Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post’s Divorce section as part of our regular contributions to their site. Keep checking back for more Sudden Bachelor on Huff Post.
July 4 prompted thoughts of whether divorce is a declaration of independence or a form of slavery.
Whether we wanted divorce or not, if we are getting divorced I submit the goal is independence, at least from our ex. I don’t mean excommunication. In the best divorces communication and cooperation are possible or even necessary if you have kids. Even friendship is attainable if exes are willing to swap amity for antagonism. Easier said than done.
And it’s easier said than done for divorce to be a move toward independence rather than an enslaver. As in most things human, the answer in how you slice it. Factors to consider if you have a will to move your experience of divorce toward independence and away from slavery:
• Are you the ‘dumper’ or dumpee? If the former you may indeed be declaring independence and feel liberated. If the latter you may be enslaved by anger and unrequited love. Or legion injustices may have taken place within the marriage which led to the altar of divorce. There’s no easy fix for these imbalances any more than there is an easy fix for relationships where one partner loves more than the other. This is where one of my divorce mantras comes in: therapy! If you’re a thinking feeling human, divorce sucks whether you’re the instigator or an unwitting victim, whether wrongs were done to you or you were the inflictor of them. If you have any money left, get therapy. Once it’s over (see Huffington Post’s It’s Over: Readers Share The Moment They Knew to help identify the end, amazing and scary!) what you need is independence from the marriage and the tangle of emotions surrounding its end. If there ain’t no cure for love, there is a partial cure to love’s end–therapy. That may well include anti-depressant or mood elevating drugs dispensed by a therapist if needed or useful. Fall back on your friends of course. And meaningless sex if available and tolerable. Formulate a goal to be free of the emotional slavery to the end of the marriage, and treat the path to that freedom like you would a task at work or as you would evaluate a long ago war in a history book. Independence is a right and privilege you will have to work hard for, start with therapy. Continue reading