Conscious Divorce: A New Way

Conscious Divorce:  A New Way

Nothing about divorce is easy. It can hit you in every arena including emotional, spiritual, financial, physical, and psychological ways. The level of grief and loss intrinsic to divorce is significant and needs to be addressed and worked through. Often, couples and individuals engage in mental health therapy to assist them and perhaps their minor children in better managing the divorce process. Defenses are high and there is a lot of uncertainty in the unknown divorce territory. Individual, couples and/or family therapy can be a safe place to allow conversations around how to separate and end the marriage and make decisions as to how to best co-parent any children. Mediation is another great resource to manage the structure around what the financial and custody arrangements are in the divorce.

Initially in the separation and divorce process, one or both partners state that they want to divorce in the smoothest way possible and focus on what is best for the kids. Although this might be said, when the details start to unravel, hurts, misunderstandings, and anger often get triggered and that intention is diminished if not destroyed. Conscious divorce takes effort and reminding a willingness to slow down the emotional reactivity that otherwise inevitably happens.

When consciously divorcing, it’s important to remember that you are both going through a painful process. Consciously divorcing provides the opportunity to grieve the marital relationship and shift to being amicable and becoming the best co-parents possible. Here are some concrete tools to help support you with the intention to consciously divorce:

  • Hire a mediator who has the same goal to have the two of you uncouple in the smoothest way possible
  • Recognize that the pacing and timing of the grief process will look and be different for both of you
  • When in a reactive state, slow down and take time apart before responding
  • Remember that you are likely to continue to be in a relationship with your ex-spouse even after the divorce
  • Selectively seek support from friends, family, and a therapist

There are many examples of conscious divorce in the media recently and this trend can definitely help divorcing couples and their children. It’s actually wonderful to witness the relationship between two people who have been married, consciously navigated the divorce process, and come through it still friends and willing to cooperatively co-parent any of their minor children. Keep that picture in your mind as you take the divorce journey one step at a time.

Blog post written by Rachel Thomas.

About Oliver Ross

Oliver Ross, JD*, PhD founded Out-of-Court Solutions Inc. in 1995 and since then has mediated over 3,000 divorce and family matters. He is a select member of the Maricopa Superior Court Family Mediation roster