Divorce is a tragedy. The human couple should be the most sublime expression of God’s love and on the contrary, a divorce leaves pain marks in his and her heart. Also, there commonly are innocents that are affected in a terrible way: the children.
Why do couples divorce? In the message called “Forming a couple” we analyzed that in order to make a couple last, they both shall share certain basic values like: spirituality, children, money and education. Divorce then comes as a consequence of a drifting away caused by a different thinking on the above mentioned values. This drifting away makes each one to build a life of their own where the other one does not participate and then each one evolves in separate directions, resulting in characters that are so different form each other that turn into strangers that share a roof. Divorce is already there although no paper has been signed. Definitive breaking comes when they are finally fed up with seeing each other daily and not knowing each other. There are couples that spend twenty years together before taking the decision of splitting and sometimes they don’t stop living together although they don’t even talk to each other. Some other cases have a quick and violent separation when one of them makes a life of his or her own, initiates another relation and is caught by the other who flies into a rage and leaves the house or expels the other from it. The wounds that this episode leaves are very deep, especially in children.
¿Can a divorce be avoided?
The answer depends on the love that is left in the couple. If the love is big enough to forgive, there is hope. Love has to be big enough to talk to each other and reach an agreement on the values needed to live together. An exact match is not needed, but there has to be disposition to accept in certain measure the other’s position. For example, if he is very spiritual, she should at least try to understand what he believes in. Maybe she won’t go with him to every ceremony of the religion he follows, but she should attend some. And very important: she shall not mock that in which he believes. The same applies to every other value: both should give away and restrain from mocking the other’s position.
They both have to make an effort to remember the reasons why they married. There are good and bad reasons.
Good reasons to get married: matching of values, common taste in regular stuff (food, clothes, sports, etc.), and same profession.
Bad reasons to get married: money, sex (sex is good and a part of a healthy relation, but if it is the only reason to get married, it is a bad reason), to get over someone else, family pressure, to get away from home, and in general for every other reason that is not a coincidence in taste or values.
If the couple is in trouble but in the origin married for a good reason, they both should go back to that origin: start talking again and practice that thing in common; start from there and reconstruct the relation, bargaining when they find an obstacle. It requires time and patience, but it is possible. The couple can save a lot of money in therapy if they just say what they feel. Feelings are not meant to keep, for one day they will burst out. Feelings have to be expressed, but not when angry, so that the other feels interested in solving the problem. If one speaks with anger, the other feels a complaint and not love.
If the couple is in trouble and in the origin married for a bad reason…. It is obvious why they’re in trouble! ¿What to do in this case? The right thing to do is to give the couple a chance to survive. Even if they are already married, they should try to know each other and walk together towards common interests. Acting like boyfriend/girlfriend helps to know each other. Ask each other out, go to the movies, a walk, dinner, etc. Give each other the chance to show him or herself and find common interests and ways in which problems are manageable for both. Again… patience is needed and taking without anger.
If there are children, it is imperative that what ever the origin of the couple is (good or bad reason), they both make a huge effort for the couple and the family to survive. The second we have kids, we have to accept that we have acquired a responsibility and it is not worthy of a superior being to abandon a child.
¿When should we turn to divorce? It should be the last resource, really the last, and we have to turn to it:
When our physical integrity or that of a son is at risk, meaning, when the partner physically threatens us.
When there are frequent discussions that alter the peace of our home, especially that of the children, and in spite of having tried to negotiate with the partner discussions still happen.
When the partner is victim of vices (alcohol, drugs) and has no interest in solving his/ her problem.
When the partner has established a permanent relation with another person or has frequent ephemeral relations and shows no regret. If he/she shows regret and asks for forgiveness, it is probably the most difficult obstacle a couple might try to overcome. Forgiving infidelity is extremely hard to do, but not impossible. It is a great act of love to forgive an infidelity.
When one of them is homosexual. The couple we talk about is heterosexual, that is why when one of them chooses the path of homosexuality, the couple cannot longer exist. Today, there are many homosexual couples and they deserve respect, but it’s not the subject of this message.
If there is no turning back and divorce is needed, they both should have a superior being attitude and act in favor of those who are most affected, the children. Yielding and doing everything necessary form a material and psychological point of view so that kids can overcome it with the least of traumas. It is naive to think that in the end kids “are fine”. Kids suffer a lot during the whole process and permanent marks are left. Only a lot of love from both parents helps overcoming the divorce.