It was Mother’s Day weekend. My daughter went into labor about 3:00 a.m. on Friday. Because the baby was in breech position and couldn’t be turned, it would be a Cesarean birth. It was a privilege to be there.
The next day I went to the hospital and our emotional “high” of joy and relief continued. It’s rare to experience such intense feelings, and it gave me a deep insight. A couple’s intimate relationship is so intense, it’s no wonder that if that relationship turns sour, negative emotions can be equally intense. (And yes, I said a prayer that there would be no reason for divorce in this family.)
I’ve thought about this experience and insight often. All professionals who work with divorcing/separating couples are challenged by how to help them transition to a positive yet less intense relationship.
The most straight-forward metaphor I’ve found was in a book called Beyond Love and Hate: A Guide to Civilized Divorce (now updated and published as The Healthy Divorce–Keys to Ending Your Marriage While Preserving Your Emotional Well-Being), by Lois Gold, M.S.W. Ms. Gold is a mediator and past president of the Academy of Family Mediators. Her book was a little hard on lawyers, but this was before anyone except for a few attorneys in Minnesota had heard of Collaborative Law.
Nevertheless I gave and still give this book to many clients, specifically for its advice about changing the relationship from an intimate one to that of business colleagues, whose business is co-parenting. The concept is easy to understand; we all know we have to get along with colleagues or co-workers, whether we like them or not, and so we work cooperatively with them, treating them with respect and keeping good boundaries, and since our personal feelings are irrelevant, we we try to keep any negative ones unexpressed.Tagged with: birth • Collaborative Divorce • collaborative divorce metaphor • Collaborative Family Law • Collaborative Law • collaborative law options • colleagues • grandchild • healthy divorce