Each time I let myself reenter the sad times, the sad places, and let my soul feel the wear and tear of the hard and long journey, I begin to heal those old times.
I do think my ex-wife and I could've agreed to 50/50 parenting and gotten a judge to sign off on our agreement. But she would never have given up her legal/strategic advantage. Perhaps she was doing what she thought was best for the children. Perhaps. But I think she was more self-centered than that, she was doing what she wanted, regardless of the impact on the kids.
What I wanted (what I want) is stability and trust. What I want is something more authentic than I had in my marriage or with my fiance. What I want is someone who can lean into the troubles and work them out. What I want is someone who can express affection easily and frequently.
There is nothing to talk to my ex-wife about. That "friendly" concept was nice but has been firmly and explicatively rejected by her and her husband. And as I walk away from the wreckage of my co-parenting smashup, I am letting the curtain fall.
Don't let any of your shit fester and darken your experience of life. Life is too short to be compromising with someone you don't love 100%. Oh, and it's your responsibility to love them at 100%. It is your intention and actions, for the rest of your life, that will determine the success of your next relationship.
Make a change or learn to be happy with what you have. Change is the only real choice of action. Be IN or OUT of your relationship, but don't nag and complain and then not take responsibility in your own life and your own participation in the relationship.
For fun, drink. For relaxation, drink. As a reward, drink. As an aphrodisiac, drink. Okay, let's not buy any añejo, I said to myself that last few times I've been next door to the liquor store having dinner. In the same way I refrain from buying a pint of ice cream every time I go to the grocery store. Just don't do it.
If the chemistry is on and flowing both ways, you will both be asking "What's next." If it's not mutual, move on. You will not be able to build a fire without initial sparks. (But don't overlook the slow-burn. If you're "sort of" interested, perhaps a second date is in order.)