This article is not a guide to help you consider divorce nor talk you into it. This article is to help you make the transition through the divorce once the decision has been made. I know this is also a timing issue. This will not always fall into your hands at the right time but nevertheless it is good advice, even after the divorce. I use the word Unorthodox because it is time we stopped conforming to archaic, out-dated standards. This time in your life is a time to be self-centered. To find and center on our “Higher” selves. The advice I am going to share won't be easy and will take work. You need an open-mind and a willingness to try an unorthodox approach. Always tell yourself, “look at the alternative!” This unique perspective has helped many people, including myself. There was still pain, grief, sorrow, etc. BUT I decided, why make the divorce process harder? Why create more pain and more expenses?? Why should I expect good results from bad energy and emotions? So, I did the opposite. Everything that society says is the norm, I tried my hardest to contradict and something cool happened, it worked and has continued to work after wards, surprisingly!
It is my hope and prayer that this article can open your mind, show you a different point of view, to find forgiveness, compassion, kindness and love where society says there shouldn't be any.
“You have a right to your joy; children or no children; spouse or no spouse. Seek it! Find it! And you will have a joyful family...And if they get up to leave you, then release them with love to seek their joy.”
-Neale Donald Walsch WTF! Lets imagine for a moment that you are being prepped for heart surgery of some sort and the doctor comes in, sits by your side and says, “We will not be using anesthesia for this operation.” “WTF!” would most definitely be your reply, wouldn't it? Yet through the operation of divorce we do exactly that. Experience it with as much pain as possible, but not just limited to ourselves. No, we want to create pain in others as well, even our beloved children. So that would be like having them in the operating room next to us feeling every bit of pain we are experiencing with no numbing effect. So, now that I have brought some perspective to your decision to get divorced lets start off with my first piece of advice.
Tell no one! I know, I know, that was just about the most unorthodox piece of advice there could be. Tell no one about you and your spouses decision to get divorced, and I mean no one (or as few as possible if you already have). This is going to be a little hard to do but in the long run, so worth it and the benefit is felt by all. Going back to the operation analogy. By telling and involving others would be like having everyone in the operating room telling the doctor and you to do this and that. Creating absolute pandemonium. The Doctor would not be able to concentrate, you are wide awake with no anesthesia in a great deal of pain and everyone is there giving their 2 cents on what the doctor is doing right, wrong, complaining that your not under, can't believe the kids are in here with you, why didn't you take better care, this is all your fault, this is all his fault, a barrage of “if only's” come out and much more. Kids crying, needing your attention because they are watching this horrific scene unfold in front of them. Dealing with everyone's perception of the situation which are all just that, their perceptions, will be like having a bucket of lemonade poured on the already open wound on the operating table. And this is exactly what most people do when if comes to divorce. There is a reason no one is allowed in the operating room. It is an important time and great care needs to be given its full attention so it can be a success and you and the others around you can heal quickly physically and emotionally.
Since you have already made this choice to divorce the last thing you need is a 100 people telling you likewise. Our friends, family and loved ones seem to have the answers, but no one has experienced what you and your family have, so no one can relate. No one knows your past experiences, your thoughts, your emotions. Your divorce is truly unique. But everyone seems to have all the answers. There will be some to console and feed the pity and there will be those that fill you with poison against your spouse. There will be those that blame, argue, add guilt, etc. You need this like you need a hole in the head at this time. There will be some you think will support you and will not and vice verse. All this does is bring confusion, remember we need to find our “Higher” selves and center on that. Don't take the chance and don't tell a soul. The benefit to your spouse would be knowing that you are not going to everyone and finding ammunition for warfare and they would know you are not doing the same against them. The benefit to your children is incredible. Everyone wants to save the children so everyone becomes their therapists. Putting them in a terrible situation of choices, thoughts, feelings, explanations and worst of all, choosing sides. They will know sometime so find the time to tell them that will be the least painless. So, your children will be part of those you do not tell. They do not need to know what is happening. This takes some awareness on you and your spouses part. It will take some work, but in the long run the benefits of not having to see your “surgery” will be less painful for your kids.
After all is said and done you can share with those around you that you are now divorced and all that they will be able to say is, “WTF?!”
"A couple does not announce to the world the time they come together as one to consummate a marriage or create a child, but will stand on rooftops to announce the destruction of both."
Pick a Virtue “As we allow the world to touch us deeply, we recognize that just as there is pain in our own lives, so there is pain in everyone else's life. This is a birth of wise understanding. Wise understanding sees and accepts life as a whole. With wise understanding we allow ourselves to contain all things, both dark and light, and we come to a sense of peace. This is not the peace of denial or running away, but the peace we find in the heart that has rejected nothing, that touches all things with compassion.”
- Jack Kornfield
If there ever was a time in your life to be virtuous, it is now. My second piece of advice would be to start the process to forgive your spouse. You can not change the past. The future will bring what it brings, so that leaves the present moment. At this time in your life, some choices to make the moment the best it can be would be a good thing.
“Come to each moment cleanly, without a previous thought about it, you can create who you are, rather than re-enact who you once were....Ignore your previous experience and go into the moment. Be Here Now. See what there is to work with right now in creating yourself anew.”
So forgive them. But be careful because it doesn't end there. Be compassionate, kind and loving. Now, the reason I am telling you to be these things is that every emotion you are experiencing is funneling down to your kids. You transpose it all right onto them. The innocent ones. So, why not transpose some good ones. I know what your thinking, there is too much pain, and it hurts too much. Every book I have read on the subject including healing books, spirituality and self help books, all point to the healing power of forgiveness. Why delay the anesthesia any longer. Start to forgive. Buddhism teaches that if you hit someone with a stick you are hitting yourself. Which means, if you hit someone long enough they will eventually get a stick and hit you back. Christianity teaches, do unto others as you would want them to do to you.
“Forgiveness gives us the capacity to make a new start...And forgiveness is the grace by which you enable the other person to get up, and get up with dignity, to begin anew...In the act of forgiveness we are declaring our faith in the future of a relationship and in the capacity of the wrongdoer to change.”
"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power of love."
-Martin Luther King Jr.
So being the Unorthodox Bad Asses that we are, lets try something different and do the opposite of everyone else and see what comes back to us. Don't be spiteful, callous, full of poison, hateful and unforgiving. Truly try to forgive yourself and your spouse as well as put your children first and you will be amazed at the outcomes. If you love your children, then show them what you preach. Show them love by not making victims out of yourself or them. This can be a great learning experience for your children. Something that can help them with their own relationships and especially their relationship with you and your spouse. Give them faith in humanity and in you. Children do not get to see emotional role models very often as they grow up. Someone who they visually get to experience acting in a virtuous way or showing unconditional love. Show them that your experience through divorce is not about “for-getting” but “for-giving”....Give them this gift.
“To value love above gain is already such a major shift of attitude that it transforms life.”
-Dr. David R. Hawkins