Getting divorced in 1975 wasn’t as common as it is nowadays. Then it was looked upon as a failure regardless of the reason for the divorce. I remember sitting in church and overhearing an older woman saying, No one should ever get divorced. While I agreed with her that divorce is a major upheaval in the life of all involved, sometimes it’s impossible to stay in a marriage for many reasons. Today it’s more acceptable to divorce. Statistics disclose that half of all marriages will end in a breakup in this generation. A sad but true statement as I look at my own family. What has caused this divorce revolution?
The surge towards personal fulfillment for each individual has led many men and women to turn from the responsibility of working to make a good marriage to searching for instant happiness outside the bounds of marriage. The growing independence of women and their ability to support themselves financially has had a definite influence. Other causes of family breakups include addiction, alcoholism and abuse. The real losers in this whole situation have been the children involved who suffer from a lack of stability in their lives when their parents divorce.
In my new publication Discover Your Voice After Divorce, I quote one of my sons at the time of my divorce from his father saying, I feel like a broken egg. I’m sure he was thinking of a raw egg, not a hard-boiled one. That is an apt description of anyone who has experienced divorce regardless of the cause or who is at fault. It hurts. The old normal is gone. There is much healing to do on everyone’s part.After divorce, you are faced with many adjustments to your personal lifestyle. Your children are also affected. Your new status as a divorced family may require drastic changes: a lower level of income, selling your home, new schools, custody issues plus strained relationships with in-laws and extended family. It will take time to recover and work through all the issues, to grieve for the many losses involved. Children need to be able to express their feelings. Family counseling may be needed. Forgiveness certainly plays its part in going forward. Children tend to personalize the divorce and feel that perhaps they caused it. They need love and reassurance from both parents who are busy and drained from working through their personal issues. NEXT TIME: Single, Never Married