I’ve been trying to expand my horizons so I will sometimes click on other people’s blogs when something interesting comes up. Not long ago I clicked on a blog post that was a rebuttal to another post which was mocking a movie that the author thought celebrated divorce. Of course, I had to track down the original post, and that author was indeed decrying divorce. There was a second blog entry, also talking about the perils of divorce. The author seemed to be irked about how casually people divorce but the commenters were even more critical.
Can’t have divorced people thinking they might be doing anything especially bad, after all!
… just another attempt to make mommy and daddy feel better about wrecking undeserved havoc on their children.
It serves no purpose except to make parents feel better for not honoring their vows and putting their kids through Hell.
The movie ends with the lead character talking about how sometimes it’s better for the whole family if mommy and daddy don’t live with each other. Apparently this was added to make actual divorced people feel less guilty after watching divorce wreak a path of destruction throughout the film, where the parties harmed the most are the ones the most innocent. Can’t have divorced people thinking they might have made a mistake, after all.
Those were just a few of the comments. So nice to know I’m putting my children through Hell and have wrecked undeserved havoc on them.
One of the commenters linked to his blog which was even more harsh in its attitude towards divorce. This one went so far as to suggest that perhaps divorced people should be taxed at a higher rate to make up for “polluting” society.
I’m not a fan of divorce. In fact, when I got married I took my vows very seriously and I had no intentions of ever walking away from my marriage. There was a very brief period of time when CF’s drinking was out of control and he once again quit therapy that I thought, “I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.” There were moments after his emotional affair that I wondered if I could forgive and forget, move on and rebuild. I will even cop to having a few moments of righteous anger when I definitely thought about leaving. The reality is I would have never done it. I was committed. I didn’t believe in getting a divorce and truly felt that with the right attitude I could overcome pretty much anything. If he couldn’t or wouldn’t make me happy then I would find things that would. My attitude was he was the person I picked and for better or for worse I would stand by him until the end. In other words, I’m not one of those people who believe you change partners whenever things get difficult or the butterflies aren’t fluttering in your stomach any longer. I’m not a big believer in the whole, “I’m just not happy; therefore, I deserve to divorce you, shatter our family, and go find someone else.” I do realize that sometimes that is the reality. Occasionally, two people are so utterly mismatched that no matter how much they try they will never be able to make it work.
Unfortunately, sometimes there are issues with addiction, abuse, and/or adultery. The Bible clearly states that adultery is grounds for divorce. I know that some churches will counsel the cheated on spouse to stay and fight but if God tells me I can get a divorce I’m going to go with His counsel and not some man’s. I think that if you are dealing with abuse or adultery you are completely within your rights to leave. Sometimes things just can’t be fixed. Living with an alcoholic or a drug abuser can be draining; you never know what to expect. And to live with someone who might one day gamble your home and savings away? No thank you.
Sometimes one person in the marriage simply walks out the door. There is no fixing that. I mean sure, you could refuse to divorce. I guess you could never get around to filing and if the disappearing spouse doesn’t bother with filing either you would remain married. It’s not exactly my ideal way to live and it’s fraught with potential land mines should your legally wedded spouse do something stupid, but it is an option.
I suppose these very Christian bloggers might give you a pass if you divorce for one of the above reasons. Maybe not. The problem is they don’t usually differentiate. Divorce is ugly and horrible and evil. Period. That seems to be their motto. Someone commented that divorce is always a moral failure. Another suggested basically ostracizing divorced people and linked to an article that supposedly proves that having a divorced person in your social circle leads to a higher likelihood of divorce in your own marriage, as if there is some divorce bug which you can catch.
Well, I’m sorry but I’m not a horrible, evil person, and I’m not contagious with divorce cooties. My husband was cheating once again; any moral failure was on his part. My conscience is clear. It was very apparent that he had one foot out the door. He had given her thousands of dollars, 2 iPhones and was paying her cell phone bill over the summer and he had another bank account I didn’t even know existed until I got the notice from the investment company letting him know they had transferred the rest of the money from his stocks into said account. I would later find out that checking account was a joint checking account and he had given her free access to half his paycheck. He was interviewing for jobs in her state for crying out loud! There was nothing to save. I had to go into self-preservation mode and make sure my children and I weren’t left with absolutely nothing.
I’m not a fan of divorce but I’m also not a fan of trying to shame others because they are divorced. I think that way too many people throw in the towel too easily but that’s their cross to bear. I also think that although divorce is not ideal for children it is not the end of the world for them and we need to stop with this shaming of single parents.
I did the majority of the work with my two kids the entire length of my marriage. Their dad went to work and provided for us and I did pretty much everything else. One year Picasso had to write a thank you note at Thanksgiving. He thanked me for cooking for him because otherwise he would starve. I realize it was an exaggeration and CF would have fed his kids, but the way they looked at their lives I did the day to day work; their father was absent and uninvolved. Their father may have abandoned them but that is no fault of mine. He chose to cheat. He chose to move out of the state. I had no control of that. My kids have one sane parent. I am there for them and I will do my best to never let them down. Ideally they would have two sane, fantastic parents but one is better than none and sadly, I know too many kids who don’t have even that one.
I know I have lamented my situation countless times on this blog. I am disappointed that my kids are going to live out the rest of their lives in a “broken” home and with their father out of the picture. The reality is they are probably going to be okay. Things will change for them and they probably won’t have all the frills they used to have but they will survive. It is not the ideal situation but then again it never was.
I found out after I told people about the impending divorce that some people felt very sorry for Picasso because he frequently would admit that he wished he had a dad who would play basketball with him or throw a ball around with him. He knew his father was lacking and he wasn’t shy about talking about it. I stayed and it still didn’t help. People still felt horrible for my kids and knew what a disaster CF was as a father.
I never wanted this. I wanted to grow old together with the person I picked 20+ years ago. He wasn’t perfect but then again, neither was I. I was willing to accept his faults. The last thing I need to do is go and read crap from “Christians” who think that I am somehow polluting society and that my children have no hope. I don’t need to read that I’m some sort of moral failure or that people shouldn’t hang around me lest their own marriage falls apart. I sure as hell didn’t deliberately wreck havoc on innocent children. I simply decided I was no longer willing to eat that particular flavor of shit sandwich that CF was all too willing to hand me. I already feel bad enough about what my kids are going through and if I could have prevented it I would have. I had sucked it up for years before all of this, so take your judgement and shove it up your ass. Or, put a slightly nicer way: Come on, Christians. Love your neighbor, even if he or she might be one of those icky divorced people.