By adopting a global and systemic model to manage and solve family dynamics escalated in conflicts, I offer both Family Mediation and Parenting Coordination paths, as pragmatic resources and tools for the parties involved in a couple separation or divorce. The separation and divorce are traumatic events, but through these specific paths it is possible to reorganize the relationships of one's own family, emotionally elaborate the event, considering it a change, and looking at this change as an open-door toward a new perspective of one's own future. The end of a stable couple’s relationship, in fact, can become the way, for each individual involved, to perceive one's self as a human being that is evolving and that can regain control and responsibility of own roots, own present and own future.
The couple separation or divorce, although each couple is a universe in itself and has its own peculiarities, usually arises not only after assessing the conclusion of a project which is no longer common for the couple. The more critical awareness is to be so honest with own self to consider that the mutual bond has become sterile and not really responsive to own emotional non-rational needs, which in contrast should find space in the dimension of a couple’s relationship, in a feeling of unconditionally acceptance, mutual
acknowledgment of own value, desire to give and receive love, tenderness, trust, respect, friendship, joy to share, freedom to give and receive constructive critics and reinforcing comments, mutual complicity. The constant and repeated frustration of these crucial human needs inevitably lead to an ever-growing detachment, which leads to the divorce’s choice in a storm of different feelings and emotions, even extreme sometimes, which cannot be avoided.
The disinvestment goes through a oscillation phase, between moments of anger and aggression and moments of reconciliation, up to a conflict chronicity, at the end reaching the awareness that the ‘status quo’ deprives one or both the individuals in term of well-being, self-esteem, personal growth, and freedom to be completely himself and/or herself.
The separation implies a considerable expenditure of personal energies, involving an evolution of family relationships on the marital level, on the parental level and on the external environment level.
However, this ultimate choice is not an ultimate choice of life, as sometimes it can appear. On the contrary, it has in itself the seeds of trust and hope to be loved and to love in a way more in tune with one's own feeling and essence: an unhappy situation reached to a conclusion because there is a confident vision of the possibility to be happy, to love and be loved. This requires to clarify own vision, to adopt a proactive approach and take full responsibility of own life and own happiness, out of guilt feelings as well as out of assuming victimization roles.
I realized in my experience as a Family Mediator, that a large number of couples, even if they are aware of the will and necessity to divorce, for their own well-being, sometimes are reluctant to make this step in their life, stating that they are worried about their children's reactions.
Even if there is an understandable concern in these thoughts, it is also honest to mention and consider that the children, without limits related to their age, are always very able to intercept and perceive the atmosphere of hostility, coldness, resentment, or tolerance but not love, within their parents. This is for them a source of suffering, which they try to react by activating harmful, and sometimes self-destructive mechanisms, in their own behaviors, in order to manage - as they can - this pain that they cannot solve because they cannot remove its origin.
Looking at the situation through this lens, a perspective of which sometimes the parents are not conscious, as they are fully engaged in their conflict and in their own difficult emotions and feelings, often helps them to have the courage to make a decision. As I usually say on these occasions, there is probably not more good example to give to own children than that of their parents, who take full responsibility for their own happiness, acting accordingly with this awareness. Even if the parents’ divorce can be a challenging experience for the children, it is at the same time something that they can manage and go through, when they can count on their parents' example, which decide to take care and go through this experience as well, simultaneously maintaining an unconditional love for their children.
It is definitely harmful for the children and it does not contribute to their harmonious growth and personal development, stay in a family without real love, or in which there is a significant ground of disconnections among the adults of the couple.
At the contrary, when each parent realizes that a divorce is the path to nurture and cultivate the human will, birthright and hope of a deserved well-being, and a more happy life, the entire family, included the children, although reorganized into new enlarged forms, can finally lose its connotation of a narrow place of pain, conflict and resentment. The family can rediscover itself as a place of affections and realization of each individual, a place of life, in which every single personality can be expressed, developed and fully realized, even if the parental couple is not more a married couple and do not longer share the same common path, but is able to maintain however an unconditional love and presence for the children.