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.
How do you reconcile being removed from the typical family Christmas? How do you deal with the 22 days a month that you have little or no contact with your children? How do you afford ANY Christmas presents when you're struggling to buy gas?
My ex-wife knows I am paying and will continue to pay my child support until my daughter turns 18. She wants to keep me under the thumb of the "enforcement" of Title IV-D because hurting me gives her pleasure.
I am responsible for my actions alone. And my actions as a divorced dad have been 100% honest, 100% open, and 100% mom/kid-friendly. Her actions... Not so much.
I cannot excuse my then-wife for taking the easy way out. Divorce is never easy. I cannot forgive my wife for snickering in the counselor's office when I asked for a 50/50 parenting schedule and showed my research and several calendar options. I cannot forgive her for making such a selfish decision that went against everything we agreed to in our marriage.
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.
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.
While I don't blame my then-wife for "going for it" and asking for everything she wanted: the money, the house, the custody, I don't think she was thinking beyond her interests. And we can all cite studies about mothering and nurturing, but today, just as many modern studies show the dad is of equal importance in bringing up healthy kids.