I recently heard about the divorcee Anthony Morelli who launched a blog site in 2007 to air his anger over his divorce and nasty child custody dispute. In June of this year, a judge ordered Morelli to take the site down, citing emotional harm to his two children for whom he and his ex-wife share custody. He claims that he did it to relieve stress.
It got me thinking of the times I’ve encouraged divorcing couples to part ways without damaging each other in reputation, resources, and self-esteem. Of course, by the time some couples decide to separate or divorce, there is already much muddy water under the bridge. There’s so much hurt, resentment and betrayal that to get them to be decent to each other takes much convincing. Even appeals to protect their children sometimes pale in light of the retribution they feel. Just look at Mr. Morelli. He says, he was just venting his stress, taking little responsibility for hurting his children by his behavior.
People like Mr. Morelli fail to realize that their responses to the things that happen to them form the memories that makeup their personal story–the account of how they lived their lives. While this may not matter in the short-run, over time, the character of your memories speak to how much integrity or despair you will have at your life’s end.
So, be careful of the memories you make, you will have to live with them. If you are in the midst of a relationship breakup, think twice as to how you handle the parting of ways. Don’t let your frustration and anger get the best of you. And, if you can’t muster up enough feeling for your ex to act decently, consider what behaving badly does to you psychologically and spiritually. Let integrity guide your words and actions. Create a meaningful memory that shows your learning and grace, no matter how painful the experience may be.
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