for mom and dad-and feel free to print and share with gf too
It does take both of you to fix all that is wrong.
I am a "lets get this done now" person too.
But, Maca requires more time (alone usually) to think through things before he can tell me why he feels anything.
For a long time there he blew off my emotions as though they didn't exist.
When I set my foot down about having feelings and needing answers he was shocked.
It took a few months for the shock to be replaced with deeper thought and consideration on his part to figure out wtf he was thinking.
Frustrating couple of months for me-I was silent-but damn I wanted to tell him where to f-off.
However, I'm glad I kept my silence, because that forced him to actually consider the questions instead of me bursting out with "is it this?" "It looks like this" "it sounds like this" "I think you xyz". So he really had to get introspective and consider himself. Which isn't something he had ever done. He had all of these ideas of what he believed in, what was right, what was wrong etc. But no clue WHY.
When he was forced to stop and consider, he found out that a lot of those beliefs were based upon ideas he picked up as a child and simply never reconsidered again. Upon reconsideration, he realized that maybe he ought to be using more of the brain he has and looking at life TODAY RIGHT NOW and considering wtf he wants to do with it.
Anyway-only she knows if she is willing to get down and dirty with herself. Only you know if you are willing to get down and dirty with yourself.
I suggest it.
Not for your marriage (it may make or break that).
But for yourself individually.
Just taking time to start looking at your life and figuring out all of the creative adaptations you can make to get to where you want; really helps with ensuring that you can get there more easily. That way if you get road blocked in one avenue, you already have dozen's of other possibilities ahead of you.
Also-having a clear understanding of why you feel how you feel tends to make it easier to say "these are my hard limits-I won't compromise in. These are my soft limits, I MIGHT compromise them IF the return is valuable enough to me."
That makes it much easier to find people who are good matches for you (this is true of romance and coworkers etc).
Finally, I worked for over 10 years writing, filing and handling the custody battles of people going through divorce.
It quite definitely CAN happen without a huge battle and it's always better for the kids when it does.
I HIGHLY advise making the topic of the kids and that priority a BIG topic in counseling. Regardless of how the rest of the topics go down-the kids care is always going to be an issue.
I see no sound reason for changing the agreement you previously made regarding your daughter. If this school was agreed upon as what was best for her-and the only thing holding it up is the girlfriend not wanting to move-the answer is simple:
It's not about adult want. It's about child best interest. Mom needs to sit down and consider,
if child has a best interest (that is need or important want) and girlfriend has a want (or dad or mom or any other adult for that matter); the child's NEEDS and IMPORTANT wants need to come first, before adult personal preference.
That's part of life.
IF child and girlfriend were in a car accident, both are injured and bleeding out on the ground-only one emergency worker shows up at first... who do they go to?
the child. As a parent we want them to go to our child, even if we are the adult dying beside the child.
I realize-school isn't life or death. BUT education can have a negative impact on a child for the rest of their adult life. So it is a VERY VERY important topic.
My kids aren't as young as yours. But, I recall those days well. My oldest is 21. My youngest is 5.
The other day, my oldest was talking to me about what the most important thing in her life as a child was (in her opinion). She told me it was knowing that even though her dad and I separated when she was only a couple months-we ALWAYS put her needs above personal preference. We worked together to ensure that her needs were met.
She got the best education we could manage. She got peaceful communication between myself, my husband, her father and her stepmother.
She got the security that comes with knowing, no one was ever going to usurp her place of importance as our child.
We both remarried-but our spouses also put the NEEDS of the child before personal preference and that has meant working jobs we didn't want, living where we would have preferred to move, moving when we preferred not to move etc.
There are concessions that come with being a parent.
AND there are concessions that come with dating a parent.
So-make that topic key in counseling-and put your whole heart into it. The rest-you can't make progress in without both of you on board anyway-but you can show that your first priority is ensuring the best interests of your children. (this isn't to say that a good relationship doesn't come first-it's to say that at the heart of rebuilding that relationship-IF it can be rebuilt in ANY form-is ensuring that as a team you make sure the kids aren't just "safe" but have their BEST interests in mind-not just the bare minimum requirements)
"Love As Thou Wilt"