A spiritual divorce is an elegant and alternative divorce solution for handling marriage problems.
Different options exist to guide relationships through their troubles, and some answers aren’t obvious at all. One option I have created for my clients is Spiritual Divorce. This process has a fantastic success rate for repairing friendships when they have reached a point of breaking.
For some, the concept of divorce of any form is too much. I have created a pre-spiritual divorce option called Relationship Rebalancing.
What is a Spiritual Divorce?
On a high level, a spiritual divorce is centered around assisting a graceful separation between two people before the legal divorce starts. The separation is to divorce spiritually first rather than legally. In this process, we also teach two people to retain a friendship while taking time to grow.
Spiritual Divorce means two different things. The first definition for a spiritual divorce is to approach a legal divorce with spiritual grace. To grow from the process rather than to fight and diminish in the breaking of divorce.
I use the term Spiritual Divorce in an alternative manner!
Don’t start with a legal divorce rather start with a more gentle spiritual divorce.
I created this alternative solution over ten years ago to help my students, and it’s a pretty amazing process.
The Problem with Legal Divorce
Other than dealing with death, divorce is the most stressful moment a person can face in life. After all, how do you untangle two people who have spent years interweaving their lives together?
Legal divorce is for two people that cannot come to terms with their combine lives and require an outside baseline to separate them physically. The problem is that legal divorce can be overly arbitrary, doesn’t take into consideration emotional aspects of life and in reality further, rips people apart. It isn’t graceful.
The Saner Spiritual Divorce Solution
It’s possible to find graceful answers more times than people realize. While you cannot stop a person from fighting if they genuinely want to fight, you can change how individuals approach the process to minimize the need to fight.
Spiritual Divorce represents one alternative path to work towards an extraordinary life rather than focusing on the separation and fighting.
A legal divorce only considers physical ramifications of a relationship. A legal divorce lacks heart and often causes profound damage between two people.
Spirit represents how we move through life.
A spiritual divorce means to untangle two people’s life motions from each other, so they have a chance to re-balance their lives. After addressing personal issues, you can then revisit the baseline of your friendship. Many times it’s possible to help create a whole new relationship after addressing personal challenges.
Spiritual Divorce represents a gradual separation of how two people live with each other, but it isn’t a legal divorce. The goal is to help two people re-balance how they live without the more damaging legal wrangling occurring first.
I have developed this second process of spiritual divorce over the last 15 years of helping couples. It works. Rather than trying to cut all ties off at once, you separate from each other in stages. This allows a couple time to emotionally process their differences, instead of going straight into a fight.
It’s important to adapt this approach to fit each couple. The process has to allow for growth during separation. As a result, people need to pick and choose carefully how to create personal space in a safe manner.
I can work with one person to help them move on a better path.
There are times when your partner will not be open to working with other people. In this option, we can work with you directly to help guide you.
We can work with both partners.
In this situation, I can help both people work on problems and mediate issues as they arise.
Both options work equally as well. What matters is not to force your partner into this process. If you feel your partner would resist a spiritual divorce or help, then contact me directly on your own first.
A spiritual divorce doesn’t mean everything will be perfect. Hard truths and many bad feelings will get exposed during the healing process. The difference is in a legal divorce all the hard feelings and conflict happens all at once, which is too fast and too intense for most people handle gracefully. So a spiritual divorce approaches this one step at a time regarding the personal differences. We also introduce moments of time out that allow both people to rest and recover from the more challenging moments.
To grow in life a person needs to be willing to make mistakes and to then learn from those mistakes. In a legal divorce, a person pushes out all the problems to be the other’s person fault for legal reasons. In a spiritual separation, you take time to understand what went wrong and take time to fix any personal issues.
When couples use a spiritual divorce, it means, over a period of one to two years, the couple resolves most of their problems before any legal separation. Ironically a spiritual divorce will save some marriages because the growth will allow two people to have a fresh relationship. If after working through a spiritual separation the two people still want to move apart then the legal divorce goes more smoothly as most of the interpersonal challenges have been resolved already. This also means each person will be in a more emotionally mature place to separate out the last legal step.
