My ex-wife [34F] and I [34M] share a daughter [5F] and it's a disaster

Thank you for your reply. Even with a lengthy OP, all of the detail is impossible to convey in such a complicated situation. Ashley and I have been very careful to make sure the "Disney Dad" thing is NOT happening with us. Jennifer has always needed the approval of those around her to be happy. With Emma, that manifests itself in Emma getting basically whatever she wants with Jennifer. With Ashley and I, we provide the structure. We set boundaries and rules. It can be hard, but I believe that Emma has come to appreciate the stability and consistency that our approach provides.

I also don't mean to state that one family structure is real, while the other is not, nor do I believe that Jennifer doesn't deserve to be Emma's mother. That's not the case. Jennifer works hard and has to make sacrifices every day. So do I. The issue today is that we don't have equal footing and Jennifer has never treated it like we are equals. She acts as if her role in Emma's life is superior to mine, so her voice carries more weight. All I'm after is equality and a better outcome for us all.

Furthermore, the research is pretty solid and clear that outcomes are better for children in two-parent households. I do have resentment toward Jennifer, but if I look at it objectively, Emma would have more time with family, more structure, and probabilistically a better outcome under one scenario than the other. Nothing is guaranteed and custody probably isn't going to change, but I do believe that family structure has an impact on a child's outcome.

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