If possible, "changing the frame" can help a great deal. Instead of thinking of either yourself or your ex-spouse as a failure or "damaged goods," try to see the relationship as one that simply didn't work out. This can help you manage to see your ex as a human being with some redeeming qualities, even though you may be feeling hurt and angry. It can also help preserve your self-esteem without resorting to the use of splitting.
In mediation, we emphasize differentiating between the spousal role
Alan L. Frankel, C.S.W., is a psychotherapist and divorce mediator who specializes in helping families undergoing a separation or divorce. He is in private practice in Mt. Kisco, N.Y.
Divorce Magazine provides advice and support for those coping with separation, divorce, and remarriage. For more tips and stories, visit www.DivorceMagazine.com.