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This is for them
You sound so strong in character and determined. Your children are blessed to have such a strong loving Daddy.
Growing up with both parents (together or separated) is every child's birthright. Our children depend on us, it is up to the "grown-ups" in their life to stand up for them when needed. What better motivation ?
So well done to you. I hope your ex can accept that you are here for them and will let you assume your role without trying to throw a spanner in the works. When couples separate, the idea is to put an end to whatever struggles and controversies made the relationship unsustainable. Sadly, it is not always the case as some people have trouble putting the past behind them. However, that's exactly where it is and will stay, no matter what. The past has no future. Mothers do worry about their children's future and welfare. Hopefully, she will soon see it is a bright new day, move on and accept that you have done so too. If she's not open to verbal communication, perhaps the written word could help ? Have you considered writing her a letter, explaining where you're at and what your goals are for your own future and your children's ?
As for the system, yeah...this can be a slow, frustrating one too. I have had my battles with them in the past.
You obviously have the strong motivation and determination to rise above those obstacles. We cannot be there with you but we're here to support you if/when battle fatigue gets you down, to cheer you on (and hopefully up too). Go get them Bob !
"if you don't give up and don't give in you may just be okay".......... I think one of my favourite lines in all songs ever and one I draw on when needed. So....... don't give up and don't give in and you will be OK. I never gave up on my darling son who was taken from the school yard by his father and the heart break and stress and grey hairs have been worth the battle to be a part of his life again. People can be so self absorbed and at times cruel but you rise above that..........and never forget the power of karma. x
Since you rebounded in life your challenges have been met one at a time and with such ferocity that its amazing. You are meeting each challenge head on. Great stuff.
Be all the while aware that some challenges met with this mental commitment could result in decisions by others that will disappoint. You might need to have a level of acceptance that you cant win them all. But merely trying is enough.
A few things- when my first marriage split, workmates one by one would say "it takes two" when referring to a marriage split eg one person cannot be fully at blame. Well not really. It might take just one attitude to ruin it all. And some arrogant people would take the view that they never did one thing wrong...well they married their spouse and it didn't work out so they should have been wiser and not married. That's a harsh reality of words but you get my meaning. My ex wife, mother of my kids, still holds a grudge, 20 years after it split...her problem. But she holds grudges to the next two husbands she has had also. A commonality there. Tells me everything.
So my message is, where it comes to the family legal mine field, people get hurt. Fight it as hard as you can emotionally and financially but don't be afraid of recognising your limits. If that means waiting until your kids grow up (time flies) before you can join relations then so be it.
We humans cant control every dream when others bend the truth. Good luck on that mate.
As I sit in bed to face to start facing another day without my kids in my life full time following a recent separation, I draw inspiration from blokes like you, who are further thru this process than I am, that things will get better, life will go on, new people will come into my life to brighten my outlook.
My kids (6 & 3) are everything to me, but you're right, the system will protect the Mum regardless of the situation and the best I can do is be there when I'm allowed (I hate using that term) to have my kids in my new home and enjoy every second of this precious gift we call life.
Fortunately my 2 sons had grown up before my wife divorced me, but even so it still rocks the boat, as their family home had to be sold, and can leave an empty spot in their hearts, sure as time progress's their love for the home diminishes, just as realising that the family has been broken up.
I know that your determination to keep your children will be shown later on in your life as they will share their kids with you and be very close to look after their grandpa. Geoff.