So I am at the pharmacy today… and there in the waiting area is a book rack featuring the “Divorce Guide” to help make divorce less expensive and complex. I said to myself…. WTF?
Now granted that my feelings around Divorce and the ease by which one can get one are filtered by being on the hurt end of a divorce. Meaning I was the one who wanted to work it out and at the very least TRY to save it. But my ex wanted no part.
Then she left with little communication and cooperation on how we were going to wind down a 12-year marriage with 3 kids, 2 business, a home, mutual friends, family and countless belongings and memories. And she left straight to the arms of another man in waiting who had just recently left his wife under similarly suspicious circumstances.
So ya, I am far from unbiased on the subject of divorce. Frankly I hate it. Yet it is not mine to say that all marriages “must” or “can” stay together. I simply feel that our cultural climate is at the point where it endorses, enables, and in many cases, encourages divorce. And seeing this book in our local pharmacy where families shop just jumped out at me. It pissed me off.
Divorce is often “humourized” to stories about how awful the ex is and the money spent. Granted that we can deflect pain with humour and humour indeed can be helpful in coming to grips with difficult events.
For those of us who have gone through a painful one, it is quite a different story and perhaps not so easy to laugh about. I feel it is completely dangerous to presume that divorce is a smiple benign parting of the ways between two people. My experience is that it is most often not simple nor benign. Most often, it is complex, deeply hurtful, and far reaching… especially when kids are involved.
To put it plainly, our culture’s attitude toward divorce feels like we just don’t give a shit. That we can end a marriage as easily as ending a magazine subscription. Once we have had enough, we can just walk away. I believe the legal term is “no fault” divorce.
Having had parents who divorced and then having arrived myself at the pointy end of a divorce, I know first hand what many of the outcomes are. If our parents divorce, we never have the first-hand opportunity to see how a marriage and family can do the things it takes to stay together.
Don’t we all feel the ups and downs of our marriage or “partner” relationships at different times? To me, the variations in feelings is just a normal part of how relationships work. Yet our culture seems to feel that if feelings of love diminish, that it is time to quit and does not recognize that there are huge impacts to divorce.
I suppose the reason I am posting this is because seeing the Divorce Guide book so casually and plainly displayed brought me back to how casual my ex was in packing in our marriage. And how flippant she was on how the impact on …. well frankly pretty much everything…. especially our kids and our families.
I can’t say why any or all marriages end in divorce. I simply know that many, including mine, ended with a large component of blind selfishness. And I see it in our divorce culture over and over and the fallout of pain and dysfunction on those involved. And this is better than trying to find a way to overcome the problems and stay together? Second marriages aparently have a higher failure rate.
My program of recovery teaches me that I do not need to change this for anyone but myself. At least to start. I do everything I can to make my current marriage the best possible. I want it to last forever for all the reasons that a marriage should. Like my recovery, I can only manage this a day at a time. So far it is working.