Sometimes I seem to get some skepticism from people about my radical stance on my own marriage during our separation and my encouragement of others who are separated to really get single minded in saving their marriages regardless of their spouse’s attitude.
Part of me wants to say, “Yes, there are a couple of other approaches: Give up and just try to meet in the middle for a divorce settlement with your spouse.” My observation is even if they do meet you in the middle, you have a good chance for a whole lot of pain ahead.
I had a lady come into our Divorce Care group who said that she had a good divorce several years ago. No kids involved, she and her ex-husband were still friends, but she admitted she had never quite completely recovered from the divorce. In other words, just giving in and trying to do things amicably seems to lead to more pain, even if it supposedly goes well.
The other option is to be aggressive. Go get the sharpest lawyer you can find, attack first, and attack hard. Thankfully, I wasn’t on the receiving end of this kind of approach but I have observed people who have been.
One of the ladies in the Divorce Care videos got served with papers out of the blue somewhere between Christmas and New Year’s. It devastated her. I had a Divorce Care participant who got served with restraining orders at work one day, and then later their spouse served divorce papers again. If the spouse wanted to hurt them, it worked – they were devastated.
I don’t remember where I heard this during our separation, but someone said in reference to separation/divorce that you have two options, “Extreme pain if you do things right, excruciating pain if you don’t.” Based on my personal experience and observations, I think they about nailed it.