THE BLOG

The True Cost of Divorce

12/03/2013 16:31 GMT | Updated 12/05/2013 10:12 BST

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce have given us a very graphic insight into the devastating consequences of divorce. The reason we are so horrified by the disintegration of their family life, and their own lives is because theirs is an extreme version of what so many people feel when they are involved in the process of separation. Sometimes, looking at a catastrophic playing out of events, can show us all what can happen when the brakes aren't put on acting on how we feel.

Their fall from grace has been like watching a car crash in slow motion. The only difference between the Huhne/Pryce separation and others, is that they actually put into action, all their anger, bitterness and hatred, with devastating consequences for not only themselves, but also their family and their friends. They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned; well one would have to look no further for the evidence. Their separation and its Technicolor ramifications should make us all take a deep breath before acting out of spite.

There has been no upside in their separation. The consequences of their downfall and unravelling has meant losing jobs, losing face, losing family, losing friends, losing security and losing respect. During separation, we can feel many of the things that this couple clearly felt, but fortunately, when dealt with quietly and thoughtfully, they are temporary and are capable of remedy. They are capable of remedy because if we are sensible in managing separation, then our sense of right and wrong can remain intact and we can grow and develop out of it. It is not just because Huhne and Pryce are in the public eye that they will always be associated with this. It is because they have wreaked such havoc and nastiness on each other, that they can never successfully be good role models for their children, or have respectful relationships with either each other or their children. Their friends will have looked on in horror, as each of this couple in trying to communicate the loathing of the other, have destroyed something fundamental in life - integrity.

It is unusual that a divorce ends in criminal proceedings and prison, but we would do well to hold in mind in this extreme case, what can happen when we let our actions get the better of us. Anger, bitterness, envy, hate are all normal feelings. It's what we do with them that really matters. Understanding, that in bringing the other person down, is only going to bring you down. Tearing someone else apart however justified it might feel, will only tear you apart in the process. Take your feelings somewhere where they can be understood and managed. Feel them, go through them and come out the other side in time. Keep family relationships intact for the sake of the children and for the sake of your own sense of self. That is what is important.

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce may have quite a bit of time now to reflect on the craziness of the past year. I wonder if they will ever wish they had managed it all differently. From the insensitive, callous way he chose to communicate his affair, to the vengeful, spiteful way she chose to try to bring him down. There are never any winners in these sorts of battles. Both people lose. The only way to win is to be good to yourself by not embarking on a war of attrition. Hopefully, if nothing else, their case will serve to teach us that.