Can You Really Get A "Good Divorce"?

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Can You Really Get A "Good Divorce"?
Psychology Today says yes, I'm skeptical.

Getting a "good divorce" sounds a little like having the "good kind of cancer," that is, fairly unbelievable. But if The New Adventures Of Old Christine is any indication, it's possible to split with someone and remain friendly (or cordial or polite or civil or peaceful). But some people like the splash that The War Of The Roses makes a little better.

Sometimes he's not the person you thought he was. Sometimes you're not the person he thought you were. Sometimes he's not the person he thought he was. And sometimes you're not the person you thought you were. And, of course, sometimes you're no longer the person you used to be or he's exactly the same person he used to be despite your good-hearted attempts to "improve him."

It happens, let's not get into who preferred computer porn to actual intercourse or who had to share every intimate detail of your relationship with her friends. And let's totally forget who thought it would be a good idea to invest the nest egg in high-yield asset-backed securities. You've got a bridge, you've got some water, let it go under, mang.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why people who loved each other can go McCartney-Mills at the drop of a divorce filing. Sure, intense emotions can swing hard in the other direction but I think ego and money have more to do with it. Ego: "How dare you do this to me?!" Money: "Snap, this is going to delay retirement unless I pull out all the stops." Skins in the game (cash or feelings, what else is there?) can make it tough but not impossible to be a reasonable person about this.

Periodically, I read Psychology Today, not because I totally believe in psychology (or astronomy and plate tectonics for that matter) but because I like any profession that I can comfortably armchair (quarterback, general, game show contestant, Apocrypha*). And today they had a nice thought piece on what it takes for a divorce to be "good."

Per Dr. Sam Margulies there are seven things that can be done to make a "good divorce." (Note: None of the steps include having your divorce save people from a fire or teach orphan to read, that would be good.)

A few items that struck me as sharp were: the idea of economic justice and mutual goodwill. How many times do you hear, "My lying liar of an ex robbed me"?

So, on the way out the door, instead of leaving an upper-decker (either real or metaphorical) try taking a strong inventory of the good times and genuinely reconciling how much each person intentionally contributed to the bottom line. If you do your best to play ball and your ex is too busy playing hide the canapé with someone half his (or her!) age to cooperate like a person who meant all those things that he (or she!) said back in the day, then you can feel free to be as intransigent as a fat man (or woman!) stuck in an ice cream parlor. Winning feels way better against a worthy adversary.

*If you got that reference you are a HUGE Andrew Bird fan, and I like that about you.

Getting a "good divorce" sounds a little like having the "good kind of cancer," that is, fairly unbelievable. But if The New Adventures Of Old Christine is any indication, it's possible to split with someone and remain friendly (or cordial or polite or civil or peaceful). But some people like the splash that The War Of The Roses makes a little better.

Sometimes he's not the person you thought he was. Sometimes you're not the person he thought you were. Sometimes he's not the person he thought he was. And sometimes you're not the person you thought you were. And, of course, sometimes you're no longer the person you used to be or he's exactly the same person he used to be despite your good-hearted attempts to "improve him."

It happens, let's not get into who preferred computer porn to actual intercourse or who had to share every intimate detail of your relationship with her friends. And let's totally forget who thought it would be a good idea to invest the nest egg in high-yield asset-backed securities. You've got a bridge, you've got some water, let it go under, mang.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why people who loved each other can go McCartney-Mills at the drop of a divorce filing. Sure, intense emotions can swing hard in the other direction but I think ego and money have more to do with it. Ego: "How dare you do this to me?!" Money: "Snap, this is going to delay retirement unless I pull out all the stops." Skins in the game (cash or feelings, what else is there?) can make it tough but not impossible to be a reasonable person about this.

Periodically, I read Psychology Today, not because I totally believe in psychology (or astronomy and plate tectonics for that matter) but because I like any profession that I can comfortably armchair (quarterback, general, game show contestant, Apocrypha*). And today they had a nice thought piece on what it takes for a divorce to be "good."

Per Dr. Sam Margulies there are seven things that can be done to make a "good divorce." (Note: None of the steps include having your divorce save people from a fire or teach orphan to read, that would be good.)

A few items that struck me as sharp were: the idea of economic justice and mutual goodwill. How many times do you hear, "My lying liar of an ex robbed me"?

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