No one wants to get divorced. Divorce is never written into someone’s life goals or plans, and most definitely we don’t get married with the belief that someday we will get divorced. For most people marriage is ’till death do us part.’ And, of course, in our society, we put a lot of significance on those 5 little words, ’till death do us part.’ But as humans, sometimes we are a little naive, to think that we could want to stay a certain way forever. If we really think about it, that is just nonsense. Life is about constant change and growth. In much the same way that we often outgrow things, we might also outgrow our marriage. Or maybe, we’ve tried everything from counseling to self help books and the problems still persist. Maybe there’s abuse, or manipulation going on that doesn’t seem to go away. Or perhaps there are just fundamental differences in personalities, or a lack of compatibility. For whatever reason, sometimes a marriage just does not serve us very well anymore. And, while dissolving a marriage is never an easy process, there are some beliefs about divorce that don’t serve us well, either, and frankly, they just aren’t very realistic either.
Here are some of the big lies about Divorce, that only makes dissolving a bad marriage that much harder.
1. There is only one soulmate, and/or Mr. or Mrs. Right. This is just so faulty on so many levels. First, the idea that there is only one person out there for us really keeps us stuck to a person and a life because of something beyond our control, that the universe controls. Because, two, marriage is real, and is something we co-create together here. Marriage is about commitment, committing to someone to work together towards common goals, to look out for one another. Marriage is not about finding our soulmates, per se. Marriage is about finding someone that we are so compatible with we want to make them our sole mate.
2. I will never meet anyone at my age. Age-ism at it’s finest. There is no age limit for finding love, or romance. There is no age limit to finding happiness. The same love affair our society has with the idea of soulmates feeds this also untrue, big fat lie.
3. Getting divorced means you have failed. This is a big one, a big lie as well as a very broad, far reaching societal belief. We do place a lot of emphasis on divorce and failure, but it’s just not true. Quite the contrary, in fact. Sometimes walking away from a marriage is actually the most brave and courageous thing you can do.
4. Divorce is only for people with promiscuous or less ethical values. We often idolize divorce and those who have several marriages. For example, in my time, it was Elizabeth Taylor who was well known for having 4 or 5 marriages, it was just unheard of. Now it’s more common place for multiple marriage to occur among the Hollywood elite. But, the truth of the matter is, sometimes marriages don’t work out for regular people, too. Attorneys, teachers, postal workers all get divorced and survive it. It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be an entertainer to get a divorce.
5. I will lose my friends, respect, status, etc… Well, there may be some truth to this one. I just don’t know your story. But the point here is change. Sure, you might lose some friends, but you will learn who your true friends are. Your financial situation might change, and this may mean a change of status. And, who knows what awaits. You may just find a new career you love, travel to new places, make new friends, change and grow in ways you never knew possible.
6. Being single sucks. How do you know being single sucks? You’ve been married this whole time!! But, seriously, this is another one of those ideologies that are drilled into us deep. We fear being alone, and are told in so many ways that being single is undesirable. So we stay in unhealthy situations. Our society chooses not to believe it, but the bottom line is that being single may, not only, be better than your current situation, if the marriage is bad, but there are an awful lot of people who are single and loving it. Ultimately you have to decide what is best for you.
7. The children will suffer. Divorce is not easy for the kids. However, with love and support children can be awfully resilient. Divorce doesn’t mean you are going to neglect your kids, it just means you have to talk to them and explain things a little more clearly. No one said divorce was easy, but staying in a bad situation is not going to make life easier for the kids either.
In the end, it’s important to recognize that while change may be scary and hard, staying in an unhealthy situation will not support your growth, and will only further hinder you from your happiness. This just means it is time for a change. Sometimes it might mean it’s time for a new job, a new hobby, a new apartment, and sometimes this may mean it’s time for a divorce. And, no, that is not necessarily a bad thing.