We have learned much about couples who begin their marriage in love ended in divorce. Couples divorce for very different reasons such as serious lifestyle, value differences, mental illness or substance abuse of a spouse or because of abuse and violence. Following divorce it is common to feel angry, wanting to hit back, to flee from interaction, andwanting to involve the children in conflicts. However, all divorcing couples may not have extreme conflict, want revenge, can’t cooperate about their children, and wish the other dead. In a book entitled between Love and Hate, Lais Gold provides guides thatwill help couples to divorce in a more civilized way. Couples who choose a civilized divorce show the following characteristics:
- Consider the impact of divorce on children. Couples shouldhave some residual ability to communicate and cooperate about their children. Children often wish the divorce did not have to happen. So,parents should collaborate to promote a healthier adjustment for children. In the divorce process children should not be remain at the center of continuing parental controversy and reciprocal punitive reactions. It is important not to involve and encourage children to report, distort, spy, and reject the other parent. Children deserve much better.
- They moderately angry at their spouse but not consumed with hatred.In a civilized divorce spouses do not separate with great anger but, more often, in sadness, and they do not wish the other spouse harm. They manage their anger and communicate with the other spouse politely
- They prepare for and successfully mediating divorce agreements. Learning to work with rather than against a spouse is central to a healthier divorce process
- Handle process of disengaging from marriage and moving toward healing, parenting during and after divorce,
In sum, if children are to be protected, if the future of our families is to be preserved, then each person facing divorce must be willing to temper destructive impulses and take the risk to cooperate in resolving the painful and often complex issues during divorce.The civilized divorce, though it is difficult, is possible. It requires conscious effort, learning, practice, and self-evaluation. If the partners can’t work on their relationship, and if divorce is inevitable, making it in a civilized manner has crucial long lasting benefit for spouses and children.