Thanks for your reply, it means a lot.
The financial struggles aren’t a real issue, I just felt it was a point which highlighted how she is manipulating and using me to get what she wants.
Regardless, things have gotten a little better since I wrote this.
We now use her mother as a mediator when I’m picking up the kids and we limit conversation via text to just important things about the kids.
It’s still tough though, even seeing her for two minutes is difficult because it reminds me of what we used to have.
But still, the terms are a little better, not necessarily easier but definitely better.
There certainly is a stigma when it comes to men opening up and talking about stuff. I found that I can’t really talk to my mates about it because they wouldn’t understand or they say stupid things like “man up” as though that means anything at all. But I do have a couple of female friends who have helped to cheer me up, so there is some progress there.
It’s just when I’m alone, it’s tough to not overthink or worry about stuff. And I’m alone a decent chunk of the time as I work alone and live alone.