When people are beginning relationships or committing to marriage, they often take the time to chronicle these milestones through photographs, scrapbooks, journaling, etc. with the thought that they will someday share this story with their children, grandchildren, etc. I find it interesting that this concept is not similarly applied to the end of relationships.
As beautiful as love stories are, as a society, I think we are equally if not more fascinated with the demise of relationships. We seek to understand and learn from the end of others relationships and apply any lessons to be gleaned to our own lives. In particular, we look at the relationships of those we are closest to: our parents, grandparents, etc.
In the Collaborative Divorce Process (CDP), we encourage our clients to always focus on the ramifications of the divorce—more specifically, the conduct of the parties during the divorce and going forward as co-parents—on the children and family as a whole. Everyone has the ability to write the story of their divorce—a story that will resonate with others. When done right, our divorce stories can be stories of mutual respect and integrity, proving a beautiful example of putting family first. It takes a lot of courage, self examination, and mindfulness to be able to commit to working through the emotions that drive our initial often destructive reactions, and move beyond them to focusing on the future and facilitating the needs of everyone touched by the dissolution of a relationship.
I encourage you to think about what you want your story to be—not only at the onset, but throughout your process and strive to consistently check in and evaluate your actions and responses to make sure they are in line with what you want your story to be. Here is to inspiring endings and beautiful beginnings!