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      Imagine a marriage where both parties are unhappy and bickering all the time. Their values and goals are different. There is no chemistry between them. The children are exposed to awkward silences and all-out battles. There may be emotional, verbal or physical abuse. Everyone in the family is miserable. Should this couple stay together? Most of us would agree they would be better off apart.

       Now what if those two people, without the stress of trying to get along in this marriage, found that they were happier separately? What if they could get along on parenting issues? What if, outside of the rigors of the marital relationship, they were able to consistently exercise respect and clear communication? As separate individuals, they could thrive, experience good viable relationships and perhaps, remarry. The children would also thrive, as there would be reduced stress between the adults. The children would be exposed to happier, calmer parents with different, yet high-functioning lifestyles. Now, that would be a good divorce!

       Sometimes there are good divorces. There could be more good divorces, if we could get beyond the desire to blame and seek revenge. Also, if we would stop seeing divorce as anti-marriage or anti-family, people would feel less stigmatized and less like failures. There would be less hurt feelings, bitterness and acrimony. Divorce could be a good solution to a bad situation.

       Marriage is not going out of style, but it is changing. Some say this is in response to the women’s movement, increased life expectancy, the sexual revolution or economics. Whatever the reason, we are marrying just as often, but divorcing more frequently. We try again and again. We keep trying because love, connection, and commitment have not gone out of style. They merely look different.

       No one takes divorce lightly. It is a decision everyone wrangles with. Often, we take more time considering divorce than we do marriage. Divorce is not always a negative thing. It can be an opportunity for all parties involved to have a better, healthier life. It can be a gift to our children and future generations as well.

      Consider the possibility that your family might actually thrive after your divorce. Maybe your divorce can be a good divorce. To that end, maybe you can work at improving your post-divorce communication in a way that was not possible in the marriage. After all the dust settles from the legal process, you may find that a bad marriage doesn’t have to lead to a bad divorce.

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7 Comments

  1. CJ Golden on the 22. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    I’m on the same page, Donna. There are certainly “good” divorces; divorces where both partners can learn to communicate and recognize that blame, hatred and negativity only harms themselves and their children. Does one have to like or respect their former spouse? I don’t believe so. But by acting civilly towards one another a form of peace is created. A peace that they can both live with – for the “good” of the divorce.

  2. CJ Golden on the 22. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    May I also add that your comment about more thought going into divorce than the decision to marry is telling. Might that be one of the many causes of such a high divorce rate?

  3. Lisa A on the 22. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    I agree 100% with you! I divorced without any children involved but i feel the same. It took alot of digging deep within myself to realize we were not right for each other for the above reasons. In the end, I realized I need to put myself first & not accept unhappiness because I’m scared of uncertainty. Life is uncertain no matter how you look at it & I didn’t want to cling on to something that didn’t make me feel good about myself because I was scared of a future unknown. It is important to stay open to life’s possibilities….good & bad. If you are open & have the courage to take a chance on yourself, you never know where life is going to take you.

  4. kathleen on the 23. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    I believe that once we love someone, we love them forever. After the decision to divorce, love can take a different form. Co-parents, even friends. Remember Joanie Mitchell said, “We start off so kind and end so heartlessly.” We can’t be with everyone we love, and sometimes it’s time to let go and move on. I describe myself as happily divorced. With understanding comes forgiveness.

  5. Stacy B on the 07. Feb, 2012 remarked #

    Thank you ever so for you post.Really thank you! Awesome.

  6. Barrett S on the 14. Feb, 2012 remarked #

    Thank you ever so for you blog post. Great.

  7. Veta on the 11. Feb, 2013 remarked #

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!

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