There is an epidemic in our community at large and no, I am not talking about the measles (but yes, vaccinate your kids!).
I have written a lot about divorce, some of it is on my blog and some of it was posted on private forums. But this is the first time I’m writing…no longer single. I got remarried two months ago to the most incredible (beyond) man. But that’s the next blog. 🙂
This is about the crisis in our community. I always joked I never did anything ‘cool’ on time. Like by the time I caught on to what was cool, it was going out of fashion. Besides divorce. That I did on time. As sad as it is, I feel like I was a trailblazer on the trend. It’s gotten cooler and cooler to be divorced and I can’t understand it.
You want my opinion why every other day (I’m not kidding!) I hear about another friend/acquaintance getting divorced? Well, I’ll tell you. First I think people are jealous of their single friends and they feel tired and bored in their relationships. I think people don’t value their partners or see them as humans and instead, they can’t get them off that pedestal. I think people are used to ‘chad paami’… Are we not the disposal generation? Use and throw out? I think people think they can get better and higher quality spouses. Like the new iPhone. I think people are selfish and don’t realize the effects divorce will have on their children. I could go on and on with my judgemental, blunt, characterizing, rude approach but I’ll stop. I really do think all that but if you are separated and or getting divorced you might be thinking: ‘Sarah, that’s not fair and not true.’ You might even be calling me names which I won’t say here.
But listen for one minute.
I feel like I have the right to say this because…been there done that!
Let me explain.
Not only do I have many friends (that I’ve known way before they even got married) who got divorced, I have met many divorced friends from just being in the divorced community. Then I hear all the time of new friends getting divorced. *All the time*. The numbers keep growing. And I hear the stories… the details… and it’s so hard. If someone is unhappy then who am I to tell them to suffer? But I will say this. Do not get divorced until you have gone through this checklist, please. 🙂
If there is an addiction, abuse, an affair, or a mentally ill person who refuses treatment repeatedly… as far as I’m concerned, you can say goodbye.
If the issues are fixable, doable, tolerable, able to be worked on… which covers more issues than you think… then you can and should try to work on it with the professional help. I’m going to stress the word professional. Not just anybody who has a heart and wants to help. If you had cancer you would find the best Doctor available. If your marriage has a cancer growing in it, I beg of you, spend the money and get the best of the best for your marriage.
For women: read all Laura Doyle’s books and listen to all her podcasts. She is the key to my ability to getting married again. If you feel you need to change your husband, she will teach you everything you need to know in order to stay married to a man you are thinking you might not want to stay married to. She will teach you tangible tools to fix what’s broken.
Pray. If you are a believer and even if you are not. In your own words, pray that the right thing should be revealed and that you be should be guided with clarity.
Don’t mock time. People who make big decisions quickly often regret it. Take time to think about it. Be separated for a while. You never know what feelings might arise with time and distance.
Don’t let your children stop you from attaining the happiness you so deserve but keep them in the equation. Don’t think ‘pros and cons for me’ … Think ‘pros and cons for me and my children’… They must be part of the thinking process.
Believe in humanity. No one is perfect. You might think you can get better, but even then, he/she will also be human and have things about them that are difficult. Don’t think: I’m getting rid of a difficult guy to find a non-difficult guy. Marriage is difficult with whoever because we are all human.
If you are thinking of getting divorced and you have children, write your children a letter telling them why you got divorced (as if it already happened). Picture your kids looking at you ten years from now saying ‘why did you and Daddy divorce? It ruined my life!’. Then write the answer. Then put the paper in a drawer for a few days. Then read it. Then ask yourself: did that letter give a good reasonable answer to your children that you can live with and stand by and that you won’t regret?
In short, I just feel too many people are running out of their marriages like it’s a bad movie. Again, I’m not saying there aren’t reasons to get divorced. There are. Just make sure they are good ones before you make your decision.