It’s that time of year again when droves of people like yourself come out of the unhappily married closet and file for divorce. One more miserable holiday season has passed (including Valentine’s Day) and you’ll be damned if you’ll go through that again. No, this will be the year you become emancipated. Nothing—not even the kids—can stop you from following through with it.
As determined as you are, part of you knows that divorce can be messy and disruptive (even under the best of circumstances). There are the finances—you’ll have twice the expenses and half the resources. And on top of that, you’ll have to pay attorneys upwards of $300 per hour (times 2); there’s the move—one or both of you will have to find new living quarters; and then there’s the impact on the kids—the physical aspect of going back and forth between homes schlepping clothes and belongings, the mental burden of having to track where uniforms and schoolbooks are, and the emotional loss of a home base and intact family unit.
So, while dissolving your marriage is certainly an option, there are good reasons you’ve been avoiding it!
For some people, what I’m about to propose is the equivalent of blasphemy due to the bending of marital rules and norms. People have responded with declarations like, “that’s not right,” or “that’s not marriage. For those who tend to be black and white thinkers, these “shades of gray” alternatives simply bring them too far out of their dichromatic comfort zone to take seriously.
I think it’s a shame when couples shoot down possible solutions just because they are not “traditional” or mainstream ideas. Some of the world’s most innovative inventions have come from out-of-the-box thinking. Besides, we made marriage up several millennia ago and there’s no reason we can’t remake the rules now to fit more of who we have become—a higher functioning, complex culture. So, I’ll lay these alternatives out and ask that you keep reading and keep an open mind, even if your initial reaction is to shut these ideas down.
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