A male work colleague and I have a standing bi-monthly lunch date. He is probably as familiar with my failed marriage saga as anyone, having lent a sympathetic ear along the way.
The last time we met, he asked me about the back-end logistics, the shared parenting, the legal details. And then he confessed that he and his wife had been deep in crisis, had discussed divorce and had gone so far as to sit down and develop their plan:
She would get the house, they would share parenting time, etc. It was then that she told him that he would have to find a place nearby, that they should still cooperate and share children’s birthdays, spend holidays together and more. He balked at being told where he had to live, and he was even more flabbergasted that she would think they could transition smoothly from marriage to best friends. Ultimately, they both realized that, even as a divorced couple, their expectations were going to be vastly different.
…which may be how they realized that they could just as easily work through those differing expectations within their marriage, because life wasn’t going to be easier or better outside of it. In planning every last detail of their landscape, they realized the grass really wasn’t going to get any greener. They acted maturely and decided to recommit to their marriage.
Although it may not work for everyone, I applaud their approach and maturity. And I congratulate them on developing their plans early enough for the possibility of staying together to occur as a viable choice for them both.