December 13, 2013

Amazing Race “Exes” Come in First Place as Divorce Role Models

Speed BumpMarie and Tim are divorced, but decided to enter CBS’s Amazing Race and spend 24 hours a day together tackling obstacles under constant stress with $1 million on the line.  They ended up in 2nd place and did not win the million, but think about how wonderful it is to see exes working together in a way that gets them all the way to 2nd place in a highly competitive race on reality TV.

In their Race bios they both complained that the other does not listen well and always needs to be right. Tim wrote, “I would like us to be able to communicate what’s best for each other as an ‘us.’”

In the Collaborative Divorce process we begin by asking the couple about their goals for finances, children, housing and their own relationship. Do they want to stay friends? Do they want to stay connected to in-laws? If there are children, do they want to share activities with their re-structured family? Often, divorcing couples will identify the exact same goal Tim identified above.

Collaborative Divorce recognizes that dissolving a marriage does not have to be the same as ending the relationship. Many couples prefer to stay friends. In the Collaborative Process, couples can work with a neutral divorce coach to have honest conversations about their patterns of interaction and communication. It is an opportunity to say, “Yeah, we both want to always be right and neither of us listens very well.”  That kind of frank, open communication can lead to the ability to continue a rewarding relationship and, apparently, even try to win a million dollars together!

Tim and Marie, I wish you had the million. Thank you for showing us that a couple can end their marriage, disagree with each other, have typical relationship conflicts, get frustrated with each other AND stay friends who can work together for a common goal whether it is for themselves, their children or the possibility of a million dollars.

Pat RogersABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pat Rogers
Clinical Director, FamilyMeans

Pat Rogers, LICSW, is a Neutral Coach and a Neutral Child Specialist in Collaborative Divorce who assists couples and their children through the difficult and often painful process of separation or divorce. Pat is a mental health professional who has worked with families for over 30 years and is trained in psychotherapy, child development, family systems, and mediation. She understands the struggles of transitioning to a two home family and of facing new beginnings. She is the clinical director at FamilyMeans; learn more at www.familymeans.org

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