No one plans for an intimate relationship to end. On our wedding day, whether traditional or individually crafted, or when we are deciding to commit to a common-law relationship, we are each making our best choice from where we stand at that moment. Life will present us with many predictable and some completely unpredictable changes.

Along the way, 40% of married Canadians will end their relationship by choice. Until the 1950s the majority of marriages ended because of the death of a spouse. Since that time, we have all been pioneers in this territory of learning about intimate relationships ending by choice, either for ourselves or for friends or loved ones.

For parents, this transition often includes rehabilitating the relationship to the point where co-parenting is as comfortable and efficient as possible – a formidable task at the best of times.

For the past 20 years I have studied, taught, written about, and assisted clients through what I believe to be this most emotionally complex transition of mainstream adult life today.

Marital transitions often include such a mixed bag of emotional experiences from grief and loss to betrayal, affection, anger, hurt, longing, desire for revenge, hope, love, inspiration, loneliness, forgiveness, feeling lost, confusion, rage, despair, strength, acceptance – in other words, just about anything and everything.

And yet remarkably most people make it through and many thrive. They show us the resilience of the human spirit. Sadly, for some families the pain of the transition does not end and can get worse.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road…
unless you fail to make the turn.
-Author unknown

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