How To Have a Healthy Divorce and Who Can Help
One of the biggest factors in divorce is communication. There is an idea, a concept, or expectations that two individuals have of one another and unfortunately these are not communicated to one another. When we have two people who are engaging in a marriage or the dissolution of it without talking with one another as to what their hopes, needs, and wants are, it stems from a multitude of things. It could be expectations placed upon them by other family members, by the demographic they live in, or socioeconomic expectations.
What is important for you, what is important for your partner, where you need to go - all the decision-making with people in divorce has a significant effect.
Divorce Emotional Help
Divorce is “good people in a bad place” most of the time and people need someone to hold them up afloat and help them get where they need to go. Depending on the situation, it can be a very traumatic event. If there is an individual or two individuals who are experiencing that, they need to process it. Also, people going through divorce are very fragile. They need support and they need to know that they are safe and they can go through it.
What does a family mediator do?
Mediators help people walk through why the relationship happened, and what happened that made it go wrong. The healthiest way is to help people move to the next level. Their goal is always ultimately the ending of the relationship but if they have children, their goal is also to maintain a different level of relationship. A relationship where they can work together with their kids, they can attend marriages, and birthdays, and be in the same room with each other without angst around them. Ultimately their goal is not just to end the financial and the superficial ties but to work through all of the other things that also need attention.
It's about understanding them as human beings, understanding that they have entered the marriage with the best of intentions, and understanding they don't have to end in acrimony.
It’s about making them understand that they can move on and they can recognize that “we are two healthy beings and it didn't work but now we can go on and do something different and we can be civil with each other”.
It is also very important to discuss the personal narrative or the justification for what's going on and why it's going on.
As much as possible, mediators will try to remove guilt, shame, and blame from the discussion with regard to separation. It is very natural for relationships to end and parties should not feel the additional emotional burden or social stigma that too often is placed in these situations.
Divorce Mediation Services and Co-coaching Services
Mediation and co-coaching services aim to keep the legalities as far away as possible from the conversation and really get to the heart of what the two individuals want.
Inevitably if they have children, they have to co-parent. A massive part of these services allows the parties to reframe one another in a new perspective and in a new light. Sessions are provided to give them the opportunity to define what that role looks like as the co-parent.
When One Party Does Not Want To Cooperate
Naturally, parties feel very tense and very guarded and sometimes, one party is not willing to work things out in a civilized manner, then mediators will introduce caucusing.
Caucusing is a method where mediators work with the parties one-on-one.
If that still doesn't work, mediators will walk them through with what is the alternative. The alternative is they will go before a judicial officer and they will spend more money on attorney’s fees.
The thing is, once parties are able to express why they are still unloading the process, it's because they feel wronged. The simple act of active listening will make a difference because for many, they've never been heard either in the process of their divorce or for some in the process of their marriage and this is the first time they are getting an opportunity to present what's going on.
Mediators will discuss the pros and cons of working things out in mediation as opposed to going to court. They will run through the timeline, the numbers, the stress factors, and everything else.
In addition, sometimes the beginning of mediation is to determine if it is really a divorce a married couple needs or will counseling help and save the marriage. Before starting the divorce mediation, if they don't have lawyers, mediators will make sure that they know where they are.
Functional Medicine and Divorce
We have our typical allopathic western medicine where when something hurts, you get surgery or a pill. Functional Medicine on the other hand is pulling the lens back on the particular person and examining the full breadth of their entire life story. It tries to get to the root cause of the symptoms that people are presenting.
When we continue to lay down ego and pride, allow the beautiful refining work of God, and when children are born from marriage, we have this grand opportunity to witness the sanctification process. Tragically, that is not the case for more than half of the people on the planet. The divorce rate is still high inside and outside the church community which is heartbreaking.
As we navigate into the modern-day culture, the current narrative is if it is hard, it is not worth doing. That is one of the most destructive messages that we could possibly communicate to our youth. If something is hard, you ought to pivot and do something else because it is inside the challenge and hardship that we are refined and shaped. We lose the selfish bits of ourselves and we become more selfless.
