How Rare is a Happy Marriage?

How Rare is a Happy Marriage?


Unicorn,” is defined as “a creature of the imagination; a person that exists only in legends or myths or fiction.”

As a therapist, mediator and attorney, I see many unhappy individuals and couples longing for the “happily ever after” they had planned. The ones in the most pain are not sure if they want to stay or go.

To many of my clients, the possibility of experiencing a truly happy marriage seems as remote and impossible as sighting that “imaginary creature represented as a white horse with a long horn growing from its forehead.”

A happy marriage is not a mythical or magical experience. It’s the end result of many acts of two people who truly CARE about each other.

You can appreciate that despite your best efforts, from time-to-time you’re going to trigger each other. Or hurt each other. Or scare, sadden or disappoint the other.

The difference between reality and mythology is that the happy marriage doesn’t miraculously appear. In the real world, you can create a happy marriage by learning a few Compassionate Communication skills — including empathy and forgiveness — and applying them liberally and often to your relationship.

What I have learned over the years is that the difference between a happy and an unhappy marriage is that in the HAPPY one, each partner truly CARES. 

Partners share:

  • C – Compassion for themselves and their partner. Compassion is not codependency. It’s a healthy perspective on your own needs as well as your partner’s. It’s knowing the 5 steps to receive what you truly want and need and practicing the miracle of empathy.
  • A – Acceptance of all the idiosyncrasies that make your partner unique. Acceptance is the ability to love someone for who they are, and not who you need them to be. It is also accepting the humanity and divinity of both of you, knowing we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And marriage can trigger all our human parts.
  • R – Respect for each other’s individuality. Respect is the ability to see the good traits of your partner and honor those. No one is perfect. As Sam Keen said, ” We come to love not by finding a perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
  • E – Empathy for your feelings, desires and needs. Empathy means you listen, understand, and truly care what your partner feels, and they learn to do the same for you. You drop the walls you've built to protect yourself and the filters through which you have judged each other and truly relate from your heart.
  • S – Self love that allows each of you to practice healthy self-care. True self-love is the ability to take exquisite care of yourself, no matter the circumstances. You give yourself the attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance you need. Then you share all that love with your partner.

If you're unclear where your relationship is breaking down in this CARES model, I can help. 

Take my free Relationship Assessment – and find out how to heal and transform your relationship. 

Bottom line: Unicorns don’t exist, but happy marriages do. You can have one — if you try.

And if you do your best, and CARE as much as possible and it's still not meeting your needs, you can have a Compassionate Divorce®, which isn't a Unicorn either. 

Linda Kroll is a therapist, mediator, attorney, Chopra Certified Master Teacher, and author of the bestselling Compassionate Mediation® for Relationships at a Crossroad: How to Add Passion to Your Marriage or Compassion to Your Divorce.  

You can get a free chapter of the book at, or order the book on Amazon. El

There are more free gifts and resources for Compassionate Communication and Compassionate Mediation® at 

Linda's online course on Compassionate Mediation®  is available now. To learn more go HERE.

My Story

My Story

If, after this challenging year and quarantine, you’re not sure what you want to do about your relationship, then this blog post is for you.

Many years ago, I was facing a similar crossroads.

There wasn’t a pandemic, but my world did turn upside down…

I faced the possibility that my twenty-year marriage to my beloved college sweetheart might be headed towards “irreconcilable differences.”

I Wanted to Save My Marriage.

I finally convinced my husband to go to marriage counseling, but the counselor was not very helpful… and our issues persisted.

Perhaps we had each thought about leaving, but we didn’t want to talk about THAT, because we thought the counseling would be over and we would have to find attorneys.

So we didn’t talk about that “elephant in the room.”

And we went back to carrying on and making do and neither one of us was really happy…

After a very long period of parallel living, or loud confrontations, or days of silence, we decided to separate….

I hoped that the distance would help us both realize how much we loved each other and would then fight to rebuild our marriage.

But that wasn’t what happened.

We had not learned how to communicate, so we got further apart.

At first, we went through the motions of co-parenting our two young daughters.

We came up with our own schedule of having them live with me with his seeing them as often as he wanted, and sleepovers at his place when schedules allowed.

We kept our finances joint.

We even did some outings as a family.

Sometimes we looked like an example of a respectful separation…

But deep down, my heart was breaking as I saw our marriage slipping away and my family been torn apart.

I Stayed “Stuck” for Years

Although I was a licensed attorney, nothing prepared me for living a separation.

I went to counseling on my own, and I even became a certified mediator to learn how to navigate the situation.

