There are a lot of nasty rumors about Divorce:
Divorce is the easy way out
Divorce means you didn’t try hard enough
Divorce means you don’t take marriage seriously
Divorce is a failure
Stop saying these things to yourself and to anyone else.
Most people that have been through a divorce will tell you that there is nothing easy about it. And, when I mentioned to a handful of people that I was thinking of writing about divorce, I was met with a resounding “Yes, please!”
People do not get married with the intention of getting divorced. They don’t gather their friends and family in a celebration of love with the hopes that the relationship will end.
Divorce is a devastating process made worse by the social implication that you somehow failed. You did not fail.
You tried and then something (or somethings) happened. Something that only you and your partner know.
This was the clear message conveyed to my by every person I talked to about this topic. Some variation of “only the two people that were married know the intimate details about what happened” so please stop thinking you know what happened, you don’t. And, please stop judging people for making this extremely challenging life decision. The truth is, most people that go through it are so incredibly hard on themselves, they don’t need their support system saying “they’ve failed” or “they took the easy way out.”
Why not instead, try and offer support. Maybe listen without making judgements or offering advice and please keep what they share with you in confidence.
Staying unhappily married is ridiculous. I think most people really try to figure out a way to make it work before coming to the conclusion to end their marriage. As Bryan put it when we talked about this post, “You don’t win a prize for being miserable.” It is not noble to stay unhappily married because it is what you are supposed to do.
Because people think in black and white (when the whole world is shades of grey). This post does not imply people should not try to make their relationships work. Again, I believe most people do try (hard) to make their relationships work.
In terms of religion, I am no theologian but I do know that The Greatest of These is Love cuts across all the major religions. So, instead of thinking you have the right to judge maybe you really only have the right to love?
I’m going to say this a lot through these posts because it’s true: even when we try and do our best the bottom fails out from under us and we have to make decisions we never dreamed we would have to make.
So, if you know someone going through a divorce don’t assume you know why or what is happening. And if you are the one going through the divorce, be nice to yourself, it’s the healthiest way to move forward.