There’s a certain script many divorcing couples adhere to through the process of separation, divorce, and healing. It goes like this: I couldn’t stand to look at him. She was cold and distant, I couldn’t take the rejection anymore. We couldn’t stop fighting about everything from the kids, to sex, to money, to the dishes. We went to a therapist, but they couldn’t or wouldn’t help us. I took the kids and left. I packed my bags and stayed in a hotel until I found my bachelor pad apartment. How could he abandon the family like this? Why does she have to be so difficult to deal with? I miss my kids. My kids miss their Dad. How dare he allow them to have extra TV time and ice cream during their weekend visits? Why do I always have to be bad cop? Why does she have to be so controlling?
Meanwhile, friends and family are encouraging a different script: Enjoy singlehood! You’re Free! The torture is over! Let’s celebrate your new found freedom! Move on to the next fish in the sea. He hooked up with someone so quickly after leaving, did he really love you? Make her suffer as much as she made you suffer.
I’d like to propose a new way of thinking about changes in relationships, like divorce. Let’s celebrate what was, and be open to exploring what may be. Can we strive for the story, the structure, the love that makes everyone involved happy and fulfilled in the relationship? Let’s honor each other, open our hearts and minds to loving, compassionate connection, whatever that may look like.
I love this tale of divorce and reconnection to love from Serge Bielanko, a husband and father who discovered the usual script around divorce didn’t apply to him and renewed his love and happiness with the woman he loved all along.
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