Thursday, December 04, 2008

Judging Divorce

As divorce rates have soared during the last half century so too has the finger wagging about who, and what was at fault. Much has been said about the damage that divorce has upon those families affected by marital dissolution. In fact I have blogged about the subject myself, sharing my concerns over the often abrupt disruption and cessation of stepfather-stepchild relationships.

However destructive divorce may be there are millions of divorced couples who feel that they have no other choice but to put an end to their personal suffering - a suffering brought about by their continued relationships. In that regard alone it is easy to argue that divorce allows a sort of rebirth for those involved.

Living in a marriage in which one, or both, parties feel that their lives would be better off simply by being apart isn't a feeling restricted to those who have or will divorce. Many couples suffer for years before one or both parties come to the conclusion that there is simply no other way to end their suffering, yet many of those couples stay together despite their suffering.

Couples often stay together "for the children", for financial reasons (i.e., too poor to separate), for fear of being alone, or a combination of reasons. These couples live in their personal hells biding their time, hoping for a change that will end their despair.

After years of suffering, and perhaps quiet planning, and prayers, some type of triggering event, or series of events takes place which allows one or both members of the marriage to rise to action - to end their suffering through the creative act of divorce.

I am certain that most of those who have divorced faced tough times initially. Divorce in the U.S. carries with it stigmas, and assumptions that still persist despite the divorce rate. People who divorce are often seen as tainted goods in religious, and social circles. Divorce is often seen as a sign of moral and ethical immaturity - that in some sense those who entered into the marriage were not developed enough as individuals. And while this is true in many cases it isn't always so, and yet the perception persist.

While divorce shouldn't be seen as lightly as moving from one home to another, or leaving one job for another, those who yearn for it, or who have already achieved it, should not be judged harshly for their situation. Despite the numbers of failed marriages one only has to look at the percentage of those who have married again to know that it isn't marriage that is being rejected; it is the specific marriage that is the problem.

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