I am sad sometimes that I no longer have a partner and cheerleader in navigating these difficult times. But that role/relationship ended several years before the marriage did. And now I have two fabulous kids and their mom.
Nobody wins in a divorce, but we can keep either side from losing if we stay present and positive in the coming months of negotiation and planning.
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.
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.
For the last years of his life, my buddy will do whatever he does as an old dog. I will watch him zigzagging around the back yard and try to remain happy for him rather than sad for him. I will love on him as much as I can. And I'll be aware of how my emotional attachments and complaints are mine alone. He's a dog.
Divorce is painful enough. Let's all share the pain equally and stop putting dads in the straightjacket of the SPO and the typical child support agreement.
I wonder, someday, will they ask how the divorce happened? Will my adult kids want to know who's idea it was to break up our family? These are conversations I could never have with them unless they asked.
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.