When I was training as a psychotherapist, there was an exercise my clients sometimes chose to do.  We sat quietly across from each other, me with a pen and pad, and I asked, “What do you want?”  The client would respond. I would write down the answer. And I would ask the question again.  And again.

Sometimes a person’s answers would expand, as I repeated the question.  “I want to feel peaceful inside.”  “I want everyone to feel peaceful inside.”  And sometimes answers would deepen.  “I want to live in a house that’s kept clean and tidy.”  “I want to date someone who’s considerate about time.”  “I want to be around people who respect me.”

Ah.  So it isn’t just about cleanliness or promptness, it’s about respect.

What do you want?  In your divorce, do you want the house?  Is it the house, or is it the neighborhood?  Is it the neighborhood, or is it the school?  Is it the school, or is it the familiarity?  Is it the familiarity, or is it the security of not changing anything else right now?

Go deeper, into what you really want.  There may be only one house but more than one way of getting what you really want.

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