A tale for the New Year
- Tuesday, 29 December 2015 16:20
Once upon a time a beautiful princess met a handsome prince and after all sorts of adventures they rode off together into the sunset and lived happily ever after. At least that is what was supposed to happen. But after the story ended they found themselves in a difficult place called Real Life. They were not very good at negotiating and were even worse at communicating.
When the prince felt upset he couldn’t tell the princess, as she might think he was weak. When the princess felt lonely she tried to tell the prince, but he felt criticised and got even more upset. Instead of talking, they started fighting. Everything they said or did seemed to be wrong in the other's eyes and they grew further and further apart. In the end, they thought they'd be happier in a new life and one of them decided to leave. This was not what was supposed to happen and was a terrible shock to them both. It was an even bigger shock for their children, who had no idea anything was wrong and who rather liked being all together in Real Life. Before long their two royal families and all their ministers and courtiers knew about the split and it became impossible to get back together without losing face. The prince and the princess blamed each other, fought about whose fault it was and carried on fighting as they both wanted to prove that they were right so that they could have the last word. Their ministers tried to stop them fighting but a long time passed before everything was sorted out and they started to talk again. When they finally became quite friendly again and developed an alliance so that they could bring up their children together, this was an enormous relief to them, to their children, and to both their royal households.
Mary Banham-Hall, mediator and family lawyer, author of Love Lose Live: Divorce is a Rollercoaster, published 4 February 2016.