By Terri Breer
If you approach your divorce with the mindset that divorce is war, then you will seek to win battles, defend your position, prepare to attack, and stockpile ammunition. Your adversarial mindset may place your children in danger of becoming casualties of your war.
If instead, you adopt a cooperative mindset, your divorce can be a transformative journey, where you look optimistically towards the future, engage in thoughtful decision making and determine your own path. Your children can be your fellow travelers.
The mindset you choose will create and shape your divorce experience. In our current culture too many divorcing couples are influenced by the concept that divorce is destructive like war rather than seeing divorce as a transformative process, a journey where positive change and a bright future are possible. Imagine a divorce process where both parties are fellow travelers who will ultimately follow their own individual paths and choose their vision for the future. Instead of being more concerned about being right and proving the other wrong, of fighting over past transgressions, and plotting mutual assured destruction, couples should explore their options, engage in thoughtful decision making, and focus on the potential to positively transform and grow through the divorce process.
In mediation, the "divorce-as-war" mindset has no place. Instead of a winner and loser, the parties can achieve win-win outcomes. In mediation, couples embark on a cooperative journey where their paths are determined by their own decisions and their destination is the result of collaboration and problem-solving. In mediation, the parties map their paths rather than draw battle lines, they creatively plan their future instead of aggressively planning how they will win their war.
Today’s divorcing couples have a choice to make. They can choose an adversarial mindset and go on the warpath or they can take a transformative journey and create a bright future along the way.
What mindset will you choose?