This morning I give thanks for the flexibility and caring my ex-wife shows me and my kids when they ask for some new connection. We've both worked hard to get here. And as we work better together everyone benefits.
I was lead to believe that the kids needed their mom more than me, that a mom's love is somehow superior, or more comforting than a dad's love.
And so, I've been girlfriend free since the end of the summer and it's fine. I'd rather not be. But I'd rather be alone that coping with another person's major emotional distress. I don't need drama or high theater.
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.
Yes, divorce is hard. Trying to whitewash every single detail of a co-parenting relationship in some fantasy land haze would be of benefit to none of us. I am committed to owning my part in the divorce, always. And I am hopefully clear on my self-awareness when it comes to my own struggles with money, depression, communication breakdowns, and disagreements with my ex-wife.
My ex-wife and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things. But one thing we've kept relatively clear over the last 5 years of divorce is THE KIDS COME FIRST. Always.
We tore up the 50/50 schedule that I brought into the counseling session. We started again with the SPO and the non-custodial rights and responsibilities. And while I gave up a huge piece of my "dad time" that day, I've never stopped working to show up for my kids at every opportunity afforded me.
I wish my co-parent all the joy and love in the world. I can no longer provide any of those things. But I can be a soft cushion when she needs to hit or collapse into something. I resolve not to hit back. But, I won't stand-in for the drama anymore. I will only take my responsibility. I will only pay attention to the business between us as we continue together in co-parenting.