I thought I was doing a good thing by keeping my family “together” – even though we were living apart…

I thought with time, we could resolve our differences and still find our way back to each other..

I was afraid of being alone, losing our financial security, dating again, and living without the man I had promised to love forever.

I stayed in limbo… not wanting to upset the situation.

I stayed in delusion… thinking that just because we were each dating other people, those relationships could end…

I stayed in denial...not wanting to admit the obvious.

But the distance continued, and we stayed separated until…

We Finally Agreed to Get Divorced.

First I filed, then he filed in a different venue, then we delayed it for years for various reasons, and stayed separated and in the divorcing process for almost a decade!

My sleep and health suffered…

My sleep diminished…

And my smile hid the deep sadness in my heart.

Eventually we started dating other people and leading separate lives.

I then went back to school to get my Masters in Counseling and I become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

It was my third professional degree and the one  that most resonated with my heart.

And I think during all that time, a Part of me was hoping that we could learn a better way to communicate (or wave a Magic Wand) and keep our family intact and grow old together happily.

But that didn’t happen.

He reconnected with a lovely old friend from high school with whom he started living and later became his wife.

I dated in some long term relationships, and a part of me STILL hoped for that fairy tale ending. 

Finally I faced the fact that we were truly getting divorced, and I had to prepare myself as best I could.

I hired an attorney, and so did he.

He eventually hired three different attorneys … and we spent years in and out of court.

Our legal bills mounted.

Our communication deteriorated,

And the devastation of the typical adversarial divorce process was affecting our children, our families and our friends.

But the road we were on felt like it was leading to disaster – financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

One day, as we were sitting in the courtroom while our attorneys were back in the judge’s office discussing our futures (without us present), I knew there had to be a better way.

There HAD to be a better way to get divorced!

Shortly after that I met Dick Schwartz when he was first sharing Internal Family Systems

…. and what it meant to be “in SELF.”

And my process of Compassionate Mediation® was created.

Compassionate Mediation was merging all my degrees – as a therapist, mediator and attorney,… and later a Chopra -certifide teacher of meditation, yoga and Ayurveda…

and helping my individual and couples clients to add passion to their marriage or compassion to their divorce.

And for the next 30 years, I helped thousands of individuals and couples to heal and transform their relationships – no matter what form it took in the future.

I offered them the emotional and spiritual healing and legal and financial information and support that I had wished someone could have given me.

However, just because I created the process, it didn’t mean my estranged husband believed in it.

So I had to practice it alone….and it still helped our situation to eventually resolve in the highest good for all concerned…

I wrote a Prayer the night before the date of our final dissolution, and I gave it to my soon-to-be ex-husband and our lawyers..

And even though our marriage finally ended with as much SELF-leadership as possible…

It was still ten years later…

Hundreds of thousands of fees…

And deep wounds on both sides.

I Want to Help You
Avoid the Pain My Family Suffered

The night before I was to be in court to finalize my divorce after a very long separation, I was moved to convert my sadness, hurt and anger into hope for a new beginning.

I wrote a prayer.

When I arrived at the courtroom, I gave a copy to my formerly beloved (and soon to be ex) husband and to his attorney. I hoped to end our marriage in a way that would set the tone for a peaceful and respectful co-creation of our future restructured family.

I wanted us to always be able to Compassionately Communicate — to connect our highest and best SELF, let go of all the limiting (and judgmental) beliefs we held, unburden pain from the past, and relate from our hearts.

I hoped we could protect our children from the shrapnel of any more animosity or conflict.

I offered it as my prayer, and for some, it can be an intention. It was my heartfelt request for a future of respectful co-parenting, genuine friendship and Compassionate Communication.

I hope others can set the same intention or recite the same prayer.

My Prayer for a Peaceful Parting               

I pray for a peaceful and respectful settlement meeting, in which all parties come together from their Highest Selves and their truest connection to Your guidance, wisdom and love.

I pray that the parts of ourselves that are angry, fearful, defensive, revengeful, retributive, punitive, unloving, unforgiving, sad, young, abandoned, resentful, negative, hurting and hurtful – that all these parts be quelled with the leadership of the Self, coming from a place of trust in Your presence and light.

I pray for compassion, forgiveness, gratitude and appreciation. Although our marriage has come down to a business closing of money and asset division, I ask that we remember the love that brought us together, and the wonderful children, which our union has borne. For their sakes as well as our own, we wish to put an end to this process in as respectful and loving a way as possible.

