“A New York Times article reports for the first time in recorded human history more people over 50 are divorced than widowed. It’s my hope that we can begin a conversation about how to end our romantic unions with decency, respect, and honor rather than assume them to be failures and slink away with our tails between our legs.”
We’ve all heard of the Dirty Divorce, the family member or close friend who’s going through a nightmare divorce, riddled with stress over what to do or how to respond to the errant partner who is more concerned about themselves than the welfare of their children, ex-spouse or family pet for that matter.
The stories are never-ending with this type of divorce, where one partner plays dirty throughout the divorce proceedings. Using stall and delay tactics forcing their soon to be ex-spouses’ legal costs upwards and their emotional wellbeing downwards. It’s horrible, the couple usually ends up exchanging children on the doorstep, unable to bear to be in the same room and everyone concerned suffers.
My mentor, Katherine Woodward-Thomas wrote in a Huffington Post article;
“A recent New York Times article reports that for the first time in recorded human history more people over 50 are divorced than widowed. It’s my hope that we can begin a conversation about how to end our romantic unions with decency, respect and honor rather than assume them to be failures and slink away with our tails between our legs.”
Imagine being able to “end our romantic unions with decency”, what would it be like for all involved if they were able to have the awareness and consideration to find a better way of breaking up and to ditch the dirty divorce? To set an intention to honor the love they once shared and appreciate the gifts of the relationship and the breakup?
What stops this from happening? Is it even possible?
Unfortunately, for the majority of people, divorce is rooted in fear, punishment, and blame. It becomes a fight for power and control in an attempt to avoid the deep-seated wound a relationship breakdown triggers. The wound of an insulted ego and that we are not enough.
We truly believe our loved ones are responsible for the pain we’re feeling. When they’ve let us down and betrayed our trust, it hits us at the very core of our being and it’s a primitive reaction to “hit back and hurt them”. Apart from the short burst of euphoria one might feel at reaping revenge, it doesn’t really help!
It’s hard to imagine if a couple’s relationship has so irretrievably broken down that they would have any incentive to find a healthy way to break up, I mean why would they?
The way we divorce massively impacts how we create our future. If you want a happy future it’s more important than ever to find a good and healthy way to break-up. The long-term impact of punishment and retaliation are stress, self-loathing, and an inability to let go and have rewarding ongoing relationships.
So what does a healthy break up look like?
From the offset, a healthy “Conscious” break-up is about looking for the best possible outcome for all involved, setting an intention for a win/win, so all parties, spouses, children, and family members experience the least amount of suffering possible.
In my own marriage break-ups (I’ve had two), I set the intention to act with love and kindness to myself and my spouse. I chose to treat the person who had previously bought so much joy and love into my life with respect. Even though I was in indescribable pain, I knew the break-up was an opportunity for transformation and growth and I chose to show up as the highest, possible version of myself, acting with generosity, kindness, and respect (I didn’t get it right all the time, I’m not a saint)!!
The end result is I’m friendly with my previous husbands, and we co-parent our children in a conscious way, respectful of each other’s lives and supportive of our new family dynamic. The upside, is our children are well-grounded, they move in and out of both homes easily, and continue to have a deep love for both parents, without any guilt. The benefit to us all, is we’re less stressed, have good healthy on-going relationships and we managed to divorce without a large legal bill!
Ultimately a conscious break-up is about taking responsibility for the role you played in your relationship break-down, in doing so you take back your personal authentic power and you’re able to evolve beyond your old painful patterns. Is it easy? No, it takes courage beyond words, and a deep desire to heal one’s, own heart. In a conscious break-up, one still experiences pain, however, the length of the suffering is definitely shorter and the long-term impact is one of growth, understanding, compassion, and more rewarding relationships. You get to re-write your story!!