Monique, why did you write The High Road has Less Traffic: honest advice on the path through love and divorce?

It’s simple, really. At every decision point that life presents us with as human beings, each of us must make a very deliberate choice on how we should proceed. The decision we make ultimately defines who we are as people and as members of society. We can go negative, wallowing in a swamp of despair and dejection, and become emotionally paralyzed in a state of low-level thinking and anxiety. Or we can raise our sights and our outlook, keep our wits about us, optimize our potential, and follow a more inspired, self-affirming path.

On a personal level, I was forced to make a similar choice myself when I experienced a relationship implosion of my own, and suddenly found myself staring down the face of divorce. I quickly came to realize the kind of pain and destruction that divorce can inflict on others, especially on children. I decided that I would take my experience and turn it around to help other people who were in the same situation. I began to counsel people facing relationship troubles and divorce, and before I knew it I was fielding calls and emails weekly from friends, or friends of friends, or friends of acquaintances. I found that there were certain pieces of advice that resonated with my new-found circle of friends. I decided to package my experiences and insights into a book that summed up my personal philosophy: that the high road has less traffic, and a better view! Given a choice, the high road is the best path to take in life, especially when dealing with marriage and family!

Why did you write your second book, The High Road has Less Traffic … and a better view?

 

a After my first book was published, I began writing for a number of different publications including several local periodicals, and more well-known ones like Shape Magazine. My writing continued and I started to contribute content to many sites focused on marriage, dating and divorce such as The Huffington Post,  eHarmony, HopeAfterDivorce.org, and DivorcedMoms.com.  While my first book was part auto-biography/part self-help and shared my personal journey through divorce, my second book is all about providing perspectives. I am not a divorce attorney; not a clinical psychologist; not a marriage therapist. I am just a regular person like you — trying to maneuver through the complexities of love, marriage, divorce, parenting, dating, remarriage, and everything in between. My goal is to share perspectives from life along the way that are inspiring, motivating, and thought-provoking … and, of course, at times witty, sarcastic, and challenging. The feedback on my second book is that it is relevant to a very broad audience, not just people going through a divorce.

What is the #1 thought you want readers to take away from your books?

My mission is to influence people to take the high road in navigating in and around divorce. There are so many opportunities to veer off the high road because of the anger, hate and emotion that are generated like hot sparks in the flywheel of divorce, but taking the high road truly is the healthier way to go for your own sanity and for the best interests of your children. The sad fact is that most people don’t choose to take the high road, and that is why it has less traffic … and a better view. The beauty of the high road philosophy is that it applies to life as a whole, not only in dealing with relationships and divorce. While my first book focuses predominantly on taking the High Road in dealing with a divorce, my second book expands to include other things I have learned about taking the High Road as it applies to parenting, co-parenting, strengthening your marriage, embracing change, and living your life to it’s fullest.

Divorce has reached epidemic proportions in our society?  Do you see this as inevitable?

The divorce rate in America is now over 50%, which means one in two couples will break up. Statistics say that 70+% of second marriages end in divorce, and 90+% of third marriages. That is, indeed, an epidemic. I certainly feel the “contagion” as I look around at my social group. It seems somehow inescapable, since, as I learned, you can get blind-sided very quickly if you aren’t careful.

I don’t see divorce as inevitable, but as symptomatic of a breakdown in our own sense of purpose as human beings and the way we relate to others vs. becoming self-absorbed. I don’t want my children to grown up thinking that love and the covenants of marriage are not “until death do us part.” I see too many people giving up too easily, and making the wrong choices, which impacts their ability to stay in the relationship. Just think how many fewer divorces we might have in our society if people chose to take the high road! The high road philosophy doesn’t stoop to lying and the other behaviors that are detrimental to dating and marriage. The high road philosophy role models great parenting for our kids

Why do so many couples find themselves detoured on the Low Road vs. the High Road when it comes to divorce?

Many divorce proceedings begin because one partner has opted to take the low road versus the high road. It then becomes too easy for the other spouse to want to retaliate at that level, to strike back with low road behavior. This downward spiral is dangerous for all involved, especially the innocent children who are caught in the middle. The high road is a more creative and productive response and a far healthier direction for all involved. The high road doesn’t involve scratching the paint off shiny red cars, swinging golf clubs, cutting holes in your spouse’s clothes, confronting the other woman, or taking out a full-page ad to share with the world what “happened!”

How does taking the High Road benefit couples and families, compared to the low road?

Taking the high road is the family-friendly way to go and the benefits are too numerous to quantify. The high road is ultimately a way of life. It means making the elevated decisions. It’s opting to do something that may not always be the easiest choice, but is always the more thoughtful choice. It’s making decisions that will make your kids, your family, and your friends proud. It’s living your life so that you can look yourself in the mirror every day knowing that you aspire to greater ideas and ideals!

Does taking the High Road imply the practice known as Collaborative Divorce?

Taking the high road doesn’t necessarily imply the practice of Collaborative Divorce. People can take the high road in a divorce regardless of what procedure they need to follow. However, I have found the collaborative process of family law to be one which complemented my desire to take the high road in how I was resolved to manage the outcome for myself and my children. I didn’t have to testify publicly; I didn’t have to drag my kids to court. The collaborative process encouraged open communication and working together for the best interests of the entire family.

The High Road imagery conveys a kind of religious allegory.  Is this a spiritual book?

I didn’t write my books to be a faith-based books, but my faith is certainly important to me and it comes through in several areas. As I have traveled this path, I have talked with many different people from all walks of life and all religious backgrounds and regardless of their religious beliefs, the concept of the high road applies to everyone. Just think what a better world we would live in if every decision was made applying the high road concept.