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>>> "It is really refreshing, and restores my faith in men, that you sound like a caring dad willing to successfully raise your children. I wish I had found a man like you!"

On behalf of all men...THANKS! :-)

But to be honest, it was not always like this. For most of the first 10 years of parenthood, I was basically not there for my family most of the time. Working 80-100-120 hrs per week, and relying on my spouse to hold down the home front. Did very well in my job, advanced rapidly to upper management, made lots of money, and became an excellent financial "provider". But my family sufferred from my absence. That doesn't excuse what my wife did, but I can understand her burnout, furstration, and disillusionment.

She started her affair in late '98, I found out in mid '99, and that was the fire that snapped me awake. Deep down, "family" always was (and always will be) the most important thing for me, and I committed myself to the family from that time on. Tried for a year to repair my marriage, but she was too far committed to her boyfriend and her quest to "celebrate life". She wanted to catch up on the fun and excitement she missed out on by starting a family. She now hangs out with a singles/20's crowd (she's mid-30's like me), and her boyfriend is ~10 yrs younger. I finally gave up last Summer, we settled all the legal/property matters and she moved out by Fall.

But as I alluded to earlier, truly worthwhile things are often born from pain and fire (if you survive), and if there's one good thing that comes from this it's that I feel so much closer to my kids, and I no longer worry about missing them grow up. Particularly with my youngest (now 5). Yes, much of the time was the darkest in my life, but there's also much that I cherish about the last 2 yrs. It's damn hard, to be sure, doing so much by myself, but on balance I like my new life and would have a hard time giving it up! What I've built at home in that time is a heckofalot more valuable to me that anything I was able to build in my career.

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