Divorce is rarely, if ever, easy. It can be easier though, easier, less contentious, and less costly both emotionally and financially. There is a secret to escaping unnecessary battles during divorce.
The secret is to step away from judgment and step towards curiosity. It is beginning to shake off knowing what can’t happen and to start exploring what can and must.
The common judgments you make about what your spouse is and is not capable of, about child care and custody, financial assets, living arrangements, etc. keep you locked into what has already happened rather than allowing you to explore what is possible from here. These judgments arise out of past experiences and, unless you want your future to strongly resemble what you were unhappy about in your past or to burn through your financial assets in your desire for revenge or self-righteousness, it’s time to stop defending your judgments and begin to be curious about what is possible now.
Where being locked in judgment closes down pathways to understanding and agreement, curiosity blows open the doors to understanding and agreement. Curiosity allows you to enter into conversations with a more open and solution seeking mind.
Curiosity is the spirit of “help me to understand“ and it will absolutely help you to move towards agreement. Curiosity and the understanding it leads to are the grease that keeps the wheels of divorce turning smoothly.
One example of a judgement that can keep couples tied in struggle and growing resentment is “knowing” your spouse is and will be an incompetent parent because you have handled the majority of kid related responsibilities. This judgement usually leads to attempting to control or limit parenting time. It is remarkable how so many parents can step up to be there for their children in new ways when they have to.
Another example of judgement is “knowing” your spouse is selfish and will try to screw you out of a fair settlement. Too many spouses have not recognized an “equitable” settlement offer and have attacked the offer before having it analyzed by their attorney. This creates so much animosity that future negotiations are poisoned and said spouse does put the screws on. This is a perfect example of taking animosity that is felt towards a spouse from past experiences and carrying it forward into the present and future!
What you want to explore during divorce is how the two of you can come to new agreements and understandings. At this point rehashing failures and resentments just burn resources. A healthy goal for divorce is to preserve the maximize amount of the joint marital resources you’ll be using to move into the next phase of your life and eliminate as much emotional hostility as possible. You’ll need that energy to manage the fear of managing life solo and the learning curve that comes with it.
Divorce is a perfect time to begin to explore what is possible and shake loose from your judgements about what isn’t. In the case of divorce, being mistaken about the horrid nature of your spouse is preferable to being accurate.
If you want to shed old counterproductive behaviors, like being trapped in battle by judgement, and be empowered to navigate your divorce intentionally with less pain, sign up for our Rapid Relief Call and power your ability to discover solutions to what seems like a perpetual precession of problems!