When the other partner decides to ask for divorce there is very little the committed partner can do. The fracture has happened. The other person has declared they are considering divorce. Then that option is forever on the table and could be used as leverage.
I learned that one person cannot keep a marriage together no matter how hard they try or how much they want to keep the family together. I was in agreement that things could not continue as they had been.
There are plenty of single parents who use their kids to get out of almost every obligation. Even obligations to themselves, for say... exercise, dating, taking responsibility for their own actions. And I have been the dad who apologized for checking his phone when a text dinged while on a date.
I wish my co-parent all the joy and love in the world. I can no longer provide any of those things. But I can be a soft cushion when she needs to hit or collapse into something. I resolve not to hit back. But, I won't stand-in for the drama anymore. I will only take my responsibility. I will only pay attention to the business between us as we continue together in co-parenting.
And I can still recall twice in my life, the thrill of that moment when I realized my heart was spinning out of control and there was nothing I'd rather do than be with this other beautiful person. Whew! Only twice? Dang, that's inspiration enough.
Parenting is a life journey that I've committed myself to. My partner should have the same orientation. And tennis, being my favorite sport, is a passion that if shared, can unlock a lot of positive feelings and shared time together.
So what are the alternatives to online dating? If I'm not going to browse and click my way into a new relationship, what's it going to take?
In disappointment, I withdrew into my Buddha-like head and perhaps developed a Buddha-like belly at the same time. She withdrew into more anger and disappointment, and perhaps into an escalating spiral she could not see a way beyond.