When HFM asked me to report back how I was doing after they had mediated my divorce, I was apprehensive. I didn’t want to think about or discuss it. It was over and I wanted it behind me.
I have come to a hard conclusion: I honestly don’t know how to talk about my experience. For me, divorce sucks, and it sucks in every conceivable way. Working with Heartland Family Mediators made it suck a little less and I mean that as a compliment. Their process kept us from fighting as much and kept our focus on the important things. We were able to approach the negotiations in a much less confrontational way than I’d envisioned.
From the start I had hoped and believed that mediation would allow us to end up somehow ok following the divorce. In hindsight, that belief was unrealistic; being ok may still be a long time coming.
In the aftermath of our divorce following 26 years of marriage, both of us continue to feel like we have lost important bits of our lives, our psyches and our souls. At this point I do not see how things can be any other way. I continue to feel like I failed at marriage. Even now I still think my ex can be very difficult, a feeling I expected to go away almost immediately. But worst of all, I feel like I’ve lost my kids in some ways. For me that means I’ve lost nearly everything.
I hold out hope that as more time passes my sadness and disappointment will ease. And for anyone who might read this, know that from my perspective the “getting over” part may be more difficult than you expect. Mediating the divorce did help both of us exit our marriage with fewer scars, less anger and emotional damage than we would have had the litigation route been our choice. The expense of the mediation was less than what we would have spent litigating, and it was significantly quicker than I believe litigation would have been. I do recommend Heartland Family Mediators and the mediation approach to anyone considering divorce. They are knowledgeable and sensitive, and keep the focus where it should be: on the family. Their follow up also has been excellent.