Anger is not easy for any of us. I have a problem with rage. When a partner gets mad, that's usually okay. It's hard, but it's no longer scary. When…
I don't think my ex-wife or my ex-girlfriend derived any positive benefits from attacking me. And perhaps, their momentary feeling of superiority and vindictiveness was worth the price. But both these women attacked me and took actions to hurt me and my future prospects.
The sad part is my kids don't get much of me and my happiness. They get something less than joyful, most of the time. I can see it and feel it in them. But there's no amount of money or grief that can bring back those lost years. Today, there is only "Where do I go from here as a good dad?"
Do my friendly offers for help, or extra carpool support, or running errands with them, make any difference in the timbre of her voice? Nope. She's not done with me, she's furious with me, still.
I can let go of my side of the problem, right now. And that's my healing. My ex-wife, she's got her own road ahead. I no longer have to take her inventory. I can let her sail her own boat without my input or dependence.
At some point along the way, I fell behind on my child support payments. I tried to be clear and honest about the situation. I asked for a bit of leeway in how I would repay her. And for whatever reason (I don't think it's healthy or helpful to say what another person is thinking) she felt it was in the best interest of the kids to file our decree with the Attorney General's office.
Always treat your co-parent with respect and compassion. A metaphor for co-parenting might be, "Treat them as well as you do a convenience store clerk." You want to get in and get out with as little hassle as possible.
I may not reach serenity with my ex-wife and her new husband ever. That's okay. The serenity is within me. I am doing, have done, and will do the best I can to support my kids and keep my relationship to them above the fray my ex continues to keep seething around us.