Divorce Lessons: Don't panic. You can make it through this. The first step, taken willingly or with a push, is the hardest. And after a while, even free fall won't be so terrifying.
I took the idea of a collaborative divorce to heart. But in the end there was no collaboration. I lost all my issues. All that "collaborative" meant was that I wasn't going to sue my soon-to-be-ex during the negotiations of our divorce.
Every day she doesn't release me from the AG's supervision is a day that I wake up and have to forgive her for acting and continuing to act on her fear.
Divorce should start at 50/50. Shared custody. Shared bills. Shared hardships if one or more of the parents lose a job. Let the individual couples negotiate in Texas from that position, rather than the inequitable position we are presented with today.
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.
It seems the biggest marker for success is the general outlook of the other person: Happy camper vs. unhappy camper. In my second marriage I thought we had a match, but the stress and change brought on by having kids sort of flipped her mode.
As much as we wanted to remain in love and grow in love as parents, there were some fundamental shifts that happened in our lives and in our aspirations. What I learned from my first "touch" lover was that my needs for closeness are fundamental to my complete happiness.
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.