How do I forgive him for hurting our kids?

After my divorce, I went through an awful lot to "let go with love." So I know how to make choices that will help me move on to happier and healthier days, but I don't know what to do when the man who fathered my children (a two-year-old and a 16-month-old) puts their needs behind his. My fears and hurt do not come from what's happening to me, but to them. That hurt won't stop. It has actually gotten worse over the past few months, and I'm afraid that when they get older there will be more ways that he can hurt them. If he doesn't want to be a healthy part of their lives and responsible for their mental, emotional, physical and monetary well-being, then I'd rather he take a hike! My question is what can I do to move past this type of anger? Is there any way to make him understand? --iVillager caer1

Dear caer1,

I can hear in your words the anger and frustration you are feeling toward your ex. When we are in pain, it's natural to point our fingers at others. I understand your fear that your children will suffer because of your ex-husband's shortcomings.

I know this might be hard to hear right now, but I want to suggest that to the extent you point out your ex-husband's inadequacies and make him wrong, you will only add to your children's unhappiness. The questions you must ask yourself are, "How can I have an extraordinary life, even if my ex doesn't make our children a priority? What could I provide for my children that will support them in feeling secure, happy and cared for?"

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