I believe that divorce it is a last resort, not a cure-all. I understand that some situations (such as infidelity or abuse) are severe enough to require it, but it often causes more pain than it solves, especially when children are involved.
It has been about two years since my mother moved out of the house and almost a year since my parents told me and my brothers they were filing for divorce and I still can’t get used to saying “mom’s house” and “dad’s house” without feeling dejected. My mom has told me point blank she did not want a divorce, leaving me to wonder why she moved out and why she signed the papers. When I asked my dad if he really wanted to divorce my mom he said he sometimes did and he sometimes didn’t. I have never gotten a satisfactory answer as to why they decided not to even try counseling. I understand some circumstances, but I’m told they’re not all that’s gone into this. Apparently my parents think I’m not ready to understand all of it. Or they don’t know themselves, which is what frustrates me the most. I have never seen them fight or even be particularly angry at each other except once when he didn’t want her to take me to her friend’s house. That may be because they were just good at hiding it from my brothers and me. But they’d have to be really good, because I’ve always latched onto things pretty quick.
My dad seems to be unhappy a lot more since my mom moved out and especially since the divorce was filed. He is still fun to be around most of the time, but the “please be quiet” times are more usual now than they were after he first finished seminary. I have cried more times in the past year than I usually do. Understand, I don’t cry unless I am in serious pain or have a real reason to be sad, not just “Ah-ah-I di-id-n’t geh-eh-et the lee-ee-ead in the play-hay-hay-hay.” My mom puts on a good façade when I see her, but sometimes when my brothers are occupied with something else, she said some things that tell me she is not completely content with the present situation. I have no idea how my brothers feel, or if they even have an opinion beyond having cool-looking underwear and t-shirts and cable TV at mom’s house.
I do realize that divorce is inevitable in some marriages (the ones that really shouldn’t have happened in the first place) and can be the only course of action. I was about nine or ten when I thought about the fact that my uncle’s ex-wife had remarried pretty soon after he divorced her. I realized that her current husband might be part of why she and my uncle got a divorce in the first place. I understand that it was the best idea in that case, although it has caused its share of pain too (more by the remarriages than the divorce itself, I suppose, but the latter is necessary for the former). Things would probably be worse at this point if the divorce had not happened when it did. A few decidedly awful things happened as a result, but more would have eventually.
So, from my personal experience, divorce is “more like amputating a limb” than “dissolving a business partnership” as the British author C. S. Lewis said in his book The Joyful Christian. It can sometimes be justified as an emergency procedure, but it’s not for arthritis or carpal tunnel. I believe “marriage is a holy estate, established by God in the time of man’s innocence.”
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