Respectful Divorce: "Let's Talk This Over; It's Not Like We're Dead."

The best advice sometimes comes from the strangest places. I don't typically look to pop music for deep meaning; it's much more about the catchy hook. But every now and then, a lyric pops out and says something really important.

Case in point: Avril Lavigne's "My Happy Ending."

On the whole, the song isn't particularly groundbreaking: a woman reflects back on a failed relationship, lamenting its unfulfilled promises. Taylor Swift has built an entire musical career on lyrics like these.

But consider the song's opening lyric...

Let’s talk this over; it’s not like we’re dead.
— Avril Lavigne

Everybody knows that divorce can be a catastrophic life event; multiple studies have confirmed its place as one of the most stressful things a person can experience. In many ways, the death of a marriage is akin to the death of a loved one.

But the divorcing spouses themselves are not dead. They are still living, breathing, and capable of talking – even if it might not seem like it.

Divorce is a dialogue.

mediator's primary role is to facilitate dialogue between the spouses, to get them to the point where they can talk things out: children; finances; property; whatever is important to them as they begin to fashion their new lives. If they can't decide it for themselves, somebody else will decide it for them, and that is the last thing most people want.

Your marriage might be dead, but you aren't, and your spouse isn't. So "let's talk this over; it's not like we're dead."

For those interested, here is the full music video to Avril Lavigne's "My Happy Ending:"