When to Divorce?

Not a pleasant or easy question, not one one wants to entertain lightly.  Among Baby Boomers over the age of 50-60 this question can be a tail-twisting major transition needing expert support.

But that does not assuage the pain in anticipation of the process, the agony in the midst of it, or the natural regret that follows this loss, no matter how ‘liberating’ it may be in other ways.  This is the tearing of fabric that is divorce.  There is no way around it.  It is a the reluctant embracing of a wound in order to heal from a wound.  Each case is differnet, yet there is a sina qua none, an essence to each such split.  The Buddhists call it the pain that ends suffering.

The question is, WHEN?   When to divorce,’ if you will forgive the analogy, is like owning a stock you want to sell whose value is visibily declining.  When is the right time to sell, to let go of a stock that is losing value, but which hope (springing eternal) holds on to in the belief its value will rise again?  So goes the dilemma.  It is the tearing question of divorce, What now, as I choose to leave behind that which used to support me.  How do I provide equitably and well for myself AND others involved?”

Contemplation of breaking what was once a “holy covenant,” as the church calls it, is a question that take us to our core, our core values and our core identification of who we are and what is our purpose.  This is why divorces happen.  The raison d’etre of who we were and what we (thought) were doing when a courtship and a marriage took place have changed, and changed radically.  A root motivation and way that we ‘fell in love with,’ married, and covenanted with our spouse has shifted.   And what is felt is  known intuitively: there is a parting here that is inevitable, an irretrievable loss is coming.

It is to the center of this process of divorce and its psychological center to which I draw our attention.  I see the positive energy of divorce.   Simply, a partnership has been misjudged on the best of intentions.  In 99% of cases what is operating is self preservation, the protection of the individual’s birthright identity, purpose and integrity, each person’s right to grow and develop as creatures called to mature, to evolve, to benefit from Wisdom through grace.    I believe this is the positive core at the center of the question, “when do I seek a divorce?”  How many divorced persons do you know who do not see their split as a necessary pain to reach a more enlightened stage of their own maturity?  Yes, but how focused is the learning out of the split?

In important terms this is what Life Coaching is about.  What doe s it take to face into issues of my life that have been encumbering or thwarting or keeping me stuck, that if faced (and indeed embraced), will lead me into greener pastures?   Stated more positively, “what must I do to fulfill my highest dreams and aspiration BY BEING MY BEST MOST AWARE AND FOCUSED TRUE SELF?  A coached person is one encouraged, clarified, focused, accountable, and operating on strengths, not fears or doubts.   (Whereas divorce may be full of fear and doubts.)

This is why I love to coach people, in crisis of unexpected, unwanted sources, or in the natural transitions through which we all travel as we weave our lives forward.  Coaching ask, “What are my best options in the present to create my best outcomes in the future?” Coaching centers the individual (or team in the corporate setting) both in the present moment by guiding them into their best assessment of what their best current options really are. Coaching is not ‘airy-fairy,” or “woo-woo ,” as modern parlance calls and derides the spiritual aspects of our lives, anything short of  pragmatic hardball choices.  Coaching is pragmatic and about choices but not without looking within to values, or falsehoods, myths, and beliefs – any of which may have served us in the past but now no longer serve us.  Divorce is the painful reminder that people do change, they do evolve, and that there is hope in each divorce.

That is why DIVORCE , and when to contemplate it, is a classic coaching situation.  It recognizes changes and the need to keep changing.  It is not about assigning blame or fault about what  once was love, trust and commitment.  It is about,  “what now?”  It is not about dramas that cause deep upset, or situations that  we just want to “fix.”   It is learing to make choices on a new base, and looking within to ask  consciously what is it here that needs to shift, to change? Coaching is not about wishing.  How do I answer objectively what is right and best when my moorings are all gone?

Lawyers and judges, financial planners and mediators, counselors and therapists can help in their areas of expertise.  But only a certified life coach can  eliminate divorces’ strong tendancy toward self-recrimination while moving one forward in clear actions that solve current problems and train you in new habits to build big benefits in your new life.  CPCs bring the objectivity to plan, prioritize and maintain a balance throughout the disorienting walk on the path of Divorce.   The client gains from the process of looking into outdated, no-longer-working beliefs and replacing them with ones that do.  Coaching can reframe the entire former relationship or divorce in ways that benefit one’s practical present circumstances, and future relationships as well.

Life coaching is about maximizing ones clarity and acting on one’s highest real values (not on anyone else’s) and greatest strengths –  any time one chooses.  Coaching benefits those who realize something in them is called to a greater achievement, a greater fulfillment, and knowing that wishing is not going to make it happen.  Who among us cannot benefit from objectivity and professional support in life when it really matters?  Knowing when to ask for support is wisdom itself.  Thus our humanity is enhanced and our lives improved when to be vulnerable is to be strong.  Invested in wisely, even Divorce can bring out the best in us.


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