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.
I'm a happy climber. And I'm in a relationship now with another happy climber. There's always going to be hills in life, and it is your attitude about your own work ahead that makes the difference.
I have been employed or working under contract for most of the time since the divorce. And today I'm gearing up to start a new job so that I can get some money, but more importantly so that my kids will get some money. And yes, the dinosaur will be fed and happy in the next month.
If you put your kids first you may need to fight to get what you want. And by putting your kids first, sometimes you may have to fight their mom. But to be the best dad you can be, you have to be there, you have to spend time with your kids. All of that time that was taken away is now water under the bridge, but today it's much more clear for me. I take every offer to have the kids an extra night or to support my ex when she has to work late.
Still, I'm not sure where her playful person went. I was offering new ideas while I was also trying to accommodate her "clean house" and "stable bank account" requirements. But I don't think she ever put a LOVE LIST together.
We can hold on, we can fight/struggle/counsel to make things work. We can sacrifice so many aspects of our lives to try and keep the marriage together. And in this sublimation, we can become separated from our own inner truth, our own listening and responding heart, as we try and compromise and grow and hope for the eventual LOVE we believe will heal us.
Nobody is going to hold your dream for you. I could tell my then-wife that the next high-paying gig was right around the corner, and I could believe it. But…
Down has become the new up, and I have become a new single dad, still committed to his kids, and in many ways, to his ex-wife as well. We are still a family, still connected, even when we're not together.