Wednesday, March 23, 2011

D. I. V. O. R. C. E.: the dirty word

Divorce -Ew. Horrible…Ssshhh…

When I was getting divorced in 2005 it sure did seem like a dirty word.

And even though divorce seems more common than it was when I was growing up, it still has a stigma to it...

But, I'm not afraid to admit that, 'Yes, I am the D-word'.

I'm always amazed at how many people who are not divorced, or even married for that matter, can be so quick to judge.

How can they think they know what it's like?

I remember telling my family I was divorcing. It was my choice and not too many family members on either mine OR my ex’s side were thrilled.

I had one of my own relatives tell me, ‘suck it up, he’s your husband, deal with it’.  

Now that was interesting.

And then, how about when people say: ‘Divorce is soooo eeeaasssy….’ 

I can’t stand that. 

My response is, ‘No.  MARRIAGE is sooooo  eassssssy…’

There are very few hoops to jump through to get married.
Can you say J.P.? There are plenty of them.
Can you say quick? Some areas don't even require blood tests.
Can you say cheap? It can be, if you don’t have a full blown wedding.
(And don't even get me started on the financial incentives for a couple to wed.)

So if anything is easy, getting married is.

Envision that the nation’s 50% divorce rate could possibly reflect the following: 
If half of those people decided not to get married in the first place, divorce rates wouldn’t be so high.

There are many couples who should not be together, should not be getting married, or should not still be married. (A conversation for another day.)

The fact of the matter is, there are more hoops to jump through to get a divorce than there are to get married. 
 And divorce carries the most excruciating, emotional and financial baggage you will ever experience.

Divorcing after 11 years, with three children under the age of eight, with a newly built home and a ton of debt…HARD

Saying goodbye to who you were, life as you knew it and the future had planned for your family…HARD

Splitting the time you spend with your children on holidays, weekends and at bedtime...TRAUMATIC

There is nothing about divorce that is easy...

Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I can respect that.

But how do you kindly explain that there were no other options. How do you prove that you tried everything before you singlehandedly pulled the plug on your family’s routines, and dreams?

You don’t.

And the good part is that you don’t have to.

We all make choices in this life. Whether others agree with us, or not, should not be our main concern.

People are human; they are going to make mistakes. And when they do, they ought to be afforded the freedom to fix them.

And like marriage, divorce is a choice that can be made in America, by almost anyone, almost anywhere, and is not likely going away anytime soon.

So if you have never been divorced, and presume divorced people have taken the easy route, think again. 
It’s not nearly as easy as you imagine.

If you are married and are considering divorce make sure you’re sure. 
Because this is the path you are about to choose, and none of it is simple.
But if it’s the only way out for you, than no one should fault you for it. 
Just know this: don’t try to do it alone, find support.

Be strong, stand tall, things will get better…

Ask me how I know…

Previous author/columnist for ‘Life Goes On’, which was about my new life as a single, divorced mother of 3.

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