Failure, shame, loss, sadness and bitterness are feelings born of lovelessness. In the turmoil, the great love of yesterday sometimes turns into a 100-year war. Is it possible to separate without hating each other?
Too often in a separation, resentment and anger are the mothers of pettiness and revenge. Yet, in an ideal world, everyone should yearn for a benevolent separation. At least, that's what Katherine Woodward Thomas, the author of the book Separating Without Hating Each Other.
During a separation, strong and contradictory emotions can lead to irrational primitive impulses and push the rejected people to say and/or do things for revenge and with the intention of hurting the other. Which, of course, does no one any good. According to the author, everyone would benefit from applying the principles of benevolent separation, that is to say "a separation or a divorce which is characterized by good will, generosity and immense respect and whose actors endeavor to ensure that the damage to themselves, the other and, where applicable, their children, is the mostlimited,” writes Ms. Woodward Thomas.
Unfortunately, time is not enough to think about the wounds and to induce the climate of benevolence between two ex-spouses. According to author Katherine Wookward Thomas, there are 5 essential steps to take to achieve this.
The 5 stages of benevolent separation
Ideally, ex-partners should initiate the process mutually. However, it is possible to embark on this path alone since a positive and benevolent attitude, even one-sided, can prove to be a win-win situation for all parties, writes the author.
Step 1: Finding Emotional Freedom. That is, “discovering how to live a responsible relationship with your feelings” and begin to heal yourself.
Step 2: Take Back Your Power and Take Charge of Your Life. Essentially, here you will have to "learn to make amends to yourself in a way that will free you from the remnants of resentment and regret." You should also become a "bigger" person than you were before the separation.
Step 3: Breaking the destructive pattern and healing your heart. The main work here is discovering what your love patterns are and letting go of them. It is also essential "to identify the fundamental beliefs that have sabotaged your love life and become aware of the power that is yours".
Step 4: Become an alchemist of love. This step serves to protect the love that has given youreunited and to "state the intention to hold a positive future for you", even separated.
Step 5: Live happily…even afterwards. You must now define the parameters of your new situation, that of separated people. You will also need to “discover wholesome and cooperative ways to care for the children, divide your property, and follow the legal process.”
In her book, the author offers some exercises and reflections to guide the reader. If certain points seem laborious and get lost in more or less relevant examples, the book has the advantage of initiating an interesting and constructive reflection.
Benevolent Separation and Mediation
When a couple in the process of separating chooses mediationto the detriment of the courts, the parties must immediately commit to the path of benevolence. For mediation to work, there is no other solution than to opt for a breach free of malice. According to Me Nadine Marchi, a family law attorney and mediator, 98% of clients who enter mediation avoid court. However, it specifies that, to succeed in mediation, the parties must "compromise, put and think only of the best interests of the children" (if there is a child). This is where the benevolent separation approach comes in.
Separating without hating each other, is it possible? Maybe. In any case, approach the separation in a benevolent way, do notcan only be beneficial. A book to read, if only to approach separation from a positive angle.