Although we each carry our sadness and pain and mutual regrets, I pray that we can look beyond this difficult period to a time when we can be friends and coexist peacefully. I pray that our once intact family can be rearranged to two intact and loving homes, where our children feel connected and comfortable. I pray that we can hold in a different light the love that once joined us forever; that on the deepest level we wish each other well as we let go and let G-d direct our lives.

For the sake of all we once had, and for all we had planned to share together, let us now finalize the terms of our marital dissolution so that we are both free to get on with our lives.

         Let us complete this last painful task with a sense of trust in the love we once shared and hopefully can remember after this part is over.

         Let us not work from purely simple and self-serving motives, but keep in mind the general welfare of each of us, and our children.

         Let us request our attorneys to contribute what is needed for the mutual benefit of all concerned.

In the end, let us know that we behaved civilly, that we can look back with a clear conscience, and that as much as we could, we came from our hearts.  G-d bless us and direct us all.  Amen.

His lawyer looked it over, and jokingly asked him, “Are there any changes you want to make in this document?”

We all laughed —sometimes through our tears – which is kind of like life

Even in the heartache, there can come healing and hope.

You can begin to make changes in your relationship today with my FREE RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT.

If you would like to heal and transform your relationship, Please click here to get a FREE CHAPTER of my award-winning book, Compassionate Mediation®:How to Add Passion to Your Marriage or Compassion to Your Divorce.

If you or someone you know is looking at a separation or divorce,  please remember that 

Together, we can help change the face of divorce – one heart at a time.

My next online program on Compassionate Mediation starts soon. Please join me and let the healing begin!

For a copy of the Settlement Prayer or Settlement Intention, please sign up for Messenger HERE:

Families need not be “broken,” but can be peacefully and respectfully “re-structured.”

As a therapist, mediator, attorney, and author, I help others avoid the pain that my family suffered.

My transformational processes of Compassionate Mediation® and SELF-Led Divorce® bring peaceful resolution instead of heartbreak.

If you’re a professional – therapist, mediator, attorney, coach or counselor –you can learn how to offer these processes to your clients at by getting a FREE ROADMAP and VIDEO here.



I am happy to announce that I am starting a certification program for therapists and coaches, and also mediators, attorneys, clergy, counselors, to help people communicate better and to resolve their differences.

 Over 30 years ago, I combined my degrees in therapy, mediation and law.

I've taken courses at the Chopra center. I'm a meditation teacher, yoga teacher and Aryuveda teacher. 

I combine the psychological and spiritual, the legal and financial information that I want to give to you so that you can give it to your clients.

Together we can help change the face of divorce and conflict in general, one heart at a time. 

 I'd love to give you the benefit of my 35 years of degrees and experience to let you take this process of Compassionate Mediation, wherever you are in the world and use it to help your clients.

 So please, you can check out that page, Linda and get all the details.

And if you're a therapist or a coach, you can get up to 40 hours of continuing education credits.

My course is approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors and by the International Coach Federation. 

Please let me share all I've attained over the last 35 years and give it to you and let me If you have any questions, if you want to talk to me personally and find out if it's a fit

I have the benefit of all of my scripts, templates, outlines, handouts contracts, and I'd like to share it with you. So please join me in the certification process. 

Wouldn't it be nice if families could be peacefully and respectfully restructured,

 I want to offer you the skill set that I've developed based on ifs therapy, based on higher consciousness, which includes the psychological and spiritual healing along with emotional and financial and legal support.

Do you ever wish you had tools for your couples in conflict?

 I know there've been times when I was starting out. I used to watch my counseling sessions get hijacked by an angry participant. And until I learned how to practice the skills I want to share with you, I would often not know how to handle that angry participant, but with Compassionate Mediation, you help people connect with empathy and get to the pain and sadness underneath so that the anger dissipates. 

Compassionate Mediation also helps you serve more clients because you become an expert in the field of conflict resolution. You offer a deeper healing and transformation and you have a unique skillset. 

If your clients are considering a divorce, you know the information to share with them.

It doesn't mean you have to be a lawyer or a mediator. It means you have to know enough to talk about the issues that they need to resolve to move forward.

There are many times when people are in individual counseling or couples counseling and one, or both have thought about what would a divorce look like. 

But they don't even want to talk about it because they're scared if they do it makes it too real. 

Compassionate Mediation lets you talk about everything, including what a possible ending would look like so that they can create a new beginning.

Find out more, and I look forward to staying connected.

