My self-acceptance is not quite what I would call self-love, but I really appreciate the term self-care. And by caring for myself I am showing love for parts of myself I have always tried to hide.
Two smart people with good intentions entered into a contract and sprouted two beautiful kids. What would've gone wrong did. And the foundation which still seemed strong and intact to me, was no longer sustainable for her.
But I am also a learning individual. I can adapt and make changes in my plans and trajectories. So while I was thinking I had lost orbit and was shooting away for some new destination. I may have been only slowing to the gravitational pull of this amazing lady, and learning what her fears and passions were as well.
I had the desire and intention to go the distance with my ex-wife. When I entered the agreement, and we decided to have kids, the deal was sealed for me. And love was never an issue. Compatibility and control could often come up, but I *never* doubted my love for my wife.
My dad died when I was 21 years old. He was afraid to die. And he was angry at God and the world for allowing his death to happen. He was no longer angry at me. He was no longer capable of being a scary figure in my life. He was small, curled up, and very angry. But like today's man, he was no longer capable of hurting me with his anger.
Recalibrating our taste in a mate is difficult with all of these examples showing us what we should desire. Women have unrealistic expectations, that is draining all the life out of many of them as they try to perfect something in themselves. Abs, for example, may not be that important to their actual happiness. And men, well, expectations cut in our direction as well. The images of desirable men are everywhere as well. But they are not as rigid.
I look forward to having another opportunity to learn about myself "in a relationship" at some point. I'm happy and patient right where I am. But I believe by having my priorities clear and articulated I can do a better job of finding and sorting through the process of finding that NEXT RELATIONSHIP. I wait enthusiastically.
There are not fewer things to coordinate when you become a single parent, in fact, there are more. The things you once traded equitably, now fall 100% in your lap when it is your parenting time. This new cadence can be jarring, frustrating, and make for some upset campers on all sides unless you plan ahead and go 100% Positive.