The Secrets to a Friendly Divorce
By Jafree Ozwald
“As long as we hold on to blame, we cannot forgive. As long as we do not forgive, we cannot love. Blame is an invention of the wounded ego. Love knows no blame only compassion. Blaming holds you in the energy of the duality, of victim and abuser. Forgiving is a direct way of reclaiming your power and free yourself to love beyond judgment.” ~ Grace Elohim
Many years ago I divorced my partner Margot after we had been married for 7 years. I had met another woman who I felt who was more compatible, and I spent an entire year openly dating both of them, being completely honest about this new relationship just to make sure I was making the right decision. In the beginning, there was actually a mutual attraction between the three of us, so over two months, we tried to explore a threesome together, just to see if this was more of a long term polyamorous situation. We soon realized I had more interest in this new seductive temptress, and the loving balance between the three of us was not equal. If you want more details from Margot about how her side of the story unfolded, you can read all about our story in her book, The Golden Cage.
The most challenging part of the polyamorous situation was that I ended up splitting my heart between two amazing women. Because they soon were not close friends anymore, this split heart energy over a year of time became so deeply excruciating to my soul that I had to pick one woman to commit to. I didn’t realize how much I loved my wife at the time, I wanted to be with her and the new woman too. In the traditional world of marriage, you cannot have your cake, icing, ice cream, and a fresh apple pie and expect there to be room in your stomach to eat more.
I needed my wife in my life and felt that she was my rock and emotional stability. I loved her deeply as she was pure in devotion, honesty, support, and love. Yet the sexual chemistry, communication and mutual attraction between us had faded away through the years. I had to make this decision and if I did not go through with this decoupling process, I would lead a life of heaviness and regret. I had to take a leap of faith into the unknown, to experience a new life with this new woman and let my heart expand the next level.
“We are unhappy because we think that love is something we require from someone else.” ~Arthur Japin
The choice to leave my wife took me on a very deep spiritual path and made life become incredibly intense, emotionally raw and insecure. I was able to meet my wife with gratitude and I honestly thanked her for allowing me to spend so much time with this new woman. This gift of time brought so many deep emotional issues to the surface for healing, yet it was also the backbone for us to create a kind, loving and friendly divorce. This created an immense need for clarity in my mind about the deeper darker egoic issues lurking inside my shadow side.
A friendly divorce is essentially an amicable decoupling process. Since divorcing your partner is one of the most painful experiences any human being will ever go through in life, you can learn how to make it become the most loving, enlightening and transformational. There was such a deep friendship through the years with my wife, that we chose to dive even deeper into our friendship and rise above the ego pain that wanted to push the other way. The choice of a friendly divorce made me aware of how much love is actually underneath everything. The love made me realize that it didn’t matter so much if we were physically together or not. The love we had for each other was beyond the physical and this love is what allowed us to remain friends.
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” ~Mary Oliver
The friendly divorce that my wife and I decided to create together allowed us to see the deeper parts of our shadow sides around being in an intimate relationship. I saw the parts in myself which felt they needed a certain specific kind of woman to feel loved. I realized that I was still in search for the “perfect woman” that would make me feel like the perfect man. After living together for three years with this new woman and things began to get rocky again, I had to take a deeper look into myself and my patterns to understand why it was manifesting the same situation again.
I find relationships in life are like multi-faceted mirrors, reflecting those hidden parts of your psyche that you cannot see. Your main intimate partner in life, (that person you trust and open up to the most) is going to reflect the brightest and darkest aspects hidden inside you. You manifested your life partner to allow you to reveal these unconscious parts so you can heal them, experience tremendous spiritual growth, and eventually step into the state of self-realization or enlightenment.
Anytime your relationship gets rocky, challenging or tries to end in an unfriendly climax, it’s because you both aren’t willing to understand, accept and appreciate the biggest life lesson that is being presented to you in your mirror. The lesson is always about learning what it takes to be the Source of unconditional love. This means accepting yourself as the Divinity itself, knowing you are the God Source, the pure light of consciousness that is beyond all names and forms.
When you take on the willingness to be real, authentic, vulnerable and communicate your deepest truth with your partner, it dissolves the veils blinding you from knowing yourself as the source of unconditional love. The soul steps in to replace the ego’s need to be right and in control. All the blame, judgments or criticisms that you have about your partner are owned as your ego’s protection agents, and those deeper parts of you in hiding come out into the light of your own being.
