Divorce Isn’t Always Bad

Divorce Isn’t Always Bad

Over the past five years, I’ve lost four of my grandparents.  Two of them have passed in 2012– one last weekend.  It’s made me more aware of life and the short period of time that we have to enjoy our time here.  It also makes me more determined to not take a single day, person or experience for granted.

I have come to realize through this loss that divorce doesn’t always need to have a negative label on it.  Take my grandparents (father’s side) for example.  My grandparents divorced when I was very young and they each remarried.  My step-grandfather and step-grandmother were both extremely positive influences in my life.  Together, my grandparents weren’t happy.  Once they spread their wings and took flight, they found happiness.  They found love.  I saw this love and it will stay with me for the rest of my life.  I have a great deal of respect for both of these individuals who became a part of my world through a divorce.

There are critics who claim that I’ve ruined my daughter’s lives by leaving my marriage.  There are women out there that are afraid to leave their marriage because they worry about the impact on their children. I disagree.  When I left my marriage, I was mentally prepared to be a single mother forever if that is what was intended for me.  It took me a long time to get to that point but when I was done; I was done.  I wanted my daughters to see examples of real love.  I didn’t want them to end up walking in my shoes one day.  My daughters were just under the ages of 2 and 4 years old.  I didn’t know what was going to happen and I was terrified.  I knew that I couldn’t stay any longer.

I know in my heart that I made the right decision.

The love that my grandparents found serves as a reminder to me that I did the right thing.  That is the type of love that I want my daughters to know.

9 Responses

  1. Yes! Divorce isn’t always bad. A lot of strength can come out of it. Like I was told in the mist of all this; “everything worth it, is the hardest to fight for.” In the end, we will all be okay – no matter how hard “they” want us to believe otherwise.

    Thanks for the reminder Tina!

  2. Most of the public views divorce as a dirty word. I’d bet just as many children are scarred in marriages that stay together (when they shouldn’t) as are scarred in a divorce. Children learn by watching us. Your gradnparents taught you that there is life and love after divorce. Acceptance by the family is key. So many of us want to take sides to show alliance. If we love our family than we need to respect decisions made by the people who make them. Of course we all know not everyone is reasonable and rational….but if they are, judge not. Step back and watch, you never know what you can learn.

  3. I struggled with this at first, however.. As one of my bestest friends (who is a college professor) said to me when I made the decision to leave my horrible marriage.. “I’ve never heard a student say to me that they are happy, glad, or proud that their mother stayed in an abusive and destructive environment” We are teaching our children a much better and constructive lesson by doing what is right and what makes us happier people, and more importantly, better mommies!

  4. Yes- and I’d rather my daughters see a woman who has a voice rather than the woman who walked on eggshells.

    Many night at the dinner table, we use “question cards” to stimulate conversations. Glenn asked the girls, “If you could be one person for an entire day, who would you be?”. We discussed the options…A princess, an astronaut, a famous person, etc and after careful contemplation both girls said, “Mom”.

    I beat out Cinderella! 🙂 I don’t think they would have said that if I would have been the person I was while married.

  5. Love this! Exactly! You (we) are doing what’s right for our children and teaching them to stick up for themselves and stick up for what is right and wrong. We don’t even need to give the lesson. They learn it as they grow, they learn through us. Therefore if we accepted and stayed, the lesson would be damaging. Much love to you all! I’m feeling more healed and confident in my situation since finding you and this blog. I will probably thank you a million times 🙂

  6. In Patricia Evan’s “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” she observes that contrary to accepted cultural norms, the trend toward divorce as the outcome of pathology in marriages is actually a very healthy path for society to take. The last thing we need is for more children to grow up in abusive, manipulative families where they don’t feel safe or loved at any time. Better they should have the experience of a healthy household, even if it isn’t 100% of the time or with both parents. It is impossible for the healthy parent to parent in a healthy manner when their energies are spent coping with abuse and crazy behavior from the other adult in their home.

    I’ve found that it’s also interesting to consider the source when someone objects to the idea of divorce out-of-hand. Often they, too, are locked in abusive marriages (or grew up in one), marriages held together by guilt and manipulative dominance, and their perception that someone else has escaped while ignoring the “rules” they have decided to obey feeds their hostile self-righteousness.

    So divorce is often the least bad option for many. Yes, kids of divorced parents often have issues, but the reason they have issues isn’t due to the divorce, but to the factors that produced the divorce in the first place. In my experience as an educator, the most troubled of my students were from intact marriages where narcissism or alcoholism were the family’s guiding principle, where they lived only to serve the family disease.

  7. Bill- I agree with you 100%. I was from a divorced family (grandparents AND parents) and I think I turned out just fine 🙂

    My X’s family is a perfect example of how damaging it can be to stay. While on the outside, they appear to be the perfect family– married over 35 years, etc….they are the most dysfunctional group that I’ve ever met. I bought the sales pitch for so many years– and turned to my X mother-in-law time after time to help me. I learned that the unspoken rule is that you stick it out– no matter what. She was in denial about everything her husband did so I don’t know why I felt disappointed time after time when needed her assistance with my own marriage. It makes me wonder if my X would have had a chance if she would have left early on.