Monica had been married to her husband for 13 years. They have 3 wonderful children, all boys, ages 12, 9, and 7. Monica had been unhappy in her marriage for about the last 7 years. Rather than communicate effectively with her spouse, she has spent hours, even years, blaming herself for her discontentment.
Though Monica is a professional woman in HR with lots of potential, she missed some key opportunities in her career because of her hyper focus on her family’s needs. Monica also followed this pattern in her marriage, mostly putting her husband’s needs, opinions, and desires above her own. She was ‘overfunctioning’ for her entire family, and in return, she expected more from her husband, rationalizing that it was no more than she was willing to give. Through the years, Monica continually felt let down by him, frustrated in her attempts to create the kind of marriage she imagined everyone else had.
A year and a half ago, Monica learned that her husband was having an affair with someone who worked for his organization in another location. Up until that time, Monica had felt attached to her husband, and she wanted nothing more than his love and attention. In fact, many of their arguments revolved around his lack of attentiveness to her and their children.
Since confronting him about the affair, Monica ironically felt increasingly distant and emotionally detached from her husband. Initially she was angry and sad about his infidelity. But, as time passed and they talked with a marriage counselor, Monica had to admit that she hadn’t been happy with or interested in her husband for a very long time, even before learning of his affair.. She had stored up anger over the years, which she wasn’t aware of. Her husband’s affair created the perfect storm for her to release those feelings.
After she acknowledged those buried feelings of anger and resentment, Monica felt indifferent toward her husband and the marriage. She found herself praying that she could love her husband again, that she would respect and trust him again. Especially for the sake of their children.
As she started to care more about herself, and trust her own feelings, things started to change for Monica. Monica slowly grew to see that her husband’s infidelity was simply a symptom of his tendency to minimize her needs, and prioritize his own.
Monica started to accept that she was not going to rebound in this marriage. She hit the lowest point in her life when the reality of this was no longer deniable. Energetically, spiritually, and emotionally, Monica had left her marriage.
Though divorce was not in her plans, she found herself thinking of nothing else. That’s when I met Monica. She was awake and aware, but scared and confused about how to make her life right again. To end the dead marriage and start over was terrifying to her.
Monica and I worked together to help her understand how she got to the place in her marriage where she felt such despair. She was able to talk to her husband about her feelings, and shared that she wanted a divorce.
Monica and her husband decided that a collaborative divorce was the best for their family. They both hired collaborative attorneys, a child specialist, and a financial neutral as their professional team.
It took about 7 months for the collaborative divorce team to complete Monica and her husband’s divorce. Today, they live within 5 miles of each other, and share parenting responsibilities and for their 3 children. Their collaborative divorce child specialist helped them to create a parenting agreement that fit the family’s culture, putting their children’s needs first.