One of my greatest joys is helping people. Recently, I have had the distinct pleasure of helping two young ladies. They both were married, one for 12 years. Now I am not a phsycologist or any kind of practicing medical or clinician. I am only me and I take pride in the fact that I can help people through the words that I am able to scribe.
I really don’t know why two people who are madly in love with each other, make life plans to get married, have children, and then throw it all away and end it all with the horrific act of divorce. Divorce eats at the very soul of those that were intended to be together through love. How does one “Fall out of Love” exactly?
In the magazine “Phycology Today” an article Published on April 30, 2013 by Susan Heitler, Ph.D. in Resolution, Not Conflict states that “falling out of love” is now the most commonly cited cause of the choice to forego trying to save a marriage and instead to seek a divorce. Can you believe that this falling out of love has surpassed the former #1 reason of “having an affair” as the reason for getting a divorce.
Maybe the term “growing apart” and “falling out of love” should be used synonymously. What ever the term, divorce is the result 90% of the time. There are those that are able to patch things and continue to carry on but it is far and few between.
Going through a divorce has to be very tramatic. Knowing that your former life partner is now not. I can only relate as a product of divorce. I was raised by my mother and step father. I wouldn’t exactly say that my step father was an ideal father figure but he kept a roof over my head and food on the table. For me, it wasn’t exactly like we were the cleavers. I know that child sharing is not good for the children. To go to a house that you rarely know, to a father you haven’t seen since last summer. It is just weird. Furthermore, the father then acts like your best friend and not your father.
What does this actually have to do with attitude and for that matter having a positive attitude? Divorce is full of attitude, emotions and feelings. Usually bad. Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT expresses that an attitude can be open or closed. An open attitude is consistent with having an approach to the separation process. A closed attitude is consistent with a mind-set or maintaining a position. Shifting from a closed attitude, which does afford one a sense of protective cover, to an open attitude, which creates opportunity for resolution, requires a conscious decision to make a change and commitment to carry out the change. The latter being more positive than the former. Being open to the change, accepting the fact that you are now single and going to raise the children alone is a strong step forward. Having a positive outlook about your new found life will better help you get through. A friend of mine, Mack Story recently published his first book. In it he gives us 4 levels of responsibility with the greatest being to Accept Responsibility. We have fully accepted responsibility for ourselves no matter the circumstances. We understand this is where all of our personal growth happens, and this is how we solve all of our problems. I told the two young ladies in this story to Just let it go! You can’t do anything about the past but you can move on with a brand new positive outlook! We must constantly do the work in level 3, Accept Responsibility in order to create the life we want instead of accepting the life we’ve been given. Forget how you feel, and become aware and responsible for yourself, moving forward in action as action produces results.
Stephen Covey in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” says you have to have an “inside-out” approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Inside-out means to start first with self; even more fundamentally, to start with the most inside part of self – with your paradigms, your character, and your motives. If you want a happy marriage, be the kind of person who generates positive energy and sidesteps negative energy rather than empowering it. If you want to have a more pleasant, cooperative teenager, be a more understanding, empathetic, consistent, loving parent. If you want to have more freedom, more latitude in your job, be a more responsible, a more helpful, a more contributing employee. If you want to be trusted, be trustworthy. If you want the secondary greatness of recognized talent, focus on primary greatness of character.
Your life needs to be a continuous process of growth and progress. Forget how you feel and learn and grow to the next level of your greatness. Have small private victories than will precede public victories.