For the exact details of what a Spiritual Divorce would look like for you, you would need to contact us at a Personal Tao to arrange a session.
I craft your spiritual divorce to fit all the emotional, family, work and personal conditions in play for your situation precisely.
Creating a spiritual divorce is an art, not a science. Law and society will use judgment to measure everything in a relationship. Many marriages are failing from these judgments in play between a couple. So the first step in a spiritual divorce is to remove judgment from the picture. The second step is to then review and teach against your challenges. A spiritual divorce is a growth based teaching process rather than never-ending counseling sessions.
Finally, it’s a very real time process, where I act as a spiritual mediator to balance out each step.
Is Spiritual Divorce Only Separation?
A spiritual divorce is much more than separation. It’s an active time to work on learning, healing, and balancing each person in the relationship. Just as you don’t drive a car while working to repair the engine, two people shouldn’t be pushing hard on their marriage when they are fixing themselves. It’s important to have time for space, where you each can work on personal growth, in any relationship.
I marry people and have a deep understanding and appreciation for marriage. But too many misconceptions exist about marriage, including the idea you always need to be with your partner. At times partners need to go on their own spiritual/life journey. As a life coach, I extend many different teachings to match a person’s needs in the spiritual divorce process. This process gives a couple a deeper time out, but not a full bloody, drawn-out legal divorce people fear. Simple physical separation doesn’t go far enough since spiritually, a couple is still connected, and that leads to conflict. Also, many times, due to financial codependency, physical separation isn’t always an option. I have added in the spiritual divorce, various options for my clients to create appropriate levels of separation.
I have used this technique with many people to help them move past relationship problems. I also have re-married couples successfully after they have taken time out with a spiritual divorce. This process works, but it also represents one of the hardest challenges a person will ever experience in their life: the fear of divorce.
This option isn’t for everyone. People often are inflexible when it comes down to how they work with their relationships. Ironically it’s often inflexibility, arising out of judgment, that destroys many relationships. This process is for those who need a deep and open process of resolution to get to that fresh start.
I must stress two points:
One: My Spiritual Divorce process is not based on a legal divorce and isn’t a legal divorce.
Rather this is literally a “spiritual” divorce, where the partners take from one month to two years off from each other to grow. This option isn’t the same as a full separation either since marriage often has obligations that need time to sort out. A spiritual divorce is an intricate spiritual process that can give two people a chance to help each other on separate paths rather than fight and kick each other down into a deeper hole of problems.
Legal divorce often creates lasting wounds and additional problems that lead to long cycles of recurring problems. A spiritual divorce works around the conflict that often arises from the legal process.
When I spiritually divorce a couple, it’s because the couple requires time to sort out their options and to continue to grow. This option will not work when abuse is present in a relationship. This process will not work if either partner is financially untrustworthy. In either of these two situations, you need to move on with a full legal divorce.
Finally: this process requires a guide to help those involved release judgment. As a guide, I teach from issues that arise during the separation process. Releasing judgment is an absolute requirement to remove conflict from defining the process. Keep in mind legal divorce is all about judgment, and this is a big reason why legal divorce is so brutal.
Spiritual Divorce requires outside assistance to help remove old patterns and judgments from destroying any chance for a better future. Without a teacher, issues quickly become irreconcilable problems, while with a guide, problems blossom into lessons used to grow into better and stronger positions in life.
Two: This isn’t marriage counseling.
Marriage counseling doesn’t always work and isn’t for every situation. When I am working with you on a spiritual divorce, I am not working on your marriage; rather, I am focusing on each person and working to save a friendship. I am acting as a teacher for each person in the spiritual divorce process.
This variation of the spiritual divorce process has led to people finding better relationships, but that is a secondary effect. My first concern is to help each person grow in life.
Additionally, I am a neutral but trusted spiritual mediator to prevent conflicts and resolve conflicts before they get out of control. Most divorce alternatives fail without some outside structure to guide two people to a better place.
