I cannot excuse my then-wife for taking the easy way out. Divorce is never easy. I cannot forgive my wife for snickering in the counselor's office when I asked for a 50/50 parenting schedule and showed my research and several calendar options. I cannot forgive her for making such a selfish decision that went against everything we agreed to in our marriage.
It was not fair what happened, and in many ways, my ex-wife was the architect and builder of the divorce.
In this day I release my ex-wife. I release my two lovely children from any frustration I have at not being able to book time on their busy teenager calendars. I release myself from my expectations of where I would be at this point in my adult life.
As I licked my wounds alone, I could only imagine the parties that were still going on in my old house. The bathtime fun, the friends over on the weekends, the breakfast and dinner routines. Time. That is the real loss in a divorce. My ex-wife got most of it. I got the dregs on alternating weekends.
I have approached dating as a process to identify, qualify, and ultimately partner with a single woman. The dating part is essential, but dating is not the goal. Sex is essential, but sex, also, is not the goal. Working to identify and explore a combination of these three factors, is how I am navigating my approach to finding my next long-term relationship.
But, when the parter continues to shut down or respond in unhealthy and indifferent ways and refuses to own their side of the problem, it might be time for some serious reconsideration.
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.
Give your partner the ravishing they are longing for and you might get your connection needs met at the same time. A win-win.