It is time to think differently about divorce. It is time to act differently. It is time to completely rewrite the legacy of divorce. In fact, I despise the word divorce. That is why I named my divorce management platform dtour.life. I am determined to shine a light on a new path forward for divorcing families so that we can fundamentally shift this angry and antiquated way of rewriting a contract.
Divorce is both a transaction and a lifestyle. If we stop allowing the old patterns of thought, and by extension behavior, to prevail, we can completely change the experience, for everyone.
As a divorce consultant, I used to sit in the courtroom and watch couples. They would sit on opposite sides of the room, their body language fully contracted. Tight-lipped men and women with anger and rage emanating from every pore. In some cases, it was more grief than anger. In other cases, you could feel their tremendous sadness — and a lot of fear. I used to try to imagine these same two people holding hands, laughing, enjoying a candlelight dinner, even saying “I love you.”
So how did they get here, in a courtroom full of cold process and procedure with professionals strategizing over how to succeed while the other fails?
That is the old way. The new way starts with a new framework of thought. There is great power in the way we think, show up and address the facts of every situation; divorce is no exception. Your divorce, your detour, might be something you never wanted, never saw coming, or it might be a relief. Whatever the situation, we can no longer allow a legal system and its old pattern of adversity to destroy our lives. We have too much to do, jobs to manage, children to love, families to support, and life to live, so let’s start by thinking about it differently.
“We know that thinking differently cannot take the pain away, cannot cure a personality disorder and cannot minimize the gut-wrenching financial and child-related issues. But thinking differently is empowering. With a new mindset, you will no longer be victimized by a process…”
Old Thought: I am so angry. I am devastated. I am scared. This is going to be a fight. I need a shark. I am so afraid of what I am going to have to give away or that I won’t get enough.
New Thought: I am so angry. I am devastated. I am scared. I know that this emotional pain makes it difficult to be rational, so I will work on my emotional response and separate it from the process. I want to prepare so that I can make smart, informed decisions about how to move forward. We will always have a past together and now we have to chart a new future for both of us.
Old Thought: He/she MET WITH A LAWYER! Oh no! That means they are going to take advantage of me; they plan to manipulate the situation and hurt me.
New Thought: He/she met with a lawyer. Oh good. I am so glad they are learning about the process, how the law applies and how we should move forward as a family. I will get some advice, too, and then we will both be able to work together and with professionals to make good decisions.
Old Thought: I have been in charge of all our money and it is going to stay that way. I am only going to give him/her what they need. I earned it, it is mine, and I am not going to give them half to just make bad decisions.
New Thought: I have been in charge of all our money and now I will encourage my spouse to hire a financial expert to help them understand what we have and how best to move forward so that we both make smart financial decisions for our respective futures. His/her financial security is just as important as mine.
Old Thought: I know he has been hiding money. She’ll pay for this. I will take him for everything he has got. She’ll never stay in that house if I can help it. He’ll be lucky to see the children if I can help it. I don’t care if I spend everything on lawyers, I will make sure he/she gets nothing.
New Thought: How can we both move forward and be successful? How can we take our financial situation, our unique family attributes, traditions, and rituals, and creatively separate? I will never be truly successful if my spouse fails. Our children will be greatly affected if one of us prevents the other from being able to survive, or even thrive.
We know that thinking differently cannot take the pain away, cannot cure a personality disorder and cannot minimize the gut-wrenching financial and child-related issues. But thinking differently is empowering. With a new mindset, you will no longer be victimized by a process, or by your spouse.
This is your family, your money, your home, your children, this is your detour. Don’t let it happen to you! And, thinking differently is just the foundation for re-scripting what lies ahead, a detour that just might surprise you.