Two Faces of Spousal Support

The end of a friendship can be both difficult and hard. This is multiplied many times over when the friendship was also part of an intimate relationship.


Usually it is the person who is left that is given the opportunity to be acknowledged as the one hurt. This ignores the feelings the person who ‘did the leaving’ and their feelings about what was left behind.


Usually a woman who leaves is said to have ‘escaped’ the relationship. They are given an opportunity to become cast as the victim. And, many soon learn that is how they can, or should, see themselves in order to remain aligned with the sentiments that surround them.

In the conflict triangle (Victim – Villain- Hero) it is the Victim who holds the most Public Relations Power. It is the Victim that decides who is the Villain and who is the Hero of their story. This can give rise to two stories (sometimes three) that casts the creator of the story as the ‘Lead Victim’.


Yet intimate relationships never cease to exist – even after they are declared to be over. By the very degree of intimacy that characterized the relationship, ‘a piece’ is inevitably left behind.


Until one person can accept the other persons choice to move on that ‘piece’ will not be at ‘Peace’.

Until one person can accept their own choice to move away that ‘piece’ will not be at ‘Peace’.

Acceptance requires that any addiction with being cast as the Lead Victim be overcome.

Beyond the support and parenting of children there is another ‘tie’ that binds – spousal support. Until the courts open their eyes to this, spousal support will be an umbilical cord rather than a bridge. Self-sufficiency is one of the legislated factors to be considered when awarding spousal support. Yet very rarely will a ‘self-sufficiency plan’ be asked for or presented when a spousal support award is decided.


The courts have chosen to characterize marriages and long term (Adult Interdependent) Relationships as partnerships. Yet how many breakdowns in partnerships outside of Family Law entitles one of the partners to a monthly standing order stipend (which the recipient is not required to account for) from the other partner purely because a, now broken, partnership existed?


The Umbilical cord of spousal support based on the past continues the hurt feelings and victim hood by continuing the interdependence.


The Bridge of Spousal support allows a new future to be created and the negative feelings associated with the old relationship can be laid to rest without victimizing the payer or the recipient.

The Art & Science of Dispute Resolution

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