I’ve had enough and finally have to do my part to set the record straight! I want to shout from the rooftop that divorced people are not quitters! Divorced people, by and large, don’t dispose of good marriages, we don’t throw in the towel when things get too tough, and we aren’t lazy!
I know this, and chances are that if you are a divorce veteran, you also know this!
I am sick and tired of others looking in on my life (and those of other divorced people) and assuming that they know better about our situations, that they could have made the marriage last if it was theirs, and that we are some kind of low class of losers who can’t keep a promise or get our priorities straight!
Here’s my one disclaimer: I know that there are people who probably give up easier than they should or who have committed heinous acts that destroyed the marriage. I am not excusing the behaviors of liars, narcissists, cheaters, abusers, and others. I don’t excuse people who file for divorce over too many dirty socks left lying around and such stupidity, either. That brings me to my next point…
If 50% of marriages end in divorce, then let’s entertain the notion that 50% of the married population are decent human beings who married other decent people; therefore, their marriages have a better chance of lasting. As long as both spouses work together, communicate, forgive, and so on, they should last-right?
What about the rest of us?
Basic statistics will tell us that our population contains alcoholics, drug users, sociopaths of all description, and people who simply can’t get along with others.
My question to all of the divorce critics is, what would you do if:
Your spouse has an affair with a friend of yours?
Your spouse is a porn addict?
Your spouse kicks your 4-year-old child down the stairs, then throws a bowl at your head?
Your spouse announces after 8 years that he wants to start having sex with other men?
Your spouse takes all of the bill money to go on a cruise by herself, allowing the car to be repossessed and electricity to be shut off?
These are real life situations shared with me by fellow divorce warriors. These are just individual examples they provided that were a part of a regular pattern of disregard and neglect for the marriage. These stories represent what millions of spouses endure at the hands of their husband or wife – not just once or twice, but as a routine!
What, my divorce critic friends, would you do if your spouse’s actions made your life a living hell as these people have had to live through? Were my divorced friends “quitters”, “lazy”, or “not taking marriage seriously” to seek an end to this madness?
I hear the argument that “our generation” stuck it through, made it work, and didn’t give up on marriage. I will counter by suggesting that crappy spouses have always existed, and God love all the husbands and wives who had unhappy marriages, yet maintained their vow of “till death do us part.” I also wish to shake the hands of every lovely couple who stayed together despite the trials and tests and remains in love until the time of death. Who doesn’t want that?
Divorce still bears a large stigma in our society, made obvious by the fact that people are still out there shaking their heads and wagging their fingers at divorced folk. Yet, the disdain for divorce is significantly less than it used to be. I would argue that if people of generations past would have had the freedom to divorce that we do now, and if other things would have been in place, such as employment opportunities for women, many more people would have divorced!
Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that marriages of the past were all sunshine and roses! Until the last 100 years or so, marriage was more about securing alliances between people, exchanging property, and offspring than it ever was about love, mutual respect, and other things we expect in marriage today.
As a species, we really don’t even have adequate practice at marriage as we see it today. We are in largely untraveled territory when it comes to knowing how to behave in marriages we choose without the fear of our kingdom going to war with another or the lack of a male heir destroying a dynasty.
We have a lot to learn, as a human race. As I write this, our world has suffered three police shootings and at least one terrorist attack within the past week. We have an epidemic of people who have forgotten how to love, forgive, accept others, or show respect.
An individual tweeted to me this week that divorce is a “lazy way for people to renege on a serious contract without penalty”. Excuse me? My divorce cost me half of my children’s lives that they will spend away from my home. Divorce cost me my relationship with my parents who will no longer speak to me because they do not personally accept divorce. My divorce caused me serious depression and years lost to crying and feeling alone.
I write about divorce and I try to do my part to support others who are suffering from what I have been through. Although I am the “Divorce Warrior”, I am not a salesperson for divorce. Divorce is an unwanted thing; but, I will take up my sword and die for the right to be able to do what I have done! My divorce saved my life, and I know deep in my heart that it has been the best solution for countless others. I have no qualms about also stating that it has made my children’s lives better.
I have said before that I wouldn’t wish divorce on my worst enemy, but I feel that he or she should have the right to make that choice without know-it-all’s making judgment. You don’t know what happened behind my closed doors. You don’t know what I suffered in my marriage or as a result of divorce. I owe no one the private details of my marriage in order to “justify” that I should be allowed to end it. I do share because I feel called to take what I have learned to help others.
I don’t even accept that my divorce is wrong because it is against God. I believe that God wants us to be happy and living as I was in marriage was not part of His plan for me. He and I can deal with that issue between us. No need for any humans to assume the role of my spiritual judge.
I am no quitter. I am not lazy. I have relationship scars, but they have forced me to become a stronger and better person. I am not proud that I am divorced, but I am proud of who it has allowed me to become.
Until attitudes change and more people realize that divorce is sometimes a necessity, I offer a big hug to all of you on your divorce journey!