A Different Kind of Valentine
When people think about divorce, they think about all the ugly parts of human behavior – hate, greed, conflict, domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, financial mismanagement, parenting differences, you name it and it has probably been attributed as either the cause of or a result of divorce.
Yet in my experience, in many ways divorce is really about love – love for oneself in trying to find happiness and hoping that your spouse does too, love for one’s children in wanting to co-parent in the most positive of ways, love for the other spouse as a former partner and friend even if no longer a married couple.
You might ask, how can this be and what does this look like? Here goes:
- The wife who still wants her husband to be her health care proxy, as she trusts him implicitly to do what is best for her and their children even post-divorce if she cannot make medical decisions herself
- The couple who openly state they still love each other but just can’t live together
- Parents of children, who both remarried significant others who also had children, and every year during one of the school breaks, all the parents and children join together at a vacation house for the weekend
- The parent who is happy that their former spouse’s new spouse or significant other treats their child as their own and loves them too, making it easier for the child in both homes and avoiding divided loyalties
- The couple who sold their house and bought homes in the same neighborhood so their kids could easily have access to both parents
- The expression by both parties of a desire to still be “family,” including continuing relationships with extended family
- The couple who, after the judge pronounces them divorced at the divorce hearing, hug right there and then in courtroom
These are all real-life examples I’ve observed of people who got divorced, but for whom love transcended divorce in some way to allow them to be kind to each other, and if they are parents, to provide a loving environment for their children – who says divorce can’t really be about love?