How A Functional Health Coach Can Help
Learn More: Learn About Functional Health Coaching
When a client is agreeable, a functional medicine coach can integrate spirituality into the process. Marriage is considered to be the holiest relationship on the planet and inside that relationship is where we have the potential to be refined into the most beautiful version of ourselves.
Inside the family unit is ideally a training ground to be launched into society as a selfless person looking for grand opportunities to help others, to give your love, your talents, your gifts. When we are not raised in a home environment that trains children to go out into the world not with a self-focus but within others-focus, the society begins to unravel. People walk away from things that are hard.
Very often, people are under circumstances where divorce is the only option. However, the reason that they are in those circumstances is because the parents before them did not create that home environment that trained them to be well-contributing members of society.
Diseases manifest most often as a result of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Divorce is one of the top traumas that a person can experience most especially a child. When a child experiences a divorce whether amicable or not it still is a great trauma that informs their autonomic nervous system to be on high alert. Children perceive that they are unsafe and disease ensues if that trauma is not brought to a healthy conclusion.
This is how another person is launched into society from another broken home with a broken idea of what it is to be human. Men typically bring out their anger outward and perpetuate violence and abuse while women tend to turn their anger inward. With that, women can suffer horrific autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia because anger has to go somewhere.
Society's ills have their roots in dysfunctional homes and dysfunctional homes have their roots in straying away from the precepts of God. He told us exactly how to live if we want to live with joy, purpose, and meaning but as we drift away from that one grand truth, we navigate a hostile and volatile world with a very limited toolbox. Unfortunately, it brings diseases of all kinds in the body, in relationships, and out into the world.
Functional Medicine coaches help to equip parents and help them understand that they alone have the potential to stop generational cursing and can hold back the tide of past generations that were broken. Parents can live a different way and can create a home that is different from their home when they were a child.
- It's important that a healthy choice is always at the bottom of whether you are going into a marriage or not. When you're getting out, always make the healthiest possible choices because if you do, it is only going to get better. Always try to think about your healthiest possible alternatives and options.
- Communicate and talk. Have a conversation. There's already enough pressure and enough narrative from third parties or outside sources that would tell you what to do or what not to do or how to feel or how to think or how to go about something that is very personal to your life. The only opinions that matter in this particular situation are yours and your partner. If there is something to be discussed, talk about it. Inevitably it will be discussed but better to begin the conversation in a healthy organic manner if you can. If that is not an option, before going to drastic measures such as filing a lawsuit or going to court, see what other services are out there. Take a look around at local community resources but more importantly go back to the basics with communication and try if you can to diminish the expectations.
- No matter where you are in the process it's never too late to grow. It's never too late to pivot and to interact in a new way, to behave in a new way, to experience a certain person or relationship in a new way. Healing is always available and love is the strongest force on the planet and all you have to do is give it away.
Meet the Panelists
Tracy Spiaggia of Slingshot Health Coaching
Tracy is a functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner and brain health specialist working with individuals and families struggling with myriad health issues. The focus she takes with all of her clients is the restoration of the relationships inside the family unit, understanding and appreciating that all health - individual, familial, relational, societal originates from home.
Derek is a certified mediator in family law and has done high-conflict mediation for over a decade. Currently, he teaches co-parenting classes in Boise, Idaho specifically for parents who are going through separation or custody proceedings with minor children. He helps them in learning how to improve their communication skills to weed out any kind of habits they may have picked up during their proceeding and to try to make the process as smooth as possible for both them and their children involved.
Janet has been a family mediator for many years and she did it with a partner Mark, a psychiatric social worker. Janet learned a lot from Mark about what goes on with people when they go through a divorce. She has been a full-time mediator both in civil and in family court. Janet has an aversion to divorce and conflict and from her perspective, she was able to help people as they go through it.