Often in Divorce, we get caught up in ourselves. We think about how we were hurt, how we were betrayed, how we feel abandoned. It is understandable how we can get caught up in the hurt. Think of this, right now, in this moment, in the way you choose to react to the sequence of events for the next year, you are writing the story your children will tell of your divorce.
It really changes perspective, doesn’t it? Imagine your child as a 22 year old, telling her friends of her childhood. What will she say about her parent’s divorce? Will she say they loved each other and loved me and modeled a great example of resolving conflict effectively even through emotion? Or will she say it was traumatic? Will she say that it changed her life forever? Will she say it was the worst thing that ever happened to her? As she walks down the aisle, will she wonder if she’ll ever hate her Husband the way her parents hate each other?
Divorce is horrible. It is a broken promise. It is the death of a union of two souls. There is no good way to Divorce. It is always, even under the best of circumstances, painful and difficult. If you are on the precipice of Divorce, know that the story of your children’s divorce is not yet written. You have a choice. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Sometimes Divorce, as hard as it is, can be the catalyst to a new and wonderful life.
How can we use this horrible process of Divorce to facilitate a positive life change?
- Choose an Attorney who models positive conflict resolution. As a Divorce Attorney, one of our jobs is to model for our clients how to effectively resolve conflict. We deal with difficult personalities and, often, difficult attorneys on the other side of the Divorce. How we handle these situations can be a great example for the Client for how to handle conflict in their own lives. Watch for an Attorney with a level head. Choose an Attorney who is above the emotion and watch how she handles your spouse and your spouse’s attorney. Often, your Attorney can model effective life skills for handling conflict in any situation.
- Don’t give in to the hurt. Pain will tell you to do things that you wouldn’t do with a level head. Pain creates more pain. Pain doesn’t care who it hurts. It will take out your children, your finances and your future all just to get “even” or get “revenge”. You cannot use a Divorce effectively if you letting your pain make decisions. We must find a way to deal with the pain and arrive at a place where we can make decisions from a healthy place – one of love, respect and compassion.
If you can get these two things right, your children will be better for it. In every choice you make, think of the chapter you’re adding to your child’s story. Is it good? Is it helpful? Is it kind? Will you be proud of the way you handled this tragedy when your children tell their story? My hope is that you will.
Attorney Joy Ragan