The Journey From “I Do” to “I’m Done”

Implicit in the ceremonial “I Do” is the commitment to love one another “till death do us part”. That promise is made in the full belief that love will endure, but for 40% of Canadian couples that is not the case.

A breakup need not destroy you, damage your children or define your future. There are ways to REDEFINE YOUR LIFE after splitting. The decision about how to split is in your hands.

“Being in Love and Staying in Love are Not the Same.”

Relationship endings are one of two types. They are either mutual or non-mutual. They are complex and occur across several domains.

💔 Emotional

💔 Legal

💔 Economic

💔 Co-parental

💔 Psychological

Mutual Relationship Endings are those that are decided together. Partners have drifted apart, have decided that the relationship is no longer fulfilling and commit to and enact a caring conclusion. Because it is mutual, however, does not mean it doesn’t hurt.

Plans for life together are shattered, dreams die, and if there are children, family life changes dramatically. It is possible that respect, emotional intelligence and friendship can override contempt, hostility or anger. In my practice, I have often assisted a couple with their decision to part. Because I believe that good endings are possible and necessary for moving forward, I propose that they see me for a few more sessions to plan how they will tell their children and their families, and to provide a road map for the inevitable dynamics. Guidance beyond the decision is as critical as during the decision making.

My own daughter and her husband, after several years of marriage, decided that it was time for them to part ways. They chose to do it with grace. It was one of those rare and beautiful instances in which two people were able to part in a mutual, respectful and collaborative way.

Ten years later they remain dear friends, and he continues to be part of our family. The humanity with which they were able to accomplish the emotional, legal and financial tasks of their divorce was beautiful to watch. Each of them committed to the very best outcome for self and other.

The term ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ was coined by Psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas in her book of that title. Thomas recommended strategies to promote what she refers to as “an open, confidential and sacred” path to healing. This is a resource that I suggest to all couples who are parting ways.


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