Many marriages are fueled by dreams. Some of these dreams are about the near term—maybe a special vacation, purchase of a second home, or something else that both spouses envision with excitement.
Other dreams are longer term—imagining what will happen when parents become “empty nesters” or making retirement plans for exotic travel or a move to a new place.
Dreams reflect hope and vision. They provide clarity, and they fuel focus and motivation.
Knowing all this, it’s totally understandable that the end of a marriage feels to many like the earth moving underneath them, creating an enormous sense of imbalance. After all, the dreams shared in a marriage are suddenly jeopardized, if not essentially cancelled. Hope for the future is transformed into a sea of uncertainty, perhaps creating a sense of hopelessness.
Yes, a divorce will call shared dreams into question. And especially for those who are older, what was once seen as a comfortable retirement may become more challenging.
Your dreams don’t have to end with your divorce, especially those goals that were not shared with your spouse. It’s even possible that, in a civil and respectful divorce, your soon-to-be ex-spouse will support your plans.
However, your dreams don’t have to end with your divorce, especially those goals that were not shared with your spouse. It’s even possible that, in a civil and respectful divorce, your soon-to-be ex-spouse will support your plans. Just because a decision is made to end a marriage does not mean that you cannot wish happiness for each other. Granted, in the moment, it may be hard to see happiness in your future, but a supportive ex can make it easier.
A case in point. Anne and Chris are two recent divorce mediation clients. Anne is an extremely talented designer who recently started her own business. For many small businesses starting out is hard, and making a living is even harder. In mediation, Chris has made it clear to Anne that he will continue to provide her with financial support for longer than might otherwise be required under the law. He specifically told her that he believes in her and will do what it takes to help her realize the dream that arose during their marriage.
Even when your marriage is ending, you can still have dreams, and it’s always possible that the person you are divorcing will still believe in you and your capabilities. It’s such possibilities that reinforce my belief in mediation as a process that can end a marriage without poisoning the relationship.