A Divorcing Option: A Gracious Ending

The Possibility of Closure and Release: Once again Sunday’s The New York Times has offered an article that warrants attention. Briefly, as I am still on the road with my Coupledom, I want to draw your attention to Abby Ellin’s review of a new trend in divorced, divorcing or breaking-up Coupledoms. (I would say, former Coupledoms.) Entitled Untying the Knots, and Bonds, Of Marriage the author describes a trend among former couples who are finding solace, comfort, closure and release through the enactment of some agreed upon ceremony, moment, or exchange that marks, with grace, the end of their relationship, even if that ceremony occurs months or years after the legal demise or break up was factually finalized.

Still Sticky Stuff After All These Years: In a sense, what folks are striving to do is to remove the sticky goo that adheres to the person’s emotional skin like suntan lotion after a day at the beach, sticky with a film of gritty sand that doesn’t brush off.

In one of my earlier posts, The Divorcing Coupledom: the Art of Uncoupling, I focus on the importance of honoring what was once a chosen bond, a family, a shared life, though that life may have lost its way. As with all the significant passages in our lives, those of joy and those of sadness, those fraught with anger and conflict, something remains unfinished and knotted up if not provided with a ritual, a moment, a sharing. How wise it is to understand this: imperfect mortals as we all are, how can our vows be always perfect too? Can we, former lovers, become something new with a shared understanding of loss and free ourselves to move on without trashing, bashing or attempting to deny that once there was a love, and now there is something else?  And to do so for the dignity of that former Coupledom, and for the children that may have emerged from its joining?

Crazy? Impossible? I don’t think so. Life is long. And options remain. Nothing feels better than letting go of goo and finding personal renewal, even when it may involve holding hands for just a moment with the past. What isn’t always clear in the wake of pain and profound disappointment is that when you try to sever a part of your life completely, you cut off a piece of your self.

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2012

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