The sad part is my kids don't get much of me and my happiness. They get something less than joyful, most of the time. I can see it and feel it in them. But there's no amount of money or grief that can bring back those lost years. Today, there is only "Where do I go from here as a good dad?"
When one parent checks out their options for divorce, they are beginning the process of separation and exit from the relationship. And hey, if they like the divorce brochure the attorney lays before them, they might even start leaning into divorce.
Bless your co-parent just as they are. Let go of your expectations about co-parenting. Then parent as best you can. Release everyone, even yourself, from the expectations and dreams you had of a wonderful co-parenting relationship.
Two people agree to have kids and a huge shift happens in their lives and their future together. You are committing to a lifetime of connection with this person, even as you are agreeing to bring new dependants onto the planet. It's a massive transition, this becoming a parent. Deciding to divorce your co-parent is another huge shift.
I wonder, someday, will they ask how the divorce happened? Will my adult kids want to know who's idea it was to break up our family? These are conversations I could never have with them unless they asked.
When we started down the road of negotiating a cooperative divorce (because it's all about the children) our divorce and parenting plan counselor also suggested 70-30.
I did learn to love full-on in this marriage. I learned to put my whole soul into the project and come back with the joy of being a parent, and being in love, and being married. This total commitment is part of what blindsided me in the divorce.
Do my friendly offers for help, or extra carpool support, or running errands with them, make any difference in the timbre of her voice? Nope. She's not done with me, she's furious with me, still.