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Planning for Future Separations and Divorces

Simply because two people claim an undying love for each other and decide to tie the knot, it does not mean that they have somehow unlocked the key to a wonderful marriage. We all know that marriage is what we do after the goo-goo, gaa-gaa- period has run its course. Something as important as marriage cannot be decided between two people when nothing that the other person does or says at that time seems intolerable because everything then is hot and heavy and it just seems to last forever.

There is nothing new about the concept of having to delay matrimonial decisions after the lovey-dovey moment has subsided. If it is wise to let our emotions calm down before deciding on marriage, then why can we not discuss openly and honestly about separations and divorces while we are still married, calm, and doing well? Why should we not decide on how to separate amicably and lovingly by tracing out all the necessary steps to take if ever a separation or divorce becomes eminent in our marriage ahead of time?

One thing that can be ironed out during these conversations, for instance, may be how to handle the permanent domicile of the children (if there are any). A riveting solution would be that the children would keep the house and each parent would alternate staying with the children on the agreed upon custody days. Such innovative ideas can only come to us when we are honestly discussing the worst at a time where reason and not negative emotions have filled the air. We have to understand that separations and divorces declare the end of relationships that the marriage established. It does not mean that the husband and wife can not remain amicable and decent towards one another.

If we are wise enough to postpone matrimonial decisions for a later time because we do not want emotions to affect our viewpoint, then why can we not discuss the possibility of separations and divorce, and plan ahead when we are still married, in love, and together? Would such an idea not help avoid encumbering our decisions with anger, hatred and vengefulness? If we dare ourselves to have such a hypothetical discussion with our spouses, I am convinced that the decisions we make for this “if” moment will not only surprise us but will make seemingly bad times very tolerable.

Let’s not forget that in the past many people avoided writing a will because it reminded them of their mortality, and today it is almost criminal not have one. I am not saying that separations and divorce are as inevitable as death, but if ever they happened, just like the existence of a will, such an agreement of what to do after the fact will seriously ease the process.

About the author

Dr. Tseday is a clinical psychologist and one of the country's leading experts in marriage, relationships, and self development. She advocates a unique and at times controversial approach to the dynamics of marriage and personal development, the necessary element for a successful relationship. Read more »

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