Divorce and the Meaning of Love
I got some great feedback from my last blog in which I discuss my love relationship with my business. The blog even sparked a broader conversation around love, a topic that is often of interest in the business of divorce. And specifically, divorce and the meaning of love.
What’s Love Got to Do With It?
I don’t think it’s surprising to learn that love is the most spoken-of topic in the world. The pursuit of love has a magnetic pull that, no matter who you are or where you live, you’re after it.
It’s what makes new dating apps pop up all the time. I would even argue that it has a lot to do with Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of the dating app Bumble, gaining billionaire status.
Love and belonging rank third on the hierarchy of human needs, following physiological needs, like food, sleep, and safety.
In other words, if you are someone who can put food on the table every night and live in a closed and safe structure, i.e., a house, love and belonging will be your next priority.
No wonder it feels like we are no longer on stable ground when our relationship breaks down. Divorce threatens our basic human needs.
Love Doesn’t Keep Us Together
Divorce can also threaten the second level of human needs, safety and security. We start questioning our living situation. Will we be able to keep our home? Will we qualify for a home without our partner? Will we ever make it on our own?
Furthermore, when we announce our divorce to the world, everybody presumes that our former spouse stopped loving us. To a lot of people, admitting this is like failing in public. We may even feel like we are not worthy of that person’s love or that we are somehow fundamentally bad.
A Many-Splendored Thing
But then, a dear client sent me a note after last week’s blog that shines a very different light on choosing to end a relationship.
He said, “Ending of relationships looks a lot more like love for oneself, as a way of guarding our heart or protecting ourselves against further harm. It is really choosing to no longer love the other person.”
Don’t you love that? I do.
If we change the narrative and look at divorce not as “losing the love of the other person” but as “gaining the love of oneself,” think of how much less heartache we might experience.
Author Glennon Doyle said something similar on Oprah’s Super Soul podcast.
She said, “If a woman has a choice of saving her soul or her marriage, she needs to save her soul.”
Different Shades of Love
Sometimes I find people confused about love, especially women. They will say, “I don’t want to be with him, but I still love him.”
That can cause her to stay in the relationship many years after the intimacy ended because she still feels a kind of love towards her partner.
This proves that love can mean so many different things. For some, love means “we’ve been through a lot together.”
“We have children that are half me and half you.”
“You need help, and I have a responsibility to help you.”
“You stood by me many times, and I can’t forget that.”
As a mediator and divorce expert who has helped hundreds of people through their transition from married to single again, I invite you to love fully, love abundantly, love with kindness, love with passion. I have seen so many heartwarming stories of people who gain far more love in their lives after their divorce.
It’s an excellent reason to consider the kind of love you have for someone and be truthful to yourself and the other person about what you feel and what you are prepared to offer without jeopardizing your love towards yourself.
Are you stuck in a divorce rut? You want child support, some money from the house, or simply a final divorce, but none of those seem to be attainable any time soon? Right now, if you are successful at booking a child support hearing through the Court of King’s Bench, you can expect a Judge to look at your case ONE YEAR from now. Can you imagine what it is like for a single parent, with limited income, and limitless legal fees trying to make ends meet in this Alberta economy? Hurts my heart.
When your reason for divorce is having an unfaithful spouse, it will feel that you were forced to divorce, and therefore, you should get more from the split- to make it fair. This was not your idea after all, and if they had not been unfaithful, you would not have been forced to end the marriage and embark on this thorny path of divorce. Why should they get half when it was their fault?