A peaceful divorce - yes, it can be done but you need to know how to do it

Current divorce rates suggest almost half of married couples will face the prospect of divorce at least once in the lifetime.  The popular belief about divorce is that it has to be vicious, adversarial and very expensive.

In fact divorce can be a positive time of transition and self reflection conducted peacefully and relatively cheaply.

Dove of peace for a peaceful divorceNow it has to be said that this is not an easy thing to do.  Doing it the usual way by trying to bludgeon each other into submission so often seems the only way to go.  It is not but it's very hard to avoid.  So here are some ideas to help you create a truce which might allow for a lasting peace in the future.

There is a time when you just have to let it go
You need to let go of the relationship as it was.  Give yourself time to grieve its passing.  This is true whether you are the divorcer or the divorcee.  Try to get the mindset that sees the divorce as an ending/transition and not as a failure.  Unfortunately some marriages are just not made to last until death do us part.  These ideas will help you to have a mindset of "let go" so you can clear out the tangled and deeply felt emotions and allow yourself to move on.

See the divorce in the context of your whole life
There will come a time soon when this divorce is going to be behind you.  It will be a distant but still possibly painful memory.  Seeing it now in this context will help you realise that you are likely to have a lifetime of being in your ex's life.  There will be family events like graduation ceremonies, weddings and funerals that have to be attended.  Do you really want to be enemies barely acknowledging each other's presence at these major life events?  Whilst it's totally understandable that you may never actually be friends, it's so much better for you and your families that you can still behave in a friendly way.

It takes two to have a divorce
Divorce (or any relationship breakup) is so often about blame.  Most of us feel very comfortable about casting all the blame onto our spouse.  "It's all his/her fault." .Actually, it's not and never is.  Blame is always shared but very rarely equally.  If one partner commits adultery then it's pretty hard not to ascribe well over 90% of the blame to him/her.  However, even this act of betrayal does not have to end the marriage.  Forgiveness is always possible.

You both created the circumstances which allowed the ending of your marriage.  The more you can recognise your contribution to the divorce the more you can claim your shared responsibility for it.  This will make you feel less of a passive victim and make it easier for you to move on to a better life after divorce.

A peaceful divorce takes a lot of commitment
Staying in a peaceful mindset is not easy.  It takes vigilance and dedication.  It means renewing your resolve every day to remaining calm, open and honest.  It means you don't constantly criticise your ex; you don't make aggressive phone calls or send sarcastic/violent texts or emails.  It means you don't try to persuade your children to side with you and against your spouse.  Most importantly you don't hire a killer lawyer or talk about taking him/her to "the cleaners."  Work with a gentle lawyer or a divorce mediator.

Divorce is never going to be an easy process but it can be done in an atmosphere of calm and cooperation.  You cannot control how your ex is behaving in the divorce but you can choose how you respond and how you conduct yourself in these most difficult and stressful of times.

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