A Heart Healthy Way to Divorce


We associate Valentine’s Day with roses, chocolate hearts and greeting cards as sweet and gooey as the candy.

Love becomes that ubiquitous four-letter word heard in almost every corner of our country – all through our shopping malls, restaurants, even drug stores.

Valentine’s Day, with its emphasis on couples, can be an especially lonely time for people going through a divorce. Valentine’s day often brings fresh pain, as those divorcing come to grips with their marriages ending and often a broken heart.

Divorce is almost always very difficult. There is a popular saying known to divorce mediators: We meet the best people at the worst times of their life.

Emotions are raw when spouses split. Beneath anger or guilt, there is sorrow,
sadness and loss.

Worse, people going through with divorce are burdened by not-so-subtle societal messages that they themselves are the problem.

  • Their marriage failed:
  • In court, spouses are adversaries;
  • Children of divorce come from broken homes.

Divorce mediators believe that people should have a Heart Healthy Divorce by minimizing the pain and upheaval of divorce:

  • Don’t let others label your marriage a failure: When people divorce, society says the marriage failed. And divorced spouses often unconsciously view themselves as failures. But marriages don’t just succeed or fail – they are more nuanced. Many people have had good years during their marriage. If a marriage is over after thirty years, and twenty-five years have been good –then for a quarter-of-a-century, you had a successful marriage.
  • When a marriage ends, a new life begins: Whether you had happy years or not during your marriage, many people realize that post-marriage is a fresh start – that they’ve grown through the years, and can get more out of life once their marriage is over.
  • For many your marriage gave you the greatest gift of your life; look into your children’s faces – what more do you need as a reminder that your marriage gave you something irreplaceable?
  • Don’t run to court to take your spouse to the cleaners: When spouses lawyer up, they become adversaries in a court battle; one spouse wins and one becomes the loser. Also, fighting over children puts them in the middle. Instead, mediation is a heart healthy way to divorce. When you mediate, you minimize fighting and concentrate on what you really want for your life post-divorce. A mediator helps you two talk to each other and agree on divorce terms as amicably as possible – so you both feel that your divorce was fair.

Though you are going through a divorce this Valentine’s Day, love and respect the person you are.

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About Joanne Naiman

A principal of Reasonable Divorce Resolutions, Joanne is a certified divorce mediator and has been a practicing attorney for over 20 years. She writes on divorce for national audiences. Joanne won a Clarion Award for Excellence in News Reporting for The National Law Journal article: “The Deadly Practice of Divorce.” She also contributes as a blogger on divorce mediation for The Huffington Post. In addition to her RDR divorce mediation practice, Joanne serves on the New York City Family Court Custody Mediation Panel. www.Reasonabledivorceresolutions.com

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