“Everyone has a book in them.” Do you? Well, I have for more than 30 years. My parents divorced when I was a young child. If you would’ve asked me before my mid-20s, I could’ve convinced you that having divorced parents was THE BEST! I thought people were probably secretly envious of me because it was so GREAT to have divorced parents. You get individual time with each of them, they get along well, and you get twice the fun!
Little did I know, divorce was not ideal. My parents did it so well, they had me fooled. I asked them how they did it, what was their secret strategy. They agreed to be a united front and to disagree behind the scenes. And, they did disagree often, they just didn’t let me know or see it. They also agreed to not speak poorly of each other in front of me. Indeed, that provided a healthy, strong foundation of a crumbled, broken home. I always said I wanted to write the book, “How to Divorce Well” based on my parents’ example.
Fast forward 30 years and my own 20-year marriage ended suddenly. I found myself looking back at what my parents had done, but in complete disbelief of how hard it was to be nice, to disagree behind the scenes, and to show a united front to the kids. My parents became more heroic in my eyes, as I found myself feeling like a complete failure, incompetent, scared, and vulnerable. I quickly realized it’s much easier to watch someone else do something hard than to do it myself.
I started doing what I remembered my parents did, and resisted doing what was easiest — getting angry, venting to people to share my side, or simply running away. Don’t get me wrong. Many days I did do all of those things, cuss and scream my brains out and worse. But as I did, I wrote honest notes of what worked and what didn’t. As psychologist, television personality and author Dr. Phil McGraw says, “So, how’s that workin’ for ya?” I also asked other divorced friends what’s worked and what hasn’t for them. Our stories are in the pages ahead.
Learn from our mistakes and learn what we’ve done well. My desire is for you to start 10 steps ahead of us. We’ve made it to the other side of divorce. The following pages are filled with the 12 keys to survive divorce and building a new
life worth living. YOU CAN DO IT. I’m with you all the way. Let’s do this