The goal is never to blame the other person for the breakup, even if they were the reason you are breaking up. Always take your responsibility for the miss. And make it about the chemistry, the mix, the overall relationship and not about them or their poor behavior. Remember, you are leaving the relationship, not trying to teach them a lesson or educate them.
Becoming a single dad was one of the most traumatic events of my life. I did not want the divorce, I fought against the divorce, and ultimately I agreed to collaborative divorce and was taken to the cleaners by an ex who decided to go for the “divorce package” rather than honor our 50/50 shared parenting agreement.
- Embracing the Win in My 12-years As a Single Dad
- The Father Son Emotional Loop: Struggling As a Single Dad
- The Single Dad Afterglow: I Lost My Kids In the Divorce
- Seeking Happy: A Single Dad Explains His Joyousness
- What Women Want to Know About Single Dads, From a Single Dad
- A Single Dad Sends His Hope and Greetings from the Other Side
- Healing My Divorce Resentment: A Single Dad Contemplates the Future
- Reaching a Moment of Peace and Happiness As a Single Dad
- Loss, Sadness, and Indifference: Struggles of a Single Dad
And when things don't go in our favor, even when we are not given 50/50 parenting, it is still our responsibility as men, to lead from a position of love and strength.
My ex-wife screwed me in the divorce and she and the therapist that setup our 70/30 parenting plan knew it. They were not basing their plans on science, but on "what's best for the kids" mythology that has been perpetuated since my parents got a divorce 49 years ago.
Why would someone attempt to mess with the relationship between her kids and their father? Still? 13 years later?
When you lose your kids to divorce and then to teenagehood, you really have to begin letting them go. It's only two years before my son will be heading out on his big adventure. What can I do with him in the next two years? How can I show up for both of them?
What I am learning in my recovery from depression and anxiety is that my feelings are never the complete answer. And often, my feelings just are. If I can separate from them just a bit I can see myself as safe and healthy, even as my bear-feelings are shrieking, "Holy crap, you know what happens when things start feeling this good!"
As we become clearer in our boundaries, in what is good for us and what is not good for us, we can make choices more easily. When something doesn't feel good, we're able to say, "NO. This will not work for me."
If two parents want to co-parent as friends, want to share expenses as co-parents, and want what's best for their kids, WE HAVE GOT TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM.