Divorce Guide?

February 24, 2009

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 divorce-guy3end 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 divorce-child2about.  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 sad-childrendiminish, 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.







  1. Yes, Yes, Yes.

  2. Sounds like you been down this road Sig?

  3. I think you’re right on here. The one word that can really describe a “bad” divorce is selfishness.

  4. Ya Band… a line from the Reba show comes to mind. She was arguing with her ex over some issue to do with co-parenting after divorce… he had run off with his assistant I believe… Reba says to ex….

    “In this divorce, you are the only one who got what they wanted”.

    This would of course included her, the kids, and their families. I think “Complex, disguised selfishness” is the mantra of the early millenium.

    Hope your doing well.



  5. I think a good portion of our society is content to stay at their office jobs and work till all hours in the name of almighty Capitalism and Conspicuous Consumption, but not willing to do real, hard work when it comes to nurturing and maintaining and evolving their relationships. Similarly, while the 12-step program asks us to turn our will and lives over to our higher power, that doesn’t mean we can slack off. “It works, if you work it.” Two mentions of that word in there: “work.”

    To take the analogy further, I think our country has some hard work to do, too, in the national recovery we’re undertaking right now. But we can’t just hand our troubles over to the government and expect them to solve all of it. We have to do some hard work, some sacrifice, some acting selflessly.

    We have to “do what it takes”, as you so perfectly noted. And no, it probably won’t be easy.

  6. I’m with ya, man. Now that I’m in a “delicate” situation myself, my eyes have been opened to the proliferation of divorce books, etc. Everything is disposable these days, I guess. Even marriages.

  7. C…. thanks for the comment….

    I agree that there appears to be a lack of awareness that it takes work to keep a relationship together…. perhaps more now than ever. And not work to change the other person, work on ourselves and responsibility for our own conduct and attitudes in the relationship.

    Apart from Dr. Phil, I can’t think of any widespread message that we the public at large are getting from the entertainment industry that speaks plainly of this. Yet we have TV shows galore that paint unrealistic pictures of relationships, how to keep them together, and the cost and pain of not doing so.

    I am not fretting on this matter…. will just continue to do my part. Because I have experienced both successful and unsuccessful behaviour in relationships. And the best thing I can do is influence those around me by living what I believe to be the truth to the best of my ability. And let the results infuluence who they may.



  8. TV…. yes, the divorce books support the divorce trend and culture.

    Yet at the same time, there are many books out there that speak plainly of the importance of marriage and what can be done to heal one.

    Again, the most wise and concise bit of adivce I have heard to date comes from Dr. Phil…. in that he says “If you want out of your marriage you should PROVE that it won’t work. You need to read every book, turn every stone, resolve every resentment before you leave …. otherwise you have unfinished business”.

    This is in reference to virtually all circumstances in a troubled marriage. With of course consdieration to where there is grave danger involved or flagrant disregard such as an ongoing affair or active addiction.

    Yet there are countless circumstances in which issues like these have been worked through.

    All I am saying is that many as far as I have seen havent even given it a token chance before packing it in because our culture has stated that walking away for any reason at any time is ok. It is our individual right.

    Yet the costs are tremendous and largely unseen.



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