What is a Successful Divorce?
By: Cristin Lowe
Divorce, by its nature, is messy. You’re dividing in half what was once a unit. There is nothing fair or easy about the process. Yet I have dealt with hundreds of individuals who have managed to navigate this difficult process successfully.
So what exactly is a successful divorce? It’s certainly not getting everything you want, because that simply doesn’t happen. After all, you never wanted to divide the pots and pans or move out of your home.
My personal and completely arbitrary definition of a successful divorce is relatively simple. To me, it means ending an unhappy relationship in a way that allows the two individuals to re-enter the world as functioning, independent adults who are ready to move forward with their lives and are eager to see what is next in the adventure called life.
Unfortunately, although I help many couples achieve these results, I see a good number who fail miserably. Why not? Well, let’s break down my definition:
“Ending an unhappy relationship.” Interestingly enough, many divorced couples never end their unhappy relationship. Instead, they just find new ways to interact destructively with each other. Even though their relationship is legally over, they can’t help but continue to engage the other. Sadly enough, often times these people end up using their children as pawns in their ongoing dysfunctional dynamic.
“Two individuals to re-enter the world as functioning, independent adults.” One of my main goals in handling divorces for my clients is making sure that they exit the case with the financial, material, and psychological means to succeed with their new lives. Whether it’s figuring out an investment plan for financial security or developing an educational plan for independence and self-esteem, it is absolutely critical for divorcing people to realize that their divorce judgment is only the start of a new chapter. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the litigation and forget that the end is just the beginning.
“Ready to move forward with their lives.” Some people get stuck in a very negative mindset of the grass being greener. With the passage of time, you may fall victim to a short memory and think that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. The reality is that you got divorced for a reason, and probably several of them. It’s time to move on.