When the final order is signed, will you look back and see how your divorce happened to you? Or will you look back and see how you chose the direction and tone of your divorce? Who will you see when you look in the proverbial mirror?
Your life is upside down – whether you left your spouse or whether you were left. You have no idea where you are headed, how this process will unfold and what you will do to protect yourself and your kids. You know you need some help – and will probably hire a lawyer if you can afford one. You’ve heard your friend’s horror story of his $50,000.00 divorce. You watched as your sister’s life transformed from living in a fairly comfortable house (nothing fancy) to living in a rented apartment. However, maybe you witnessed a couple split up their marriage, but not their relationships with their kids, their friends and their in-laws.
If you watched the last divorce story happen then you have witnessed the human potential for a “life after divorce.” That couple’s story involved hard choices and a fair amount of trust when trust was in short supply. However, that story could be your story. Just for this moment, set aside your current pain and fear and see that others have made the choice and that you can choose to write your own divorce story. Your story could involve a non-traditional “custody” or residential arrangement where mom doesn’t bear all parenting responsibilities except for every other weekend and a midweek three hour dinner visit with their dad. Your story could result in you remaining a large and influential role in your kids’ lives. You are at a crossroads: you have power over your actions from this moment forward to shape your future. No, you don’t have control over your spouse’s actions, but you will never know unless you ask, unless you propose a less destructive divorce.