Anytime a major fight, breakup or temporary separation occurs, it’s a cry for help that both soul’s are needing healing. It takes two to tango, and any fighting is never just from one side. If one person cannot face their issues and covers them up with alcohol, drugs, distractions, or remains busy all the time, then they are not willing to grow. It is very hard to sit with your pain and own it completely. It totally dismantles the ego, making life seem empty and meaningless. You may also get too identified with your pain and believe many negative things about yourself, life and others.
“Peace is the inner nature of humankind. If you find it within yourself, you will then find it everywhere. ~Ramana Maharshi
If you’re thinking your relationship is too far gone to be saved, and creating a friendly divorce is your best option, these are the first steps to moving forward. A friendly divorce means you are willing to own your issues and take 100% responsibility for them even when your partner refuses to take any responsibility in the relationship. Perhaps your partner will not soften, be vulnerable or let down their guard. Knowing yourself as divinity means that you are able to be open, kind, vulnerable and give your partner ample space and time to feel into their soul and know what love is.
Below are secrets I have discovered through the years that will either heal your marriage or create a more enlightened and friendly divorce situation.
The first thing is to figure out if you absolutely have to stop living together to start a deeper healing process. This decision can happen in one short conversation, or it may take weeks of sitting down and discussing details of your complex marriage. You’ll want to start your separation with telling your partner how much you love them, and you’re willing to give them a week, 6 months or even a year to dive deeper into themselves, define their source of unconditional love inside, and heal the wounded aspects which are causing the breakup to occur.
The big trial separation secret here is to have so much love and respect for each other you can make a conscious agreement to create a deeper healing space between you. This sacred healing time also means there will be no physical connection, zero communication, and it’s a specific amount of time which will give you both ample space to dive deeper inside yourselves to feel and see your unconscious saboteurs hiding in the shadows.
It is only through stepping back in pure awareness, that you can discover the real roots of your pain so that you can give it love and heal it completely. It’s key to spend time alone during your healing process yet don’t spend all your time alone. It’s good to talk with therapists, healers, friends and family for perspective and support during your healing crisis as well. Yet, the key I found was in getting extra quiet, being super still, solitary and diving into the core of what cannot be embraced and letting it rise to the surface to be loved.
Anytime two people are brought together in a long term loving communion, it’s to bring each other into an enlightened state. The love between you is like light, that naturally brings out the unconscious core issues from our past hiding in our shadow. Our shadow parts contain one-sided negative beliefs, blame games, judgmental projections and fears that we are unknowingly holding onto. You cannot see your shadow side until you look deep inside.
It’s those parts you don’t like about yourself and are too painful to accept so you keep them secretly hidden from the world. If you exposed your shadow onto everyone all the time, people would reject you and remove you from society, so you tend to keep them hidden. The shadow can only be healed with love and acceptance. Your partner is the golden flashlight to help you look inside and see the source where your shadow is actually coming from, and why it was created and remains in hiding. Once you bring awareness into owning your shadow side, you’ll bring all those hidden goodies out of the darkness and into the light.
“Enlightenment is not about imagining figures of light, but of making the darkness conscious.” ~ Carl Jung
One of the most often overlooked, yet highly essential secrets to creating a friendly divorce is the importance of taking extra good care of yourself physically. If you honestly want to be in a clear-minded headspace and an open heart space to create a deeper friendship, you have to stay away from eating heavy crap food, drinking alcohol, smoking, taking drugs, or ingesting anything that will cause your brain to not make very clear decisions.
The more toxicity flowing through your brain, the harder it is to listen to what your soul wants or needs, and you won’t be able to communicate from a grounded humble and vulnerable space either. When your brain is toxified, your emotional body becomes even more protected, and so you won’t be able to fully feel and relax into the deeper pain from the separation. Being vulnerable, grounded in the feelings while being in communication with your partner, are the essential ingredients in creating a deeper friendship while going through your separation.
What really worked for my wife and I, is that we devoted ourselves to going for long walks together to talk. We got exercise, fresh air, and mental clarity while we were able to discuss deeper feelings in the challenging situation we were facing. The more I would clean up my diet by eating only veggies and fruit, exercising every day, doing yoga, taking hot baths, getting massages, doing hypnotherapy sessions, and journaling about my experience, the deeper I could relax into my heart. This allowed me to find some stillness in silence so that I could make this huge life-changing decision and be confident about it.
