How did I end up in this nightmare? I am a stranger to these dark emotions now living inside me. Who am I? When did I cross over the line, and will I ever cross back?
What powerful questions. The emotional turmoil that assaults the body and soul when we begin down the bumpy, and often destructive, road to divorce can be traumatic. These are questions in Judge Michele Lowrance’s introduction to The Good Karma Divorce, a book written for people facing the end of their marriage.
Years as a divorce attorney and as a judge in family court gave the author a profound perspective — that there is no right side in divorce. Without the proper tools to navigate the emotional landmines, everyone loses — especially when children are involved.
It is Lowrance’s belief that most couples jump into the divorce process without two essential components: a plan and a guide. Instead, they ramble about in confusion, looking to the court system to resolve and absolve their differences. They hope that by severing their ties with the point of contention, their spouse, they will somehow achieve peace and happiness.
The Good Karma Divorce describes ways to approach and diffuse the anger, and understand the underlying fear it masks. The long process of going from anger to forgiveness can be achieved, if people are given the time and support they need. It’s an emotional journey, fraught with feelings of loss and sadness, abrupt adjustments to financial circumstances, and drastic changes to lifestyles. There is so much to absorb and comprehend for muddled and distraught minds.
Ending a marriage can leave scars, deep and permanent ones. Children are often the unsuspecting recipients of collateral damage caused by bitter rivalries between parents, who are each convinced the other is fully to blame for the marriage’s failure. Asking children to choose sides can have lifelong consequences. Doesn’t it make sense to find a peaceful alternative, at least for the sake of the children?
Can divorce be amicable? If we study what is historically acceptable in the court rooms of America, the answer is no. But does it have to be that way? According to a growing movement across the country, divorce does not have to be a painful, ugly business. Words like respectful, gentle, healthy, even friendly, are the new words of the day.
Read The Good Karma Divorce and take the first intrepid steps towards a family-friendly divorce. Collaborate, rather than confront. Resolve, rather than revolt. Mediate, rather than adjudicate. Skip the courtroom and the ensuing war it promises. Choose to end marriage in a way where everyone wins, and all can move forward in a positive way.