Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Misconception about divorce

There is a misconception about divorce that has always irked me a lil' bit.

Divorce is hard. It tries your patience, breaks your heart, raises your blood-pressure, and tests your friendships. It's a heart-wrenching decision that doesn't come easy, no matter your situation.

Having children doesn't make divorce more difficult. Different, yes - but not more difficult.

I got divorced with no children - and I struggled with the choice. Personally, I think how you handle divorce has a lot to do with who you are - not your circumstances. Whether you have kids or not, it still sucks to feel like a failure. It hurts to know you let someone down, or wonder if you should have tried harder. It's still really tough on your self-esteem.

When I told people I was separating, the reaction I got more than any other was, "At least there are no children involved." As if that was supposed to make me feel better. I never planned to have children. My marriage was my life - and it was over.

How could anything make that easier?

Kids are absolutely affected by a divorce - just like they're affected by any change in the family dynamic. Often, the marriage (or at least some sort of relationship) existed before the child. If the couple stays together, then the marriage outlasts the childhood.

The parent-child relationship is totally separate from the marital relationship.

Yes, having kids adds an element to a divorce. So does owning property together, or a business. So does a prenuptial agreement.

If two people aren't handling a divorce well, something as simple as owning a china pattern can complicate matters.

Of course, kids are affected by the divorce - but good parents will keep that to a minimum. If two people are willing to put their kids in the middle of a divorce, then guess what? That kid wasn't having a great childhood anyway, married parents or not.

Every divorce is different. I know people who have separated after 9 months of marriage - and others after 30 years. Kids or no kids - nothing makes divorce easier.


  1. For once I disagree with you.

    I went through a divorce with a child.
    It was handled the best it could be.
    It's really not GETTING DIVORCED that is the problem, it's what happened AFTER the divorce.

    The child still is effected by a different family dynamic.

    Especially if, in my circumstance, the biological wanted nothing to do with him, UNTIL, I was in a commited relationship with someone who loved my son.

    To be nice, and to show my son that forgiveness is always an option, we let my ex back in.
    He calls my ex by his first name.

    Being divorced is WAY harder when you have a kid.
    Because you can really never MOVE ON.
    You still have to interact, as briefly as possible, with your former other half.

    I do agree that no form of divorce or being divorced is "easy" or can be made "easier"...

    I do enjoy your opinion.

  2. I agree w/you.. but also it depends on the maturity of the people involved...right? Immaturity has no boundaries... I know one gal who was self centered and a bit immature and she's my age... Upbringing plays a big part- yes, we tend to mimic what we see and learn from our parents. I see things in my parents marriage that I knew I would never repeat and thank God, I didn't... They never divorced but they came from a generation that didn't believe in divorce... I for one don't believe in staying in a marriage just for the sake of kids.. The kids are many times smarter and can figure out wth is going on...

  3. A variety of things can keep two people connected after divorce, including kids. I definitely understand that having kids adds a level to the divorce - more people to consider, and more things to sort out.

    From my perspective, having kids makes everything more complicated. My friends who are parents always have more to consider than I do, when making decisions.

    I guess I perceive that as a part of being a parent. Helping your kids adjust, sorting out schedules and support, and dealing with a pain-in-the-neck ex.

    Of course, that's all stuff you'd be dealing with even if you didn't get divorced. You still have to consider kids in the budget, day care and schedules are still a factor, and that other parent is going to annoy you sometimes.

    I guess what I'm saying is the emotional parts of a divorce - losing the person you love, feeling betrayed, dealing with hurt or guilt, etc. - is the same for everyone. I felt like some people were very insensitive to the fact that I lost my whole world when my ex left me - and the fact that I didn't have kids didn't make me feel any better.

  4. sure its emotional, then again it depends on the maturity of the kids.. my sister in law whose parents divorced when she was in her 40's was devastated... to me, its all in how the divorce, people, handle the situation... people can make the situation ugly or treat it logically... Some can even be friends for everyone's sake...