I personally found the most important secret of all for me in creating a friendly divorce was the intention throughout the separation process to become immersed in the source of unconditional love and establish a deeper intimate relationship with Divinity. A tremendous love and healing energy is available to you when you simply open your heart and ask for it to come in. When you are open, trusting and can wait patiently, Divinity will find its way into you. Opening my heart up to this higher path of love and truth was the one thing that allowed me to stay centered amicable and emotionally stable throughout the entire divorce process.
One of the greatest benefits of choosing to have a friendly divorce is so that you both can bring the most hidden aspects of your shadows into the light of awareness to heal. The constant friendship with my wife allowed us to talk on deeper levels about our pain on our long walks together. This helped me to see the deeper wounded parts of my shadow sides around needing women. These parts felt they needed a certain kind of woman to feel loved, and I could see that I was still in search of the perfect woman that would make me feel like the perfect man.
In every relationship, there is always going to be one person who is more invested in staying together than the other. This person will be the one who starts taking on all the blame and responsibility for the relationship problems. The other person gets conned into believing that this is true thinking, “Why would they admit this and take all the blame if they weren’t the problem?” Thus, only one partner ends up owning their shadow which actually leaves the other person in denial, thinking they are not in the dark.
I find it is extremely important to never blame yourself anytime a divorce is considered. The divorce is manifesting from both partners. It is never just because of one person. The day you stop pointing the finger outside yourself, you start to look inside and see that there is a pain, block, emotional darkness that is trying to move towards liberation. When this is honored from both sides, both can accept that everything is unfolding exactly as it should, then the healing comes flooding in.
If the relationship is going to move forward in love to the next level, both people have to own their shadow, take full responsibility for the blame, judgment, and projection they have about the other, and share this new realization of responsibility with the other. By revealing this radical truth, the heart connection opens again as both are equally responsible and looking inside to make changes.
“Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the Self.” ~ Carl Jung
Below is a powerful healing technique that works miraculously at enlightening your shadow inside you and bring your relationship to an entirely new light!
Start the exercise by judging your partner. Take that one specific resentment, complaint or negative feeling that you are holding onto about your partner and write it down. For example, you could believe that “He is always so angry, distant and cold.” Take a few minutes now to truly embrace this feeling, and deeply feel this negative feeling inside your body. Look inside yourself and notice where in your life are you also angry distant and cold. Then, flip the light switch on to the opposite positive feeling and thought which may sound something like, “He is at peace, connected, warm and fuzzy.” And lastly, allow yourself to find these same positive aspects within yourself.
The next step is to merge this positive healing sensation in your own body until it completely takes over the negative, and balances out the cold distant judgmental feelings. Really embellish your imagination so you truly feel the reality of both the positive and negative sensations inside your partner and within you. When you let your body feel a good deep dose of both the negative and positive feelings around this one judgment/belief, then say to yourself, “Both sides are true, and this balanced truth cancels each other out leaving neither side to hold any real truth”. From this detached space, you can take a step back from everything and let it all go.
When you can train your mind to continuously flip the switch, change train tracks, and entertain the opposite of every judgment and negative belief that arises, then you discover the power to drop it instantly. This is not about creating a habit of replacing the negative with the positive. It’s more powerful and enlightening than that. This is about seeing the illusory nature of thought, the balanced perfection of the universe, the equilibrium of life, and allowing all beliefs to cancel each other out so that nothing but spaciousness is left.
This spacious energy allows you to drop deeper into your being, where the God Source is easily accessed. By practicing this third side of the coin balancing technique anytime you get triggered by your partner, you’ll find that you become a very peaceful being. You’ll become okay with that typically upsetting news, capable of remaining centered in the midst of their emotional storm and feel available to loving and accepting them exactly how they are.
It is only through deep introspection that you can find fulfillment in your relationships. Every person contains both negative and positive aspects inside them, which are hard to see until you can sit with your own shadow. The enlightened relationship can only manifest when we are neither attached to nor avoiding the negative or the positive beliefs about our partner. If you’ve become attached to the positive or negative ideas about how your partner “used to be or should be”, then you’re digging out your own personally designated dungeon.
Drop your attachment and choose to set them and yourself free! There are always three sides to every coin. There is a middle path that will liberate you, and it is often hidden beyond the shadow. Only when we truly find this middle path that is neither avoiding the negative nor clinging to the positive, can we see how perfectly divine, sacred and God-like the reflection in the mirror actually is.
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