I am sad sometimes that I no longer have a partner and cheerleader in navigating these difficult times. But that role/relationship ended several years before the marriage did. And now I have two fabulous kids and their mom.
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.
Always treat your co-parent with respect and compassion. A metaphor for co-parenting might be, "Treat them as well as you do a convenience store clerk." You want to get in and get out with as little hassle as possible.
Yes, divorce is hard. Trying to whitewash every single detail of a co-parenting relationship in some fantasy land haze would be of benefit to none of us. I am committed to owning my part in the divorce, always. And I am hopefully clear on my self-awareness when it comes to my own struggles with money, depression, communication breakdowns, and disagreements with my ex-wife.
Allow the hurricane to arrive and blow away the old aspects of your lives. Reset your expectations and parenting lives around the love and support of your children. Then, even if things don't work out with the marriage, the closeness and love that you've established with your kids, becomes the strength and bond that guides your relationship even after divorce.
For anyone with a family, reestablishing a home is a critical part of the rebuilding process. So I was proud and hopeful when I moved us all into the little home near the lake. And that first summer we swam and played and compromised on the roommate situation for the kids, with my daughter setting up shop in my bedroom most of the time she was staying with dad.