I heard the phrase “the echo of war” for the first time this week. An expert on Chechnya was discussing the Boston Marathon bombings as a possible “echo” of the military conflict in Chechnya that began almost 20 years ago, the Iraq Wars or the war in Afghanistan.
That got me to thinking about the “echo of divorce”. These military conflicts, this expert explained, created resentments, hard feelings and explosive emotions among some Muslims. Once created, these volatile feelings were very hard to contain. So, years after these conflicts began, we may have heard an echo of them in a most unexpected place.
Divorce is simply another form of conflict. It too has an echo.
And, the echo of divorce can also be heard decades after the fact and in very unexpected places.
The echo of divorce can be heard in your children’s emotional well-being, school performance, future romantic relationships, and adulthood.
It can be heard in your family life, financial future, your future romantic relationships, your emotional well-being and friendships.
It can be heard in your place of worship, job, school, and social circles.
It can be heard at holidays, birthdays, graduations, weddings, delivery rooms and custody exchanges.
But, once an echo is created, it is difficult to control. Just as no one could have foreseen the events in Boston, you will have trouble predicting when and where the echoes of your divorce will sound.
The good news is that you can largely control the sound and volume of the echo of your divorce. In my experience, noisy divorces create louder, longer more negative echoes. Quieter divorces create lower volume, shorter and more positive echoes.
Determining the echo of your divorce starts with finding a divorce process that reduces anger, animosity and acrimony in favor of respectful dialogue. Diplomacy over combat. It proceeds by not wasting time on argument, but instead invests your valuable time and money in problem solving. It finishes not by crowning the “last man standing”, but in a dignified de-merger of two whole individuals.
Decide early on what kind of echo you want your divorce to have, and choose your divorce process accordingly. Otherwise, you may be dealing with unpleasant echoes for a long time.