Compassionate Mediation® Roadmap for a Better Relationship

Compassionate Mediation® Roadmap for a Better Relationship

You can begin a better relationship now by following these steps:

Be Your Best SELF

  • I hope the story of your relationship is one that you enjoy sharing. If not, it’s time to create a new story, where you are the empowered hero, not a victim.
  • Often, looking at the half-full parts of your relationship will help change your vantage point and allow for more intimate connections.
  • When you learn how to bring your best SELF to your relationship now, you’ll see old patterns and habits change for the better.
  • You can understand the conflicting feelings you may sometimes have, you also can recognize how your family of origin has affected your perspective.

Communicate Compassionately

  • The more you reduce your stress by taking better care of yourself, the more positive energy you will have to share with others.
  • Set your intentions for the future you want, and then put your attention on watching the Universe support your goals.
  • You’ll become more receptive, when you remember what it is you truly want, know you deserve it, ask for what you need, be willing to receive, and stay grateful.
  • Empathy helps you communicate with “I messages” where you share your feelings (not your judgments), and relate from your heart.

Explore Your Options

  • When you decide what you truly want — instead of focusing on what you don’t want — you’ll be able to talk about everything.
  • You don’t need to feel “stuck” in a situation that you want to change.
  • As you become more of an empowered partner, you’ll make confident and clear decisions for future.

Understand Your Finances

  • As you feel more informed, you can decide how you want to proceed with current and future choices.
  • If you think a separation or divorce is a possibility, find a good mediator and attorney, but first go back and be your best SELF and create a compassionate relationship with your partner now.

Plan for your future.

  • As you bring your best SELF into a new and better compassionate relationship, miracles can happen.
  • Take your time to explore your options, feel your feelings, and share all that you can with your partner to improve your relationship.

I’m here to help in any way I can.

You can contact me HERE.

Get a FREE CHAPTER of my award-winning book: Compassionate® Mediation for Relationships at a Crossroads: How to Add Passion to Your Marriage or Compassion to Your Divorce, CLICK HERE.

To order my book on Compassionate Mediation, click HERE.

To order my Kindle book on Compassionate Divorce™: Changing the Face of Divorce, One Heart at a Time, click HERE.


Compassionate Mediation® Book

Compassionate Mediation® Book

For over 20 years, as a therapist, mediator and attorney, I have worked with thousands of individuals and couples who want to improve (or leave) their relationships. My heart goes out to each one of them. Often, I wish I had been able to help them years before our first visit, because they could have avoided the pain, anger or sadness that had affected their lives.

I can only see a limited number of clients in person each week, and my hope is to reach people everywhere with a message of self love, hope, possibility and happiness.

My goal in creating this course is to share what I have been doing for decades so that people all over the world could learn the skills of Compassionate Communication. You can learn how to heal the pain from your past, let go of limiting beliefs, connect to your spiritual source and relate from your highest and best SELF.

It’s no secret that half of all first marriages end in divorce. But it may be surprising to learn that the failure rates for second and third failed marriages get even worse: 67 and 73 percent, respectively, according to a 2012 article in Psychology Today, “The High Failure Rate of Second and Third Marriages.”

But what about the statistics on married people who are “thinking” about divorce?

Researchers estimate that 1 in 3 divorced couples try to reconcile later, according to a paper written by a noted marriage scholar and therapist. Also, a significant number of divorced individuals—about half—say they wished they or their spouse had tried harder to save the marriage.

In other words, divorce is all too common, and there’s a lot of regret out there. It’s these people—the ones at a crossroads of their marriage—that represent the primary market for this book, as well as those struggling with challenges in their marriage and seeking to make their union healthier, richer, deeper. 

Compassionate Mediation for Relationships at a Crossroads will show you how to become more conscious of your own behaviors as you better understand yourself and your partner, and create something new, together.

I’ll share with you the secrets to becoming more empathetic and considerate. You’ll finally be able to talk about every subject with clarity and courage, including finances, parenting, responsibilities, extended family, and sex. You’ll learn how to ask for and get your needs met as you lower your “walls,” change the “filters” through which you see yourself and your partner, and forgive yourself and each other. You’ll remember how to be grateful again for what you do have, and learn how to reflect the attention, affection, appreciation, and acceptance you both desire.

The world needs to be a safer place for marriage and divorce. Children should be shielded from the shrapnel of their parents’ animosity. This book will offer a new paradigm for couples at a crossroads. I believe that families need not be “broken,” but can be peacefully, and respectfully, restructured.

This book will give individuals and couples the roadmap they need—whether they choose to put passion into saving their marriage, or compassion into getting a divorce. As a therapist, mediator, attorney, and Chopra-certified Vedic Master, I’ve successfully applied this approach to thousands of couples in my twenty years of private practice.

