I have numerous people that I have coached overs the years, some I have known for many years prior to starting a business, that I keep in touch with. Many of them encouraged me to start my own coaching business because it seemed to come naturally for me. From time to time they will call me up to vent about the latest court motion filed by their ex, but on rare occasions, they will call to tell me something surprising that has happened in their case.
Last week a woman called and told me that her new boyfriend was encouraging her to call her ex and invite him over to talk about the children. The children have been behaving in a way that makes it apparent that the years of court battles have taken a toll. Now, this couple, has battled for years. Divorce nastiness at its absolute worst. A custody trial and appeal that went badly for one of them, and like I often say, just because one of them won, winning isn’t always winning either. Sometimes you have both lost and your children have lost big time. That was the case for this family.
When she called me to tell me that she was inviting this man, whom she hasn’t spoken to for about 6 years, to her home for a chat, I’ll admit that I was VERY skeptical. I was also afraid that someone might get hurt. I urged her to be cautious, but I really did not think the man would agree to meet with her.
He did not agree to meet face to face, but, he did agree to a phone meeting. They arranged a date and time that they would talk and arranged that he would initiate that call.
This couple who had not spoken for years, talked on the phone for an hour and a half about their children. They came to some agreements about what to do for the children. They did not blame each other and they did not argue. They spoke, as parents, with genuine concern for the children.
Will there be follow through? Time will tell. My point in writing this story is because my slogan, “When one door closes, another opens” has been a favorite quote of mine for many years. Long before I chose it for my business. I do find it to be the case in life. Life is about transitions and a journey. It is always evolving. Relationships are always evolving, too. They are always a work in progress.
If you have been through a high conflict divorce, this is a message to not give up hope. Some people will never repair the broken relationship, but some can. It takes one person to reach out and open the door to let the relationship back in, if only slightly. Am I saying that the couple will get back together? No. The good things is that they have had time to heal and maybe now can rebuild a cooperative coparenting relationship. It can be done. I have examples that the absence of the court battles, coupled with time away from each other to heal hurts often helps parents to put down the weapons and find a new way to work together as parents.
Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
*cross posted from when one door closes blog