Our society tends to view divorce as a problem. We talk about “failed marriages”, feel sorry for children from “broken homes” and obsess about ways to curb the supposedly soaring divorce rate. We typically employ hushed voices to discuss others’ divorces and a loud angry tone when we talk about those closer to home.
As a well-adjusted child of divorced parents and a happily divorced adult, I’d like to suggest we change the way we think about divorce. What would happen if, instead of thinking of divorce as a problem, we saw it as a solution? I have a few suggestions…
Shame would dissipate. As long as our culture believes divorce to be a bad thing, people going through the process will feel ashamed of themselves. Shame fuels anger, blame and competition within a family that should instead be working together. Less shame means better communication and more cooperation.
Families would receive more support. As a family evolves, members need not feel like outliers in their communities. If society trusted individuals to make the best choice for their families, those going through a divorce would earn genuine support instead of sideways glances. And “support” would not be limited to legal recommendations. People in the process need emotional outlets, mature strategies to deal with conflict and the replenishment of household items.
The cost of divorce would decrease. It’s no secret that many people spend tens of thousands of dollars when legally dissolving their marriage. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Bringing divorce out of the shadows means taking the conflict out of the courtroom. With more light shed on the topic, couples would be more aware of the resources that are available to help families evolve in a positive and peaceful manner. The end result would be less litigation and less legal fees.
As a community of humans, we need to respect each other’s differences on an individual as well as a family level. Not all marriages are healthy, and sometimes the best solution for everyone is for a couple to live separately. Imagine the changes that could come if we, instead of rallying against divorce, rallied around those getting divorced.