A good divorce is possible, it is just a matter of setting up the right expectations with maturity, respect, and gratitude.
The social construction of matrimony teaches us that the expectation is a life-long relationship as long as there is no physical abuse or a big crisis. According to what’s always been said, there is no reason to believe that there are cycles in life or a change in personal interests.
My parents had a good marriage. Imperfect, yes, but they both grew together as a marriage, had two children and each one held their conventional roles. They thought their marriage was forever, so they never questioned it along the way.
In my own experience, I can say that there is a very big chance that two people that were happy together for a long time may no longer be so. And that is what happened to my parents: they were happy until they weren’t.
With such high social expectations of a long-lasting matrimony, the chances of having a safe environment to have an open and respectful conversation about divorce are very slim. In some cases, either one could find another person attractive and then start having a parallel life. In other cases, there may not be a third person, but one of them may no longer be happy in the relationship, which makes them turn resentful towards the other. Life together becomes a burden.
After going through my parent’s divorce and working with my therapist, I had my own marriage. It was full of satisfaction and hurdles, but all in all, we were happy. Until we weren’t.
Eventually, the feeling of fulfillment and my perspective of happiness changed, and we both evolved on very different paths until our life together did not make sense anymore.
We had many conversations, we tried to adjust our expectations until we were honest with each other and recognized that our relationship was no longer what we both were looking for, and the healthiest thing was to end it.
We reached a balanced agreement for the care of our children, we spoke with them with openness and love, and we took in account everyone’s feelings, not forcing them to take a side. We ended our relationship knowing that there is nothing but gratefulness towards each other.
I think the key to a good divorce is to adjust the expectations, recognize when the end of a satisfactory relationship has come and close the chapter with love and respect. Ending a matrimony on good terms is healthier for everyone than waiting until you both have been hurt beyond repair and there’s too much resentment for a healthy relationship afterwards.
Especially if there are children involved that may be forced to take a side, and, in some cases, assume an affective responsibility towards who they consider the victim, creating even more division and pain.
Learning from the mistakes during this process is crucial. Adjust each other’s expectations, know that every relationship is fallible and that doesn’t make the other one a bad person.
More and more, divorce is becoming a natural part of matrimony. The social constructions that applied decades ago may no longer be the norm, which means that you don’t have to wait until your relationship is beyond repair to make your decision toward a healthy divorce.
By Anonymous Writer for Mistake Club