Editor’s Note from Lisa McCourt: I value transparency. As a Joy Trainer, I help my clients understand that joy can never be fully experienced until you’re living free of masks, pretenses, and the oh-so-pervasive need to please. My personal transparency was challenged recently by a client who pointed out that although I came shamelessly out of the closet with myriad scurrilous aspects of my life in Juicy Joy (my recent Hay House release) I was fairly cryptic with my revelations about my divorce. I had to concede. I blamed it on my intention to protect my ex from the public disclosure he dislikes, but the truth is that I DID have a bit more to say on the issue of divorce, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to say it here.
Our culture wants to make “divorce” a four-letter-word, but it doesn’t have to be. My beloved ex and I divorced without ever suffering the stings of a hatred stage. Our kids live full-time in a home we alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) occupy, and we make a point to also spend ample time together with them as an ongoing family unit. We occasionally take family trips together, share most holidays, and basically ignore our meticulously-crafted custody agreement.
My closest friends understand and applaud our highly irregular arrangements. But so many of our acquaintances just can’t seem to get on board. They wanted to slip us each into familiar categories. They needed for me to be a victim or a villain and I refused to be either. I refused to make my ex either. We’re both still just us. We both love our friends; we both love our families, including one another’s families-of-origin. We both love spending time with our children—and even with each other. We’re both doing the best we can because we know we’re in uncharted territory where we’re the only makers and keepers of the rules, and the rules need to be defined and refined on a nearly-daily basis.
My marriage ended simply because my dear ex and I could no longer fit together in a meaningful way. We’d both been acting out the unconscious patterns we’d been carrying around with us since our childhoods, and we’d been initially drawn together because our puzzle pieces had matched. Eventually, my lifelong personal development journey brought me to a level of emotional freedom wherein our puzzle pieces stopped matching. No victim. No villain. No tragedy.
He’d created the perfect storm for the healing and evolving I needed to do, and I’d created the perfect storm for his healing and evolving. I now know that people come into one another’s lives for this very reason. It’s not always fun and it doesn’t always feel good, but the Universe truly does deliver to each one of us what we most need.
And we always attract what we are inside. Throughout my life, I’d attracted partners with a capacity for emotional availability that matched my own. And throughout my life I’d continued to expand that capacity, sometimes subtly and slowly; other times at a dizzying, breakneck speed. With my ex, I had simply come to require a level of connection he was neither interested in nor capable of. It wasn’t his fault.
Becoming fully aware of all the subconscious dynamics that were currently and historically at play in our relationship is what allowed us to create the loving, conscious — yet controversial — divorce we’ve been able to achieve. The question I most often hear from concerned onlookers is: “But how will you ever date anyone else? Most men would never get involved with anyone whose life is still so entwined with her ex’s.” Well, duh. I get that. And luckily, “most men” aren’t the ones I’m interested in. I know my arrangement with Greg limits my pool of romantic candidates considerably, and I feel pretty good about that. What a handy weeding-out process for eliminating men who are too insecure and unconscious to understand what I’ve worked so hard to create.
Greg is my ex-husband, my ex-lover, my ex-boyfriend. But he will never be my ex-friend, my ex-parenting-partner, or an ex-member of our created family. I chose him to father my children—we shared the most sacred miracle any two people could share. That will never be less than tremendous to me and he will always remain a precious, valued fixture in my life.