I’m divorced! I know first hand the difficulties in finding the courage it takes to make the decision to divorce and how scary it was to actually begin the divorce process. I’m also a Professional Divorce & Family Mediator. When I started my practice , I made the conscious decision to speak with every caller directly rather than having my assistant be the “phone traffic controller”. Because I know and understand how scary this life changing event can be, I want to be there for my clients from the very beginning of their decision to move forward.
Recently, several calls from a potential client reminded me of my own past agony, confusion, and pain with divorce. With despair in their voice, they called me four times in one day, agonizing over the decision to make the appointment for divorce mediation. The caller acknowledged knowing that their spouse has been wanting a divorce for several years, but was confused as to why their divorce was even happening. I’ve found that the phenomenon of one spouse not knowing or understanding why divorce is in their future, originates from the reality that it only takes one party to want the divorce for the divorce to happen. This particular caller made and cancelled their mediation appointment several times. Each time, apologizing profusely to me for their indecision.
It’s not uncommon to hear the quiver in a voice or to know that the caller is crying and distressed when making the initial call to begin their divorce mediation. For the 51% of the population who have never gone through a divorce, it is not surprising that they don’t understand that by the time a couple has actually taken the steps to legally process their divorce, many years have likely passed. Years of contemplating, trying to work it out, being unsure, going to counseling or waiting for a change in heart that just won’t come.
Divorce is not simply a legal process, it is an emotional one as well. No two people will experience divorce in exactly the same way. but each will go through some kind of emotional pain, doubt or insecurity before they actually get the courage to move forward. Ending a marriage can mean different things to different people. It may mean the end of life long dreams, the hopes of having a family, the fear of being alone, even the fear of failure and of being looked down upon.
Divorce happens when someone in the relationship has the courage to make a change. I recall in my own marriage, having gone through months of couples therapy, “I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t taking the easy way out”. When I mentioned this concern to a friend of mine, who is also a licensed therapist, she said to me “divorce takes courage, it’s not for the faint of heart”. She said, in her opinion “the easiest thing would be to stay in the marriage and live on and not make a change”. “Change is hard,” she said “and the unknown is a lot scarier than what we do know, even if what we do know doesn’t bring us fulfillment”.
For those who are currently going through the emotional pain of making a change with divorce, you are going through one of the most difficult emotional decisions of your life; the death of your marriage. It is extremely important to make sure that you have a good support system in place with professionals and/or counselors, family members and close friends.
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” ~Anatole France
Hey, Roseann. I’m glad there is a service for couples going through their divorce. I had to consult with a lawyer and a therapist to get through mine. Divorces can be a long, grueling process, but there are ways to lessen the pain and distress that they may cause. Change is hard, but if it makes you happier, then everything will eventually be okay.
Alex Jennings |