When working through the details of our parenting plan, she played the "family law" trump card and let me know I would not be getting 50/50 parenting, because if she went to court she knew she would win exactly what she wanted.
My goal, as a good dad, is to be available emotionally and physically to my kids all the time. They know where I stand. I've never bad-mouthed their mom. And as they continue to grow and mature into adults, I'm back to having an equal opportunity to be with them.
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.
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.
Needless to say, it wasn't the sex that caused us to get a divorce, but the loss of sexual connection sure indicated that something had gotten out of balance. Unfortunately, I was never able to regain that balance with my then-wife. And as the emotional aspects of our relationship got more complicated, the sex simply dried up completely.
So while I unload and vent on this site from time to time, know that my intentions towards my kids are pure and my relationship between myself and my ex-wife may be in the "it's complicated" setting for now, but we're working on it.
And so we divorced. I was not happy about it. And though I swear I'm moving on, I don't guess I will ever fully be OVER it. I mean, what am I doing tonight? Seeing if a date is going to materialize through the texts and emails I'm exchanging with someone from Match.com. And I'd rather be hanging with my kids: chatting about their day, their projects, their hopes and dreams. Much like the past five days of this dad-weekend.
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.