Roots Vs. Wings
There’s no denying the perplexing and tenuous nature of most divorces, especially those that begin without professional guidance or insight into how certain personality traits can affect the decision-making process.
That’s why we’ve been sharing a wealth of relationship-centric information related to Wevorce’s Divorce Archetype profiles. As revealed in our opening discussion, learning about these profiles serves a twofold purpose: to “help expose unconscious patterns that drive conflict during divorce” — then to assist a couple in determining a proactive, healthy, and respectful path forward once uncoupled.
Today, we close our discussion of the Divorce Archetype research with a look at our two final profiles: Roots vs. Wings.
The Roots Profile is often the household rule-maker, and may also worry about safety and measure the risks taken. The person who identifies with the Roots profile may also end up feeling like the disciplinarian. The Roots believes rules are to be followed; and structure, discipline, and hard work lead to fulfilment, purpose, and integrity. A parent who is a Roots believes the primary way to raise happy and healthy children is to instill work ethic and responsibility.
The Wings profile believes rules are to be bent — if not broken — because a little risk is where the fun is. This profile doesn’t usually like to spend too much time worrying about worst-case scenarios, but rather deems learning from one’s mistakes to be more beneficial. The Wings are often not afraid of messiness, but rather welcome it. As parents, the Wings profile believes experiential learning and risk-taking is the best way to raise happy and healthy children.
Roots and Wings in Divorce and Co-Parenting
In a traditional family unit, the Roots profile keeps the family metronome running, and children greatly benefit from this. There’s also generally one free-spirited parent (the Wings) who is always driving the fun of the family, and this influence can be valuable, too.
However, when you separate parents into two households, the Roots vs. Wings (or rules vs. fun) dynamic rarely changes — which can create challenges.
If you tend to embrace too much of a free-for-all spirit, it can cause disruption and uncertainty for children when routines are ignored or forgotten altogether. Often, we see a Roots profile parent becoming annoyed at the Wings profile parent because the latter is usually the one having all the fun with the kids. When children return home to the Roots parent, this mom or dad can feel a responsibility to help with homework or complete tasks considered important but not necessarily fun — which can create conflict between co-parents.
For parents in this particular dynamic, it can be helpful for the Roots parent to identify the rules he or she sees as important (bedtime, homework time, etc.), but don’t forget to blend in the fun time. Then, the two parents must be able to have a conversation (even ongoing conversations as children age) about which of these rules they can agree on to create consistency for their children and achieve a healthy, balanced routine in their lives. (Whether they admit it or not, kids like to know what they can expect.)
Because the Roots profile tends to be better at organizing information related to the children’s schedules, this parent may want to set up a family calendar. This should be accessible to both co-parents to coordinate events and keep open, clear communication on all things pertaining to the children.
Co-parents need to work together to understand how their particular strengths (and weaknesses) might affect their family dynamic, both for the good and the bad. If they don’t, resentment and contention can build. By learning which Divorce Archetype profiles are at play in a relationship — profiles such as Roots vs. Wings — you can move forward as a cohesive family unit despite having transitioned into two separate households. With this deeper understanding of individual and shared family experiences, you can discern how to work together in a way that benefits you and your children for the long-term.
Divorce Archetype Profiles in Review
Initiator vs. Reactor (Influencers)
Every divorce will have an Initiator (one who has reached their breaking point) and Reactor (one who isn’t ready to face it). The only variant may be when an additional archetypal layer is added by an affair, during which delicate emotions may seem to be wrapped in barbed wire.
The Dependent is rather self-explanatory; if you had children, or adopted children during your marriage and they are still legally in your care, you fall under this profile.
Happily Even After vs. Solo
The Happily Even After profiles describe couples who want to work together to keep divorce amicable. The couples who can’t agree on whether or not to get a divorce, or the terms of a divorce fall under the Solo profile.
The Traffic Lights profiles correspond with literal traffic lights and signify the readiness of each spouse during the divorce process. These profiles are as follows: Red Light (also referred to as Positional), Honeystuck, and Green Light. When the Positional/Red Light profile is involved, couples are often unable to agree on most things. In the Honeystuck profile, a spouse may have days when he or she feels ready to move forward — and days when divorce seems impossible to face. Variations of this profile include Gas and Break, Parent/Child, and Driverless. The Green Light profile describes couples that have been wrestling with the decision to divorce for a while, but are now ready to part ways and move on to the next chapter of their lives.
Money Manager vs. Non-Money Manager
The Money Manager profile describes the spouse who handles the finances during marriage. The Non-Money Manager often has not participated in these activities ;and may have little to no access to financial account information.
Income Earner vs. Income Supporter
The Income Earner often makes enough money to support the entire family, and this person may be referred to as the sole breadwinner. While an Income Earner may work hard to provide financial support for the family, an Income Supporter has, in many cases, put his or her career on hold to focus on managing the family, playing a supportive role in helping his or her spouse earn household income.
Saver vs. Spender
Savers will plan ahead and put money aside before making an important purchase, as having a financial cushion for unexpected emergencies makes Savers feel safe. Spenders somehow always find enough money to buy what they want. Saving for a rainy day doesn’t motivate a Spender; they prefer to buy things and it makes them feel good.
Thinker vs. Doer
Thinkers tend to be strategic, thinking through all scenarios before having a conversation or making a decision. Doers learn by taking action, but a doer’s approach to reaching a decision is typically diligent and thorough. Change can be uncomfortable for doers.
Melody vs. Harmony
The Melody Divorce Archetype profile is also referred to as Dominant, and this person is often characterized as direct and strong-willed. The Harmony Divorce Archetype profile is also known as Submissive, and is usually a listener more than a talker.
Head vs. Heart
Heart-based people tend to be more emotional and base decisions on what they feel, following their gut rather than their head. They often react adversely to stress, making it hard to make rational decisions in the moment. Head-based people have less emotional fallout when stressed and rely more on reason and logic than feelings or gut reactions. However, head-based people might come off as being a bit more cold and isolated in a social setting compared to those of the heart-based persuasion.
Infidelity is perhaps one of the most delicate aspects of the archetypal layers. The presence of an affair adds the shock and pain of betrayal to an already tense divorce dynamic. Partners are not only grieving the loss of their marriage but are also experiencing the very painful realities of rejection and intense feelings of disloyalty.
Find more information about the Divorce Archetype assessment ;here.