When stars fall from grace it hurts everyone who looked up to them. Part of our dreams fall with them.
All the more so if your own marriage has fallen from stardom to dust. You may find yourself at the same crossroad where Brad and Angelina now stand.
The stars seem prepared to do battle with an army of attorneys. They can afford the expense but what about the emotional toll? There is an option to seeking vengeance: to heal and move on, putting the welfare of the children first.
When you awaken to a marriage that has crumbled, the first battle happens inside. Will you give in to the urge to win or provide a more civilized role model to your kids through respectful collaboration?
I work as a mediator with divorcing families. They have taught me that the psychologists are right. You don’t need to like your adversary to rise above the fray and become the role model you want to be for your kids. The high road is a steeper climb – but it offers a wiser path.
Brad and Angelina – and anyone experiencing separation – can benefit from these tips:
1. Let the long term goal of freedom outweigh the immediate impulse for revenge.
2. Don’t give in, but meet your needs peacefully, through negotiation instead of battle.
3. Look at this conflict as an opportunity for personal growth.
4. Challenge your hatred, knowing its best for your kids (and for you in the long run) if your ex is healthy and prosperous.
5. Sit patiently with your pain. Accept it as your teacher, without pushing it away or reacting.
6. Direct your thoughts away from hostility toward compassion for yourself and your kids. Let that guide your heart.
7. Connect with the sides of yourself that are resilient, creative and strong. (Impotent anger won’t help. Motivate yourself toward positive goals.)
ENSURE THAT THE KIDS COME FIRST
8. Change is scary. Reassure them (and yourself) that they have the resources and skills to thrive.
9. When children ask for the impossible, reduce toxicity by directing conversation toward choices that ARE available.
10. Be the adult you want them to become: honest, engaged, sensitive, and able to have fun.