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?"
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.
In the spaces between relationships, we get to know ourselves again. As we all head towards the holidays, I'd like to remember to be more mindful of my energy and emotional state. Sure, still do the dishes if they need to be done, but don't sweat the small stuff. And some days, give yourself a break. It's okay to be alone. Being by yourself is one relationship we always need to cultivate.
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 could lose myself again, and miss the disconnects that ultimately derailed both my marriages. And whether I get married again or not, is not even relevant. All I have is this time, this moment, and today I am happily plodding along, in spite of the beauty trap
What does it look like when you are happy? What are you doing? If your best case scenario involves continuing to do that (play tennis, in my case) then perhaps you need to look into participating more. The apps are okay for spreading your reach and resetting your ambition, but you need to be doing your dream first, then the right person might come along beside you on a bike ride and say, "Hello."