Most think that it takes two to have a beautiful divorce. That is incorrect. It always starts with one person. One who thinks that it would be a good idea, and this person is usually the one who holds the torch and the vision.
So the first question is: Do you really want it? Are you ready to transform your relationship?
It will take a lot of work, a lot of forgiveness and a lot of letting go. It does not matter anymore who did what, and who hurt whom. It is about understanding and accepting that all that hurt was part of the marriage, and that a new life has to start, a divorced life.
It does not matter who wanted the divorce, the fact is that you are now divorced, and it is up to you and your ex to decide what kind of life you want to build.
A lot of emotions are going to surface: a lot of anger, sadness, fears, and doubts. It will take courage and strength to refuse to get sucked into those negative emotions and to create a space to find peace. A space to be guided from the love of our children and the quality of life we want to have.
The first step is to ask yourself:
What is the vision for your family (divorced or married, family stays a family)?
How do you want your children to grow up to be? Are you ready to do everything you can to make it happen? Are you ready to be that person first? Are you ready to no longer make him or her wrong? Are you ready to only want to talk and think of him or her in a positive way? Are you ready to give him or her all the respect and support she or he needs to become a better parent for your children?
Once you have a vision of what you want your family to look like, then all of your actions need to mirror your vision.
I wanted him to respect me, I wanted him to be kind towards me, among many other things. There are times where he was not kind, but I was still kind to him anyway. I became what I wanted him to be with me. I refused to lose my family. I refused to have him dislike me. I refused to live the typical divorced stigma.
Now, yes, there was a chance that he would not replicate my kindness, but at the end, I was creating this reality for my children and myself. I was kind, respectful, and supportive towards him, and that is what I was being and showing my children. It did not take long for the fights to stop, since he did not have anyone to fight with anymore. And eventually, the smiles and kindness came back to me also.