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What Is a “Spiritual” Divorce? Do I Want One….?”

April 11, 2013

Spiritual DivorceAt Go Divorce Clinic we began our vision for divorces in Sonoma and Marin County with the notion that a divorce was first and foremost a human event, not simply a legal one.  Many divorcing couples in San Rafael and Santa Rosa come into our offices really wanting more from the divorce process than just the paperwork done right, and for it to be affordable.  Most all divorcing couples these days want the process to have some dignity to it.  They want to be in control of the speed and timing of the dissolution, so that it is not too fast or too slow for them to process the event emotionally.  Often times they want to ease into the initial divorce decision, and insure that both parties have an opportunity to be heard and to feel safe enough to continue, even though the whole thing may be very scary to one or both of them.  More and more people want to find a way to reflect back on the marriage with something other than bitterness and disdain for the other spouse, particularly if there are children between them.  Most interestingly perhaps to me is that many of our divorcing clients want to have a sense that their marriage, though ending now, had some beneficial meaning during its term.  They yearn to feel that the union had some purpose; that their partnership wasn’t all a mistake from the very beginning, that it all had not been a colossal waste of time.

Perhaps guilt and regret play some part in this, but I prefer to honor the needs of these particular clients as a genuine attempt to re-discover the value and beauty that once fired their partnership, so that they can move forward with the dissolution knowing that although not everything lasts forever, it doesn’t have to mean that the marriage itself was ever a mistake or a failure.  People put so much energy and faith into a marriage, and often they produce children out of it.  To come to the end of a marriage and look back on it with bitterness, regret or shame is certainly damaging to the future emotional health of the individuals involved.  The toxic feelings and perceptions that are stirred during a divorce may be even more damaging after the fact than even the very relational rifts that broke them apart irreconcilably as a couple in the first place.

At Go Divorce Clinic we understand the delicate nature of divorce, and the emotional toll and psychological strain it has on those moving through it.  We are not divorce lawyers.  We have a different assignment than family law attorneys.  We are not duty-bound to represent one party over anothers best interest.  We do not help our clients win the war of bitterness; a war where no one really wins in the end.  We provide a safe, compassionate, understanding and supportive environment first and foremost.  We provide information and creative strategies for a mutually beneficial dissolution.  A heart-centered divorce does not mean everyone is going to be happy and joyful in the midst of a marriage ending.  A spiritual divorce does not mean we chant and burn sage and all the sad feelings drift away immediately with the incense.  A heart-centered divorce simply means we prepare a space for all the human aspects of divorce and honor them.  A spiritual divorce means we consider more than ourselves in the process, as we learn that a dissolution requires the same cooperation, the same teamwork, that gives any marriage its mileage during its lifetime.

Today, divorcing couples expect more from divorce services than coming out on top with their divorce lawyers, or dragging on endlessly with a mediator over every little crumb in the estate.  Today’s divorcing couples want dignity throughout the process.  They want to move forward without feeling tethered to a guilt, shame, bitterness or overwhelm that only multiplies through a divorce process that serves lawyers and not the people paying them for help.  It isn’t pollyanna to want to end a marriage with care and respect.  It’s important to people going through a divorce that this critical juncture in their lives be handled right, and it is important to our culture that we learn to heal the ailing business of family law in the United States for ourselves and our children.  Visit us on the web at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com