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The important life lessons we can learn during divorce

Some of the most successful people in life are those who can view every situation as an opportunity to learn and facilitate personal growth. This is obviously much easier in some situations than in others.

What does divorce have to teach us? The answer may be different for every person. But a recent online column written by a woman named Tejal Patel offers a unique perspective. She is a former family law attorney who recently changed careers. But in her article, she notes that her time as an attorney taught her several spiritual lessons that she still uses today.

If you have children, you may have some concerns about what impact your divorce will have on them. But Patel notes that in her experience, it is not divorce that traumatizes kids but rather the arguing, anger and resentment between their parents. If you can find a way to remain amicable and cooperative with your spouse during the divorce process, your children may find it much easier to cope and to emotionally heal. This approach will undoubtedly benefit you and your spouse as well.

Patel also stresses two important and related points about one’s intentions going into the divorce process. First, she says that divorce should not be thought of in terms of winners and losers. Rather, both you and your spouse should set the goal of making decisions that will benefit everyone, including the children.

You may be able to put yourself in this mindset by trying to be empathetic to your spouse, which is Patel’s second point about intentions. Understanding your spouse’s motivations (and your own) is the best way to reach a fair and mutually favorable settlement.

For instance, a spouse might fight especially hard for something like alimony because she felt unappreciated during the marriage. Recognizing our spouse’s emotional needs as well as our own will likely break down a lot of barriers to successful negotiation.

To be sure, divorce is a difficult process that will almost certainly push the limits of your emotional, financial and spiritual resilience. But like all difficulties, it can also be an opportunity for growth if you so choose.

Source: Mind Body Green, "6 Spiritual Lessons I Learned From Being A Divorce Attorney," Tejal Patel, Feb. 6, 2014

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