In 31 days my husband and I will be mediating our divorce. The idea is that we (with our lawyers) spend one day coming to agreement on all of the terms of our divorce.
My husband and I are mostly amicable and we've done some things right. We hired lawyers who get along and want to help us stay out of court. We hired a mediator who will help us come to agreement and will make the final call if we are unable to agree. We separated our child custody arrangements from the coming to agreement on the finances. We mostly co-parent well and haven't thrashed each other in front of the kids.
And while all that is positive - there are reasons we are getting divorced. Our public answer to the kids and others is that we were having trouble getting along. It's a great answer, in that for most people, it's enough. Most people aren't going to ask you what that means or what it looks like to not get along so much that you need to get divorced. The people content with our short answer are the people that live on the happy side of the spectrum of life. As for those that press on with questions, well, they are seeking the dark side and will find it.
The Mediation (capitalized because it feels big) will cover all of our financial arrangements. We have a modest nest egg and likely differing views of how it should be split up.
My husband and I had the best intention as we started this process. "Yeah, let's not use the lawyers too much." "Yeah, let's negotiate as much as we can before we go to the lawyers." "Yeah, let's keep this low key."
It literally took one difficult email exchange between us regarding our finances before lawyers became more involved.
Emails from my husband are like a shot of adrenaline to my heart, infused with panic, fear, disgust and anger. My favorite email topics are: stock options, taxes, expenses, schedule change, insurance. . . . .and on and on and on.
I guess I could choose to not read his emails but ultimately I realize I need to be here now in this divorce and feel every feeling, no matter how terrifying, in hopes that I never have to do this again.
In this whole divorce process I am seeking to separate emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially from him and hoping to emerge whole, empowered, inspired and alive.
The next 31 days I'll be reflecting on the journey of getting to and through my divorce. I hope my journey may validate yours, help you stay married, help you leave your spouse - whatever you made need.