Around this time of year I usually get a flurry of calls. People reaching out to talk – often for the first time saying the words out loud – “I’m thinking of getting a divorce…” I listen and answer their questions as best as I can – the legal stuff, the expectations, the fears – and also often what I hear is hesitation. Although I’m not sure I have the best answers for someone who is “on the fence,” actually, I think some hesitation regarding this major decision is a healthy approach. Once that divorce ball gets rolling, especially in litigated cases, it grows and often takes on a course of its own. (I usually suggest that divorcing parents watch “Marriage Story”, which is a pretty accurate representation of what can happen.)
Divorce is a very personal decision and only two people know best – the divorcing spouses. Friends and relatives usually mean well; their approach is couched in love and concern. But only the two people in the relationship, those people intimately involved in every aspect of the marriage, are in the best position to make the decision: Should I stay or should I go? (Caveat: In situations of dangerous domestic violence, the victimized spouse often is unable to see and accept the facts and can need active assistance in walking away.) When I talk with people about divorcing, I do not tell them what they “should” do – initiate divorce or stay – instead I listen and try to help them make this decision.
Over the years, paying attention to my clients, I’ve noticed that December brings an interesting mix of emotions. Anticipation – the new year with new beginnings is just around the corner – and also a slowness, which seems akin to the human need for hibernation. At first glance these seems to be polarities – one is all about action and the other is all about rest. I have come to see the beautiful value in each of these reactions, and in their interplay. If we can allow ourselves both of these experiences, I think we can connect with our true hearts and make good decisions about all of life’s choices, and truly, seeking a divorce is a big decision, worthy of our best efforts….
If you want to talk, and want someone neutral to listen, please feel free to contact me:
firstname.lastname@example.org or @divorcewellnessguru on Instagram or @ 510.210.3796.