During the low point of our separation, when we were basically not speaking or communicating except for the bare essentials of operating our farm business, addressing serious issues with our children, or meeting for marriage mediation, I kept telling myself that even no contact, or even a stressful contact, was better than divorce lawyers and court.
Sharon did come to a few counseling sessions with our children at their request, and she was clearly there only as their mother, not my wife and not to reconcile. She could have filed for divorce and for sole custody.
Sharon did agree to come to mediation. I wanted to mediate a reconciliation, she wanted to mediate a dissolution, so we compromised and tried to mediate a legal separation. We did agree for the framework of mediation, but didn’t get far in mediation. I was thankful she came, because it showed she respected me enough to try to work on our differences short of filing court papers.
I have known some distressed couples who were more civilized to each other when they were watching the grandchildren together. I have known some who did better talking on the phone than in person.
My encouragement is to look for whatever part of your relationship might be at least civilized. Try to be thankful for those small snippets of good relationship and try to continue to have them and not ruin them if they do happen. Over time maybe some other small positives will happen and someday there might even be a breakthrough.