I wrote the book as a guide for single women (meaning not married) who were ending a dating relationship. Once you bring in legalities, like divorce, custody or property division, that's a whole other magilla. Outside of experiencing my parents divorce, I can't really speak of that situation with any authority, only empathy. Still, I stand by the Ground Rules, no matter what the breakup might bring. While you may have to talk to make arrangements for the kids, the pets or the assets, that doesn't mean you have to discuss the relationship or your feelings for each other. You can still (politely) avoid those calls, emails and conversations. All you have to say is, "I need some time and space before I can really talk to you about that." Then let him (or her) know that you'd like at least thirty days, or whatever it is that will work for your situation (aim for the thirty, though). The idea is to separate yourself from the relationship and the breakup pain so that you can get perspective. That's not easy if you have to deal with each other on a daily basis, but you can try to implement the steps as much as you can, as best as you can, so you are able to get over the relationship as quickly, happily and healthily as possible.
09 July 2009
I had an interesting conversation today with someone who just read the book. The issue the reader had was whether the book really applied to his situation. Yes, his. He's not the first gentleman to have read the book. Yes, even hetero men have been helped by the pretty pink guide. His critique was that it is near impossible to follow the Ground Rules if you have to split property or share custody. And that is absolutely true.