The Good Divorce
“…marriage is the only family relationship we swear is forever
and the one least likely to be so.”
— Monica McGoldrick
Ending your marriage without destroying your family
Divorce is a redirection of the family life cycle, an unexpected, off schedule process of family change. It is important that the emphasis be not on “writing off” the failed marriage and its participants, but on creating new options for integrating, changing, sustaining and maintaining these relationships. Lowering emotional arousal and reactivity is a necessary first step. Behavioral tasks include:
- Focusing on emotional and physical well-being
- Focusing on personal productivity and achievement
- Reinvesting in current, and developing new primary relationships
Divorce ends a relationship but not a family. The crisis of divorce is an opportunity to advance the process of differentiation by helping each spouse understand how his or her own limitations have contributed to the failure of the marriage. The practice of Mindful Relationships helps former spouses start a new life and find peace.
- Would you like to decrease mutual acrimony and reactivity?
- Are you committed to reducing anger and resolving power struggles?
- Would you like to develop and achieve new personal goals?
Constructively managing conflicts helps both partners disconnect from the marriage in a functional way. A mindful family systems based approach offers value-added inputs that make much more sense than a mere brokering of deals. Families in which the emotional issues of divorce are not adequately resolved are more likely to end up in a protracted, destructive, financially draining, family destroying legal process.
For separated and divorced former partners the practice of Mindful Relationships provides the opportunity to heal and grow, reframing divorce as a cooperative effort to mobilize resilience and hope, relearn how to be effective in the world, and foster communion with others.
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