As I've researched the causes and effects of Everlasting Divorce, I came upon what seemed like the perfect de-coupling process: Conscious Uncoupling. Coined by Katherine Woodward Thomas, Conscious Uncoupling seems the antithesis of all we've learned about the messiness and sadness of divorce. Using CU, people can detach peacefully, mindfully, and with their respect for themselves and their ex-partner intact.
According to Thomas's article in Mind Body Green, "The goal of a conscious uncoupling is not necessarily the restoration of justice, the attainment of restitution, or the vindication of being right. The goal of a conscious uncoupling is simply to be free. And there is no more powerful action to turn a difficult situation in a harmonious direction than a generous gesture of authentic loving-kindness."
I realized after reading this that breaking-up couples all really have one big thing in common -- they have made a decision to have a self-defined FREEDOM. Maybe it's freedom from an abusive situation, freedom from pre-defined roles, freedom from imbalance, freedom from financial co-ownership, or even a spiritual freedom.
Where some couples get stuck, though, is in the other three things Thomas mentions:
1) Restoration of justice
2) Attainment of restitution
3) Vindication of being right
That's where couples who are experiencing the Everlasting Divorce are different from those that can uncouple with more ease.
High-conflict post-divorce couples have at least one person who wants justice, restitution, or vindication. At least one person feels wounded so deeply that, without those three things (sometimes just one, but mostly all three), they cannot move on.
Why would someone feel like that? It seems like it would be easier to just turn around and say, "Forget it". But, if you're someone whose life has been upended by your intimate partner having affairs, mismanaging money, blaming you, gaslighting you and friends, and/or interfering with your parenting relationship, you're probably really angry. Like, down to your soul angry.
Turning the other cheek may feel like you're slapping your own face. Walking away may feel like you're leaving a whole bundle of your best integrity on your ex's front yard.
Like couples who decide to "consciously" uncouple, individuals in an Everlasting Divorce have choices. Those choices can include finding ways to hold onto hope for justice, restitution, and vindication. Those choices can also include investing in one's own self to find healing and an ability to reframe "dumping your integrity" into "creating new authenticity".
If you have questions about where you are in the process of post-divorcing your ex, please feel free to call or email me. I can be reached at 612-888-2522 most weekdays and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, you can find out more information at www.touchingtrees.com.
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