The High Road From Hell.

One of my favourite poems is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost   Full disclosure: it’s really the only poem I know well, sadly – I’m not a poem buff.  But The Road Not Taken has stuck with me for years, decades – many, many decades.

I have a bit of a rebellious streak, almost to a fault. If someone tells me to do something, I do the opposite, even if it’s to my detriment. So taking the road less travelled? Right up my alley. Except when taking that road less travelled meant having to take the high road.

Whaaat?

If you are separating/divorcing someone who has high conflict tendencies, you’ve probably heard a friend or professional tell you to ‘take the high road’ and not stoop to their level. The high road is great in theory, really freaking hard in practice.

I used to refer to the high road as the high road from hell.

Because taking the high road, biting my tongue, breathing out my anger instead of having a tantrum – all felt like hell. If you’re trying to take the high road, it probably feels like you aren’t getting anywhere.

That your ex still manipulates you (or tries to – but you are hyper focused on his/her tactics so you can almost stop the manipulation before it happens. Side note: you must be exhausted), that the mysterious everyone out there will believe the lies your Ex is telling and that your kids still come home and tell you all the things your Ex is saying about you.

The high road feels like nothing is changing for the better.

The high road feels like you’re letting your Ex win.

The high road makes it seem like you’re a doormat.

The high road is also a really lonely place, very few people take the high road so you’re usually on that road all on your own.

Enter: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. The poem, in its entirety, is above but I want you to focus on specific words.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by. And that has made all the difference”. The high road and the road less travelled are interchangeable. The high road IS the road less travelled. And while you may not see the benefits of high road/the road less travelled in the moment (or for the next 5 years), one day your children will be adults, and have the ability to self reflect on their childhood.

What it was like to grow up with the mom and dad who raised them.

Which parent took the high road and put their needs ahead of their own.

Which parent bit their tongue rather than lashing out at hurtful words aimed at them.

Which parent engaged in the ‘fight’ and which parent took the high road.

Which parent chose to spend their time with their kids present and open and which parent was distracted by hateful emails and demanding texts.

Which parent got to know who their kids were, supported them to be flexible thinkers and independent adults.

Which parent took the road less travelled during their high conflict divorce… and how that decision… made all the difference.

Make the shift.

Turn the lonely high road from hell into the road less travelled and give your children the gift of you. Your presence, your engagement, your love.

Take the road less travelled.