Last month, this happened…
“I don’t understand why people do it,” a man told me. “I’ve been married for more than thirty years, and even during the worst of times I never considered divorce.”
“That’s great,” I congratulated him.
“We had some bad times,” he assured me. “But I never wanted to live without her.”
“And that’s the difference,” I explained. “There were times when I would rather have died than continue to live in my marriage.”
As his mind opened, his face changed from a countenance of confidence to one of humble sympathy. If our conversation had been a competition, victory would have been mine.
Like the man in the story above, a lot of people misunderstand my mission. They assume I’m out to sell the idea of divorce in order to destroy marriages. They think I want to break up happy families. They judge me as a bitter woman who no longer believes in love. But they’re wrong.
My efforts are about creating opportunities for more effective relationships. I want to help families evolve to a different way of life instead of dissolving under stress and chaos. On the personal side, I continue to nurture feelings of love and gratitude for every romantic partnership that has enriched my life (and all of them have).
Why am I reiterating all of this? Because I’m building up to the announcement of My Next Step… I’ve been following this Divorce Passion of mine for several years. What started out as curiosity has become a personal mission to help people do divorce better. I’ve read. I’ve written. I’ve spoken. I’ve coached. And now I’m ready to descend further into the trenches.
Last fall I completed Basic Mediation Training. I had to wake up before dawn and travel two hours to class, but I didn’t care. I fell in love with the process and all that it represents (empowerment, honesty, respect, collaboration, creativity…). In the months that followed, I lurked online and waited for information about my next stepping stone. It appeared last month. In a couple weeks, I will begin a program to learn the specifics of Divorce Mediation.
To say I’m excited is an understatement. I feel positively ecstatic about empowering couples to maintain control as they untangle their lives. In times of darkness and confusion, I will facilitate discussions which will shed light on common ground. After years of exclaiming, “There’s a better way!” I will play an even more prominent role in that process. For a divorce dork such as myself, it doesn’t get any better than that.
People grow. Relationships change. Families evolve. These are simply facts of life. When a couple has exhausted all options and concluded that divorce is the appropriate solution, they need resources to help them handle their process responsibly. I look forward to being another one of those resources.