Instead of dragging out the decision of whether we continued to remain separated with no plan of action to repair the breach in our marriage, I decided to move forward with a divorce. She was still very clear with me that her heart’s desire was different than mine, but accepted the decision after failing to present a plan that we could attempt to save our marriage. The decision was made and mutual, right?
In our conversation, I forgot the wisdom that I share with couples that are in a similar position. I would coach them to, first, clear the air by sharing as much of the process for housing their side of the decision. People need to know how you come to a conclusion.
Afterwards, there should be time apart, so that each person can process what has been shared. In a follow up meeting the couple has an opportunity to process the decision together. The following up meeting(s) is really never about the initial decision or the process of how it was derived. The follow up meeting(s) is where the negotiations begin, where counter-points are offered, and where the descenting partner has a chance to punch holes in the meaning and methods of their spouse’s reasoning. People need a chance to defend their position.
Non-verbal communication is critically important. Non-verbal cues will tell you if the message was well received or just brushed off. For instance, you say it is over. They express disappointment in the decision and claim to accept the decision. But, they proceed to take their clothes off and get into your bed. Chances are they have not truly accepted the decisions.
Finally, you must affirm your position. Follow through on the plan of action. The more you linger, the less your spouse will take you serious. Inaction equates to indecisiveness; therefore, you open the door for confusion and renewed hope.
By the way, break-up sex is horrible.
Here is my journal entry, which explains of the conversation went for me and my spouse. Divorce Journal – A Mutual Decision, Maybe