It has been said that divorce is more stressful that the death of a loved one. This may be because, even though you are disconnecting from a former soul mate, they still exist to remind you of the pain, struggles, and many times, betrayal, that occurred in that relationship. If you have children, you are forever connected to your mate, as you will be forced to “co-parent” with them for the rest of your life. This creates a stalemate between the two former partners, where one or both may feel it is some sort of “competition” for who is right, wrong, and everything in between. Most of the time, the children are stuck in the middle, innocent victims, shuttled between homes, and forced to listen to each parent’s complaints about the other.
Is there another way? What if the two partners behaved as adults, and made an agreement to treat each other with respect, almost as they would a business partner? Make no mistake, divorce is big business. Just ask any family law attorney, if you can get them to call you back, because they are so busy making money. If for no other reason than the children, perhaps the two players could reach an agreement, where they could take a higher path, for the greater good of all involved. Your lawyer won’t make as much money, but hey, there is always someone who really wants to fight and spend their entire life savings to “win.” “A Good Divorce” is a great book on how to take the higher road and really embrace the fact that yes, your life will be changing, but isn’t that what you wanted? Change is good, when you choose to accept it.
When deciding whether or not to divorce, there is one question you can ask yourself: “When I look back at my marriage in 10 years, is this how I want it to look?” If your answer is no, then you may want to seriously consider a change. Many people have found success in a good couples therapist, and the decision to file those divorce papers is not one to be taken lightly, or to be done out of anger. Make sure you are in a calm and peaceful place before you make any life changing decisions, especially those that affect your entire family. Also, keep in mind that divorce does not mean you are getting rid of your spouse, if you have children, you will forever be connected through the parenting aspect. You will be dealing with your former spouse at every school event, sporting event, graduation, and beyond.
Divorce is simply a life change. You can choose to make it positive, or negative, but it is ultimately your choice. Your ex spouse may try to control you with child support, or spousal support, or he/she may try to leverage the kid’s feelings about you. Whatever you want to get back, should be what you invest. Be assured that no matter what the kids hear, it is the truth that they will ultimately learn to respect. And that is worth more than being “right”in the moment.