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Although the divorce rate of American couples still hovers between 40 to 50 percent, Psychology Today contributor and author, Wendy Paris takes a constructive look at how both the laws and customs over the past 40 years have eased the implications of divorce for many. As addressed in her 2016 book, "Splitopia: Dispatches from Today’s Good Divorce and How to Part Well," Paris reviews her top seven principles of adopting a positive set of parting principles to steer safely through the divorce process.
Following is a summary of these principles which may assist those currently facing the challenges of divorce:
Principle 1: Commit to Self-Compassion
This composite, actually an idea borrowed from Buddhism, concentrates on confining your problems as universal and not a reflection of a personal failing. The self-help analysis of this concept relies on remaining calm and positive rather than focusing upon the divorce as an overall negative experience.
Principal 2: Take Ownership of the Future and the Past
By embracing the inner power to create your future should include accepting your role in the dissolution of your marriage. By taking ownership, Paris believes that control is within reach and goals may be reached. As divorce often depletes one’s personal power and energy, divorce may actually present as the opportunity to rebuild.
Principle 3: Do Not Confuse Filing with Closure
Although many couples may force the divorce process as a means to reach a false sense of closure, couples should accept the five levels of separation in an effort to be able think clearly during the legal process.
Principle 4: Build a Divorce Toolkit
Paris suggests that just as you would prepare a survival kit for any natural disaster, the same action should be considered when constructing a divorce toolkit. Specific suggestions include, establish new routines, develop contingency plan for emotional moments and name and rely on one named support person.
Principle 5: Combat Anger with Empathy
Anger is bound to manifest at some time during the divorce process but Paris suggests that harboring extensive amounts of anger will only tie you to the past as well as possibly dooming any future relationships. Anger is not power and by relinquishing this negative emotion, it is possible to begin dealing with the hurt under the surface. Through empathy it will become easier to deal with negative feelings and begin focusing upon a brighter future.
Principle 6: Resist the Urge to Compare
It is your divorce and it is your future. Paris urges all soon to be divorcees to remain focused on personal goals and challenges rather than comparing them to other divorcing couples or negative input from family and friends. Although it may sound impossible, divorce can be a time to create your own vision.
Principle 7: Create Positive Moments
Paris believes that all transitions can bring advantageous opportunities. Although divorce can be synonymous with preconceived judgment, the process should not prevent each person from embracing new positive experiences. Happiness post divorce is not just making it throughout the day without negative emotions but the opportunity to seek and establish new positive thoughts and situations.
If you reside in DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall or Will County and are currently preparing your divorce toolkit, the inclusion of an experienced Hinsdale divorce attorney is a survival necessity. To learn more about our legal services, contact our Hinsdale office at 630-920-8855 to schedule an initial consultation today.