I do think my ex-wife and I could've agreed to 50/50 parenting and gotten a judge to sign off on our agreement. But she would never have given up her legal/strategic advantage. Perhaps she was doing what she thought was best for the children. Perhaps. But I think she was more self-centered than that, she was doing what she wanted, regardless of the impact on the kids.
What I wanted (what I want) is stability and trust. What I want is something more authentic than I had in my marriage or with my fiance. What I want is someone who can lean into the troubles and work them out. What I want is someone who can express affection easily and frequently.
I sat with my anger long enough, until she told me her real name grief. Underneath that rage at me, must be sadness. I feel it when I touch the anger inside myself about how I've been treated since the divorce. I'm sad because we were so close. I'm sad because we still share two wonderful children that are affected by such rage and unresolved anger.
The more amazing thing about finding love again is when you find the flow of energy and affirmations is easily expressed by both partners. This new connection is stronger and purer than anything I've experienced in my life.
I walked away from that coffee with a new understanding of myself, online dating, and what I was interested in. From then on, if the person didn't have something extraordinary going on, some really amazing trait, or some smashingly witty banter in her messaging, I wasn't interested.
Today, I have everything I need. I may not be close to having everything I want. But my basics (food, shelter, safety, community) are pretty well covered. Today I can forgive my ex and focus on my kids and their well-being.
My most recent bouts of depression were triggered by my divorce, but it's a lifelong journey for me. I can drink. I can stop drinking. But I'm not sure how good I am at getting sad and not turning on the sadness fire hose at the first sign of things going off.
Today I have more energy and joy for them when they are with me. I'm happier in my life than I was in the later years of my marriage. My kids are seeing me living my life to it's fullest. And when they are part of my life, I get to rub off on them as much as I can.