Couples no longer have to spend years “on the fence” in an unhappy, dysfunctional relationship. Through this book, readers will learn how to set healthy boundaries, as well as how to ask for what they truly want and need (even if it means they can only give it to themselves!) Compassionate Mediation is about helping couples get “unstuck” and clearer so they can move forward—whether that means reviving their marriage and starting anew—or ending the relationship with compassion for both their sakes.

In-between the weeping, beauty abounds: my story

I once was where you are now, and it’s a painful, lonely place. I discussed my situation with friends, family members, and loved ones, but in the end, no one could make the decision for me. There were moments when I was clear and determined, but more often, I was trapped in a state of limbo, unable to leave but unhappy in the marriage. Because I’ve experienced divorce firsthand, I have much to share about what to do—and what NOT to do.

For years, I asked myself, “Should I stay or should I go?”

In the decade it took me to finally decide, I had spun my indecision, vacillation, and heartache into gold—the kind of gold you can only mine from experience. I took the pain of my own failings and missteps, and turned them into lessons learned and methods developed that are now helping others succeed.

As I struggled with my own marriage and emotions, I returned to school to study psychotherapy, earning my second graduate degree and becoming a licensed clinical professional counselor, as well as a mediator and attorney. Surely, I thought, as a lawyer, mediator, and therapist, I could get us through our divorce as smoothly and painlessly as possible. But trying to mediate your own divorce is like trying to deliver your own baby. Sure, it may be remotely possible, but ultimately, it’s way too difficult. I tried to make our divorce “picture perfect,” until I realized: codependence isn’t the same thing as compassion, and that yes, LOVE is the answer, but it starts with loving your SELF.

During my journey of self-discovery and healing, I became the oldest Vedic Master trained by Deepak Chopra, David Simon, and Davidji at the Chopra Center University (the trifecta of certifications). I used to say I got my Medicare card in May and my Vedic Master card in June.

I’ve always believed that our struggles are part of our dharma or purpose. We can only offer wisdom to others by healing ourselves. I’ve learned through the years that being open and vulnerable with others, that sharing from the heart is more powerful medicine than ten degrees or theories. Hard-earned wisdom has finally surpassed my education, and I want to share it all.

It’s the mistakes I made along the way that may help you the most.

This book will lead you through the steps you need to take so you can resolve your issues for the highest good of all concerned. Love is the answer, and it starts with loving your SELF.

Through the art of Compassionate Mediation, you’ll learn how to heal burdens from your past, let go of limiting beliefs, connect to your Spiritual Source, and relate from your highest and best SELF.

So instead of asking the question “Should I stay or should I go?” you’ll now consider, “How can I bring my best SELF to this relationship and transform it from the inside out?”

Tools for Your Practice Now

Tools for Your Practice Now

I am so thrilled and honored by the response I got from the IFS community about my Compassionate Mediation® Tools for Your Practice Now.

I'd really like to share with you the process that I've used for many years to help individuals and couples resolve conflict from their highest and best SELF.

You can get the Roadmap here (, and I also want to share with you some of the other tools of Compassionate Mediation — the genogram, the 5 Steps to Get What You Want and Need, the budget form, the Miracle of Empathy, talking with your children, and many more.

Those are all in Compassionate Mediation Tools for Your Practice Now Course that I'm offering now. I'd love to have you join me.

It's an IFS-based program that incorporates self-leadership into conflict resolution.

And with all that's going on in the world right now —  with all the relationships that are being strained from either too much togetherness or too much separation, we can use these tools and impact our current clients and any future clients and teach them a new way to communicate.

Thank you so much for checking out Compassionate Mediation.

I look forward to sharing all that I can with you and having you use the tools that I've used for many years to make a difference in many people's lives. 

Thanks again, and I'll talk to you soon. Bye for now.

Please CLICK HERE to learn more about my upcoming Compassionate Mediation® Tools for Your Practice course
to help you increase your expertise, impact, and income
as you help your clients to add passion to their marriage or compassion to their divorce.

"I’ve experienced significant improvements in my relationship with my husband and children."


"I learned there could be a Compassionate Divorce."


“We’re building an entirely new marriage.”


“Linda guided us mindfully through the impact of divorce."


“I came to Linda seeking mediated divorce documents and came out with nothing but peace and hope."


“I am breaking free from destructive patterns.”


“Linda helped me love all ‘Parts’ of my SELF!”


“With Linda’s caring guidance, I moved forward with peace and strength.”


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