Thursday, 25 August 2016

Good Marriage and Good Divorce - Can you have both?

There was a lot that I loved about being married. We had a good marriage, we created adventures, dreams, a family, parties, companies, simply.... we were two visionaries with a gift of a life together. Creative, analytical, sensible, wild, expansive, private ... all these wonderful important attributes all in the mix of the container of our marriage.

Our 16 year union was a series of plans; some worked, some didn't, we each, with our skills, wove into a supportive life mesh a relationship for our children and ourselves. What we didn't know was that it was these skills that would ultimately carry us through our marriage ending and into and through our mindful divorce.  We chose to continue using and reworking that support structure... albeit there were hard times, but we found it more useful this way rather than letting it collapse and drain away, forgotten after the divorce conversation.   

We in society do not naturally feel guided to or encouraged to trust in a friendship with our 'soon to be ex-partner'. For many the relationship fabric dissolves leaving us with only the threads of fear and vulnerability, loneliness and anger to cling onto.  Being honest and remembering the parts of your marriage that worked for you both and taking them through into your divorce can be a most healing practice.  Letting anger go or subside so you can both be productive, sorting through what is left of companionship, parental responsibilities with respect can make the 'mindful' difference.

Fundamentally understanding your ex-partner, remembering the good and kind parts, the positive sides AND their flaws perhaps is the key to having a good divorce divorce.  This is not written lightly; the experience of marriage can be as good or bad as divorce; each with their darker and lighter corners. My divorce was not without marches up many a steep hill ridding myself of negative energy, nights crying myself to sleep or meditating so very often to calm my scattered wild mind full of thoughts, fears and worries about my children's future.

Not letting the end state of your marriage define your divorce or allowing your divorce to define the rest of your life is a gift you can truly both give each other.  Accepting and letting go rather than being resigned and holding on helped us both in our divorce so much.  

So giving myself permission to say I had a good divorce seems to be out there with a confessional "my new baby sleeps all night" conversation.  There can be a slight look of disbelief from those I meet, who have, like many divorcees had a pretty unpleasant time of it. Am I speaking my truth? Am I deluded?  So what to say? 

So finally 15 years later I can say "as a new Mum of the most sleepiest baby", I kept quiet at mother's meet ups. Certainly after the woefully sleep deprived stories shared on any said morning, I wasn't brave enough to say that my baby was indeed a wonderful sleeper. It seemed unfair to those crawling through the day, spazz eyed and caffeine fixed to say anything, but murmur the necessary words of support and encouragement.  My second dear baby was a full on re-flux screamer, so I didn't escape the unsocial lonely hours of motherhood.  I digress...

So I ask myself this - why is it as an adult I am still slightly apologetic about my good and mindful divorce?  Have I not fully given myself permission to recognize the huge regular ego-less work that was involved with mediation, conversations with lawyers and co-parenting? 

Was truly believing in a continued friendship and remaining trustful of a modus operandi that worked in our marriage going to see us through our divorce?   Is showing up and writing some of my most private of thoughts going to help others, I hope so ....

In the words of James Joyce "In the muddle is the soundance" - I like this, the reminder that in sometimes seemingly impossible situations there is something of importance happening. 

What I do believe is that within everything challenging and difficult therein dwells something good and positive... it's remaining brave enough to trust that just somewhere it is there, you can do the right thing and sleep better too...

With love Natasha x

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