In ancient times, Greek plays almost always had a chorus of actors who would comment, in one voice, on the action of the play, the characters, and sometimes predict action coming in the next scene. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the Greek Chorus would “comment on the moral issue that is raised by the dramatic action or to express an emotion appropriate to each stage of the dramatic conflict.”
If you are in the process of getting a divorce, you may be facing a Greek Chorus of your own friends and relatives. What does this mean, and how should you respond?
The Greek Chorus of Divorce
The Greek Chorus of divorce are people behind the scenes of your divorce. They are your friends and relatives who basically are concerned about you and want to help. They make comments that are well intended but likely not in your or your children’s best interest. You see, no two divorces are the same.
For example, you may hear, “My friend got a divorce and got the house, and you should do that, too.” Or, they say things like, “Be sure you get full custody of the children.” These people may be coming from a place of love, but no matter what their position in life, even if lawyers or therapists, they are giving you advice that may not work for your particular situation, especially if you choose a more peaceful divorce through the Collaborative Divorce or Mediation process.
In dealing with your Greek Chorus, the best response is, “I appreciate your help, but the process I have chosen is different and focuses on the priorities for our family.” Acknowledge their concern, but do not let them taint your process.
How the Collaborative Divorce Process Works
Most people have little understanding of how mediation or collaboration works. They have seen divorces on television and in movies where there are big fights, attorneys fighting for the “rights” of their clients and pitting the spouses against each other in ways that stir up anger and hostility.
In the peacemaking approach, outsiders who may only be familiar with the traditional litigation process and who do not know your personal situation and your priorities would say something like, “Oh dear. Your lawyer is not fighting for you.” The reality is: Your lawyer is actually “fighting” to keep the welfare of your children and your family’s future at the center of the process. When all the professionals consider the family’s priorities, they help the couple work together to come up with solutions that work for the whole family, in the best interest of the children.
If you are interested in learning more about a collaborative divorce, or mediation, contact us at Family Peacemakers to schedule a one-hour free consultation.