form. No. More I am looking for the energy of life in all its active forms.
What I do best in life is love. And that I have been given a gift for sharing that experience via writing and music, is one of the major wins in my life. This new lease on love is another. May you find what you were looking for. May you find the happiness that comes from within so you can share it with others. The divorce gave me back my joy and freedom and allowed me a second chance to find life-long love.
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.