You have to admire parents and couples who stay friends going through a divorce. They’re the ones without an enormous amount of animosity or financial ruin. I often wonder if they’re superhuman or something. I’ve heard they’re the ones who still have holidays together or cry when they sign their decrees. It’s heartwarming and makes me believe in hope and to have faith in relationships and mankind and all those higher values and aspirations.
In reality, though, I know very few of these couples. Most people I come across going through a divorce are in the middle of an emotional war zone. They’ve lost all semblance of rationality. No matter what occurs, they are constantly being triggered and have a very difficult time staying calm. Which makes a lot of sense. It’s hard to believe just how much the toll this kind of divorce takes out on a family. It can encompass years, cost thousands and thousands of dollars, and like most wars, it doesn’t end the way anyone wants.
You can do war, or you can do peace, but you can’t do both at the same time. The best news is, it’s your decision.
So let’s say that you want to have a peaceful, harmonious ending to your marriage. And let’s say that your ex-partner does not. Or cannot play on that level with you. If you’ve tried to remain calm and rational, but you’re being dragged into a war zone, what do you do?
Help for those going through a divorce comes in all ways.
You research personality disorders with a therapist so you can understand what you’re potentially working with. By doing so, you may learn a thing or two about the breakdown of your marriage in the meantime. Meanwhile, you join the group of people who hire divorce coaches to help them do the right thing. Even when it’s hard to do the right thing. Which seems redundant but isn’t if you’ve ever dealt with negotiations and high emotions. Then you hire an attorney who’ll listen to your point of view and negotiate before spinning things out of control.
As you move through the legal experience, you come to peace with the understanding that you may not get what you deserve over the long run. But fighting for it will cost too much and won’t be worth it in the end. With a divorce coach, you will come to realize a lot faster (and a lot cheaper) that getting out and setting up clear and healthy emotional boundaries are the only options.
If you’re in a war zone and want out, know there are no peace talks in the midst of war.
Your divorce is a reflection of who you were in the past and what you were married to. It’s tough to realize that life isn’t always fair, and going to court is no carnival. After all, this is the person who shared your bed. They may be the parent of your children. Going through divorce hell-bent on destroying another human being won’t serve you in the end. While trying to enact revenge and harboring anger and animosity sucks the life out of you. Doing so will permeate every other relationship you have going forward.
When you think of yourself as the victim, even when you don’t want to, you remain small. Your separation and divorce are not a reality TV show. You’re not being filmed, and honestly, your friends and family are tired of the drama. So stop abusing everyone you meet. More importantly, find some good help and stop abusing yourself.
Do peace. Do war, and get to peace, but know that you cannot do both at the same time.
The choices you set up now become the foundation of your future self. It’s a tough moment, one foot is still in the past while the other is trying to create a new future. You need to tread lightly here… you can’t simply throw in the towel and walk away from the fight, but you also have to balance the anger and fear. How you do your divorce is a reflection of your personal values. If fighting is your only emotional tone, find yourself a divorce coach and get permission to shift.
Going through a divorce can become all-consuming if we let it. It really does take over much of your thinking. But being angry, resentful and frightened doesn’t have to be the only feelings. When you can actively put your attention on being part of the change, you will feel more in control of what’s going on. I call a divorce a modern-day rite of passage. Because you are going to change and hopefully, for the better. No matter how difficult things are at the moment. In some ways, this experience is forcing you to become who you were supposed to be all along.
Get through a divorce, choose to heal. Get yourself the kind of support that will help you let go of the resentments, the hurt, and feeling victimized. Take back control over your emotions so that you can have a great future. Everyone around you will be grateful (including your ex). Over time, trust that you’ll be grateful for taking the high road as well.