Any alternative divorce process has to have a way to reconcile differences between two people. This is very important since many longer-term relationships don’t go away even after divorce (such as for co-parenting). The mediation aspect built into the spiritual divorce allows two people to reconcile differences without having to go to confrontational couples counseling.
A Successful Marriage Embraces Change
- As people change over time, people very rarely let their marriage change to fit them over time. As a result, marriages are often quite brittle and can shatter after two people have changed over time.
- People fight over trying to keep their original concept of what their marriage was at the start, rather than shifting the concepts of their marriage to now fit their new life.
- People are creatures of habit; it’s amazingly difficult to break out of our older patterns. Even fighting! Once you have established a pattern of fighting or indifference, it’s very difficult to break free of that destructive behavior. As a result, most people will fight and hurt each other, instead of changing the pattern of the original marriage!
Spiritually it makes sense to use grace as a tool. Grace means you and your partner work towards your individual growth first rather than holding everyone back to fit the old marriage. After taking time off from the marriage, it can become possible to re-adjust the marriage to fit each person.
How Does a Spiritual Divorce Benefit Me?
A spiritual divorce buys two people time to change and release habits that undercut both partners.
Use a spiritual separation to create a gift of time for your partner.
A legal divorce takes time away; a legal divorce means everything is over, and you are now within an all or nothing process. A spiritual divorce creates the proper amount of space to grow, figure things out, to get back together in simple ways, to rediscover life. A spiritual separation creates a win-win situation. If things do need to separate, it’s easier later to move ahead with an equitable divorce after you have taken care of all the dependencies laced between two people. If, over time, everything comes around, it’s possible to create a new marriage without the damage of a legal divorce. Without the judgmental legal battles, a Spiritual Divorce allows two people to flow into countless different configurations with no loss when done gracefully.
A New Relationship
Marriage counseling tries to refit you back into the old marriage.
Spiritual divorce creates a new relationship to fit the new you.
Spiritually it makes sense to be graceful by allowing for the change in your life. Change often requires taking time off from marriage to then re-adjust a marriage later to fit each person. As a guide in this process, I will help you work with your change in life. Without the outside guide, people will always rush straight back into the old patterns that ensures a real divorce later.
Is this easy? No, it will be one of the hardest things you ever do in life. This is exactly why a guide is required to help keep everyone on track, avoid the common traps and to keep you honest with your own changes. People are creatures of habit. Our accumulated bad habits are what destroy all too many marriages in the end.
A spiritual divorce is a chance to transform and change. But understand because a spiritual divorce allows for change, it truly means releasing the old marriage first to create the opportunity for a new marriage.
Just refusing to accept the old marriage needs to be reinvented / released, will prevent you in creating your new marriage.
To quote one client:
One day my wife did the hardest thing she has probably ever had to do. She told me that after 18 years of being together she felt that things just didn’t feel right anymore between us. Looking for help and resources relating to a midlife crisis on the web, mostly I found bitter and angry discussions or advice. Nothing resonated with how my wife and I saw the nature of our situation until we came across Casey’s website, Personal Tao. The idea that a transformation and not a crisis was at hand immediately spoke to us as individuals. The essays on Casey’s site were the first “sane” things my wife had read at the beginning of this process. She and I contacted Casey independently and felt encouraged that there was something good that could come from all this. Through the guided exercise of patience, being kind to one another and working with a spirit of non-judgment, Casey has helped the two of us maintain a level of honest communication that would have been hard to muster during this difficult time in our lives. Speaking for my self, six months into this period of transformation has been painful yet wonderful. If Casey wasn’t here for guidance and teaching, I think this period would be mostly painful. Our two children are certainly benefiting from the graceful way in which my wife and I are handling the big changes in our relationship. I know that through Casey’s encouragement and instruction the two of us will be able to maintain the deepest of friendships that will last a lifetime.
This process works and gives two partners a chance to create better lives. It will be a challenge but isn’t living a life based on your own essence along with a deeper friendship with your partner worth the work and time it takes to make happen?
Remember, if this option seems too close to a divorce then consider our Relationship Rebalancing teaching and assistance!
We work over the phone and also offer couple retreats!