Healthy Parents Should View Their Divorce As Incurable
Guest Author, Anne Kass, - a retired District Judge of Albuquerque, New Mexico

A psychologist friend of mine is counseling a divorced couple that have been at war for the 10 years since the two were divorced.

They have three children, now ages 12, 16 and 17. They are reaping the predictable consequence of a 10-year, post-divorce war.

Their 17-year-old has flunked out of school. Their 16-year-old is an alcoholic. Their 12-year-old is showing, pre-psychotic behavior.

The psychologist who is now working with the couple reported that at a recent session both parents became frustrated. Each said they'd had enough of the counseling. They'd see each other in court.

The psychologist asked them how many times they'd been to court before. The parents said seven or eight times. The psychologist asked if their disputes had ever been resolved in court. The parents acknowledged they had not.

The psychologist then share with the parents what struck me to be a powerful and particularly appropriate analogy. The psychologist suggested that divorced couples with children view one another as an incurable disease or injury.

Individuals who suffer an incurable disease or injury generally go one of two paths:
    They learn to accept the disease or injury and they learn to cope with it. They recognize they cannot change the disease or injury and that the only thing they have the power to change is their own response to it. They get on with their lives in a wholesome and productive way.

    They struggle against it. They try to change it, which results in a continuous sense of failure. They stay frustrated and angry. They sacrifice their present and future by focusing their time and energy on a past that cannot be changed.


It sounds a bit severe to suggest that a divorced individual view a former spouse as an incurable disease, but the analogy is so absolutely on point, I thought it should be shared.



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