Surely you must know this but I'm going to say it anyway.
You are not a failure. You are not spineless. Strong doesn't mean not having feelings.
You are grieving friend. On top of that grieving you are also dealing with the most heartbreaking aspect of this for all of us. The pain of your children.
I've been through this very recently (and will likely go through it again) but I've not once regretted S/D. My regret is for ever having met him, for having had children with him. I'm angry at myself for choosing so poorly.
None of this is helpful thinking for either of us but its really common.
I suggest you have a look at a book often suggested here "Journey from Abandonment to Healing". I've only read the first few parts so far as there's a lot to process. So far it looks like it may give me insight into my extreme reaction here.
Has anyone gone through and made it to the last strange of the process? Acceptance? If so, how did you get through things like dealing with the kids, seeing your ex with someone else, feeling ok alone, etc.?
seeing my ex makes me emotional and depressed (and I must see her for reasons with my kids).
My girls are little. 4.5 and almost 2 when I separated. We have 50/50 and I have arranged it so all handovers are via daycare/school so I don't have to see him. This has been instrumental in helping me detach. It has helped my healing along.
Is there any way you can reduce how much you need to interact with her? IMHO we don't do our kids any service when we harm ourselves for their good. Give yourself some space. Don't wait until it gets so bad you can't stand it before you start making these changes.
For me NC was/is the biggest factor. Not just NC with him but everything about him. I won't let anyone tell me things about him.
The acceptance part was enormously painful. I still cringe when I think about it. This had actually happened. I am now a single mum. My girls are being shuttled around like prized beef. I'm going to miss out on 50% of their lives.
I didn't want to accept it. What's weird is I didn't want him either. Basically a lose-lose situation.
The next part was surrender. I was terrified. I've had children I can't afford on my own. I felt so betrayed on so many levels I found it hard to breathe sometimes. Then he was bringing his 24 y/o whore into my precious girls lives 20 weeks after S.
I thought I would die from the rage/fury/pain/hurt... I don't know what it was. I was AOK with him being with someone else but the thought of them around my children? I was in a black fiery pit of despair.
Then I stood back and realised there was not a single thing I could do about it. I couldn't control or influence what kind of father he is and I would drive myself crazy and bring a whole bunch of drama to my life that I simply did not want.
So - I surrendered. OK. This IS happening. There's nothing I can do.
Do you still feel in limbo? Are you in IC? Have you seen your Doctor?
((Running the Race)) I'm choking on this shit sandwich with you. Your kids will be OK in the long run as long as you are OK. They'll hurt, they'll grow up faster than we want them to, they'll face things we never ever wanted them to face. It kills me inside too but eating ourselves alive about isn't going to help them.
Work on healing you friend. Do what you need to do to give you time and space to grieve this. Its not just time that heals (it does help) it is what you do with that time.
((Running the Race))