A client told me this week, “I think that divorce is one of the great failings of adulthood.”
If it was only that simple.
Let’s face it. We fail a lot of the time. And if we never fail, it means we’re not taking enough chances and not trying enough new things. People who never fail are failing to challenge themselves.
Of course, nobody opts into the divorce system on purpose. When you get married, you think it’s for keeps. Divorce is definitely not Plan A. It’s probably not even Plan B or Plan C. But when it happens to you, you have a choice of how you handle it.
You can scorch the earth, gossip to all your mutual friends, and slash your spouse’s tires. That’s one way. It’s actually more popular than it should be.
But as a responsible adult (which this client is) you can choose to deal with divorce and other unfortunate things that happen in a respectful, sane way. Click to find out how Family Mediation works. There are so many choices for divorce nowadays that running to a lawyer isn’t necessary.
As much as he felt he’d failed, or that his spouse had failed, in creating a lasting marriage, ultimately he didn’t fail to be a responsible adult.
There are some things in life that we can control and some things we can’t. What we can control is our reaction, and actions, once these things happen. And this is where he succeeded. He could’ve run off to court, but he chose to mediate. And when the discussion was difficult, he didn’t give up. He kept coming back to mediation…and ultimately, this couple figured it out.
Bad things happen to good people. They happen all the time. My mom, the kindest, gentlest person in the world, died of cancer in 2010. My friend who adopted a drug-addicted baby from foster care has a brain tumor. The bad things that happen are not necessarily because you failed.
And even if you did fail, the measure of a person’s character is how you deal with that failure, not the fact that you failed.
- Did you do everything you could to save your marriage?
- Did you speak frankly and respectfully to your spouse about your marital problems?
- Did you seek counseling or outside help?
And if none of that worked, did you leave your marriage in an honest, honorable, respectful way?
Family mediation gives you the opportunity to do exactly that. You can honor the years you spent together and the good things you gave each other when you mediate your divorce. Sure, the last couple of years probably haven’t been so good, but you got married because you were in love (or at least you thought that you’d be a lasting couple) so surely there were some good times.
And if you have children, certainly they are part of the gifts you gave each other.