Darryl was a wonderful person, but his outlook on the world was a little akin to Eeyore’s. So back when I was doing criminal defense for kids and was telling him stories about my clients over the dinner table, (“Yes, he stole a pizza delivery bike but he only rode it a few blocks and he’s such a cute little kid.” or “Can you believe the cops arrested her? She only tried to sell them $5 worth of crack!”), he said that I’d gotten a job working for the law firm of Spin, Spin and Spin. (Darryl reaffirmed my “employment” there whenever he got annoyed with my perpetually rosy outlook on things. Smile.)
I thought of that when I read an article in the New York Times this week, Everyone’s Breaking Up, But Nobody’s Bitter: What’s Going On? It pointed out several celebrity divorces in the news now where the spouses are putting out press releases using phrases like “we are still the best of friends,” or “the decision was amicable.” The article is asking whether that is just a PR spin, or whether it could actually be a new trend.
People made fun of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin when they talked about “conscious uncoupling” in 2014. But perhaps they were normalizing the idea that divorce is not always a war. While this might not be great fodder for the gossip columns, amicable divorces are certainly better for the soul (and for the kids).
Divorce mediation takes hard work. It’s not easy to see things from the point of view of your ex. It’s not easy to sit with them in a room/zoom and hash out all of the many decisions that go into it. Sometimes it’s not easy to say what you really need. It’s really not for everyone. But, when it does work, it makes the rest so much easier.
Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir here, but I hope this IS a new trend – and that mediation becomes the norm for how people get divorced.
Part of my job as a mediator is to see the best in people even when they’re not acting their best. And to help my clients know that they’re not really enemies, after all. If that means working for Spin, Spin and Spin, well, then I’m planning to keep my job!
You can read the full article here.