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.
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.https://lindabkroll.clickfunnels.com/expert-tips1627475784441