Much of the language around divorce is negative and that sub-consciously sets expectations for what ending a marriage is going to be like. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy and yet, it doesn’t have to be that way:
I intentionally want to try to change this mis-language of broken and ex’s. It’s deeply embedded in our culture but hopefully we can think about it in a new way, this untangling an adult relationship and rearranging the family seems to be much more useful and accurate about what people do. ~ Judy
Author and marriage and family therapist Judy Osborne set out to write Wisdom For Separated Parents with the goal to change the picture of divorce. I appreciate her concept of families ‘rearranging’ and like Judy I don’t use terms like ‘broken home’ or ‘broken family.’ I don’t see families of divorce this way – I see them just as being different and I don’t know why you would ever tell a child their family is broken.
Here in Colorado, even the legal system has adopted less judgmental language – we have parenting agreements in place of custody arrangements and the decision-making authority is independent of parenting time; there are no plaintiffs and defendants in divorce petitions but rather a petitioner and respondent.
I see all of that as positive and moving us towards a less hostile divorce environment.
What negative terms and language have you come across?