I hate divorce. It’s a fact I have to live with though, because I am a relationship psychotherapist and some marriages have to end. I think divorce is a lot like marriage in that you don’t really know what you’re getting into until you’re midway in and then it’s too late to turn back. So, you just keep going, feeling, and living.
I have a dear friend going through a divorce she didn’t want. It’s painful to watch, to listen to, and for my friend, I am sure it is the most painful to experience. I’m going to be seeing my friend soon, and this was the short note I received about the status of the divorce.
Dear Mary Jo,
Our divorce might be final by then. We communicate through our lawyers right now. I’m just completely speechless by the way my spouse (ex) manages to turn around and live life as if I had never been part of it! It’s this rejection which hurts most …
I keep thinking there is a better way, but for the life of me, how does one turn things around to make the pain stop? An annulment is not the answer any more than pretending something which existed didn’t. Mediation comes closest to helping a divorce end with some sort of workable relationship still intact, and I think it is the best idea for children involved to be able to love both their parents without being quizzed or made to feel guilty.
It’s the prevention of divorce I would like to offer … but we have very few tools to work with. The one tool we have that actually has the biggest impact toward helping marriages survive is premarital counseling, but most couples prefer the huge wedding and expensive celebration in lieu of money better spent on making sure they will be compatible for more than three years. It’s frustrating for those of us in the field and for those involved with a divorce they didn’t want. More and more research is coming out in the marital area. Something most of us in the field would never have promoted is making an impact on marriage survival. In the past, if one of the partners were against marital therapy, the other who wanted to go would suffer in silence.
Now, we have good evidence that if one of the partners goes to therapy and shares the homework and talks about the therapy with their partner, the marriage actually begins improving. Below are the new rules for marriage therapy on your own. It may not be as ideal as the couple going … but as long as the couple wants to save the marriage, and both are willing to work at the marriage by completing homework assignments, it can be a positive step in the right direction.
Read the suggestions this expert has at YourTango.com.
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