Keeping sexual communication open throughout your relationship is critical. As one partner starts closing off, and not just having periods of low sexual desire, but shutting down the idea of sex, something is going to break down.
It is only by recovery that we stop the pattern of abuse, neglect, infidelity, and other love destroyers.
As single parents, dating, those choices now are much less dramatic. We can date, decide to continue or not continue dating, and that's it. No big breakup, no big divorce. Just "we're not dating anymore, maybe we can maintain a friendship."
Infidelity and "fuck you" are too close to my history for me to enjoy them as jokes.
I like to be on top of the world, as most of us do, but I haven't done very well in the past when I sink into "maintenance mode" rather than aspirational mode. What I learned from my last stumble is that I AM MY OWN WORST ENEMY.
As a co-parent to a narcissistic is has not been easy. In most of the negotiations, I was given no chance to be on top.
If you can pause and consider the gap when you feel frustrated or impatient, you can tune in to your own feelings more accurately. And if you give your partner the opportunity to fill the gap you may learn something you didn't know, and something you couldn't have learned had you continued to be a gap crasher.
Something about my celebration of my kids, my ability to house them while it was my weekend, caused my ex-wife more fury.