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Switch to Forum Live View The Preventability of Divorce
8 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2010 - 12:26AM #1
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Here is a very thought-provoking article that compares divorce to the bankrupcy of a business: Link to Article


You have to read all the way to the end to see the punchline, which for me is the insight that with the "right" kind of knowledge (and I would add with the desire) many more marriages can be saved than one might think - certainly many more than the statistics today would indicate.


I agree with the author that this fact should not in any way be a criticism of those who have chosen or found it necessary to divorce.


What do you think?

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2010 - 10:15AM #2
LunaSolaris
Posts: 41

I completely agree with this.  It was not a failure of love that caused my marriage to fall apart.  It was a failure of knowledge: knowing how to communicate, knowing how to be there for one another, knowing how to handle one's self in a way that is loving to the other.  And by the time either of us had an inkling that we didn't know these things, we had hurt each other too much to continue with the relationship.


We went to a marriage therapist that stated his belief that people get divorced because they don't know how to be married.  I completely agree with that as well, and people still get married, and then beat the emotional tar out of one another trying to figure it out.  Looking at it from this perspective, it's not surprising there is so much divorce.

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2010 - 2:42PM #3
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Thank you for the input.

It is difficult to be loving when one is hurting - and when both spouses are hurting and lack the skills to communicate effectively, the relationship can easily spiral downwards.

However, communication skills are just that - skills that can be learned, if there is the desire and the willingness to make the needed effort. In fact, dealing with marriage issues is actually the ideal venue for honing those skills. It is unfortunate that often it is the case that the pain gets the better of the couple.

There is no reason to expect that newlyweds have the skills necessary to navigate the inevitable pain and conflicts effectively. I agree with your therapist - and also wonder why, if that was recognized, it wasn't enough to be able to work through the issues involved. Despite the fact that the hurts were caused by the lack of knowledge rather than any malicious intent, it was still too late to salvage the relationship.

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2010 - 12:52PM #4
Resipsa
Posts: 41

I agree with this to some extent.  But I also think another big reason for divorce is when people get married under the age of 25 (30 for men)... before they really know what they want in a partner and/or before they even know themselves very well.


I know that was the case with me and my ex-husband.  I thought I knew what I wanted in a partner and I thought that was him.  I was only 20 and by the time we were already married for 5 years, I was no longer a Christian and that was a big deal to him.  We didn't fight much or get ugly, but we were unhappy because at some point, we just couldn't give each other what the other really needed/wanted... and we also came to realize that we no longer shared the same values or even the same world view.  We did at one time.  BUt this was when we were both so young and hadn't been in the "real world" long enough to truly become ourselves.

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2010 - 2:39PM #5
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Thank you for your thoughts on this.

Perhaps what is being expressed is that the emerging difference in faith (leaving Christianity) was the primary reason for the divorce.

Growth and change is part of the unfolding of one's life, and that is also true of relationships. I do find myself wishing at times that I had known "then" what I know now (much coming from the proverbial school of "hard knocks"). I also wonder how much of what I "know" now has been a result of the struggles that have occurred in my marriage - that my marriage played a major role in my "becoming myself" and that without it, I would be someone different. Kind of like the chicken-and-egg dilemma of a new job seeker: employers want experience to give a job, and the only way to get experience is from a job.

Our of curiosity, just before you got married, if an older "wiser" person had sat you down and advised you to wait until you had more life experience, would you have listened and heeded the advice?

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2010 - 2:50PM #6
Resipsa
Posts: 41

Feb 11, 2010 -- 2:39PM, ArnieBeeGut wrote:


Thank you for your thoughts on this.

Perhaps what is being expressed is that the emerging difference in faith (leaving Christianity) was the primary reason for the divorce.



That was part of it for sure.  But it was also that, I became a lot less rigid about everything in general.  When we met, we were both such "prudes" in that we refused to drink, were both vegetarians, both highly academically ambitious and competitive.  And, frankly, we were both judgmental introverts who thought we had the "rules of life" all figured out.  I loosened up *a lot* and I started going out and trying new things and metting new people.  But he more or less stayed the same.  I think he tried to loosen up too, but not nearly as much as I did and not in the same way... and sometimes I think he did so only for me and kinda resented it.  Neither of us was "right" or "wrong" and I do think we tried to communicate as best we could without hurting each other.  We just grew too far apart.

Kind of like the chicken-and-egg dilemma of a new job seeker: employers want experience to give a job, and the only way to get experience is from a job.



Hahaha! Yeah, it's almost exactly like that actually... I think the key to a successful marriage is both knowing what you want in a partner and knowing how to be a good partner... and often times, we don't get that until we've already been married once.  It reminds me of that book "the starter marriage."

Our of curiosity, just before you got married, if an older "wiser" person had sat you down and advised you to wait until you had more life experience, would you have listened and heeded the advice?



Nah... I was stubborn and in love.  I wouldn't have listened to anyone, not even myself.  :-P

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2010 - 5:49PM #7
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

So it was a number of different dimensions on which you and he came to have separate perspectives, not just religion (or lack thereof).

I think that regardless of the differences in beliefs, it is more things like different amounts of flexibility and tolerance that tend to drive couples apart. In this case, perhaps it was not so much that you stopped believing as it was the difficulty of accepting your new point of view. The reason I feel this is important is that everyone grows and changes, whether they want to or not. In a long-term relationship, therefore, it is to be expected that some things that used to be seen the same way become different. Intimacy is all about sharing who I am with my partner - and allowing them to be who they are with me. My wife and I have very different beliefs about religion and spirituality, and I believe we have both grown from learning to validate the other.

The "starter marriage" is an interesting concept, although one that it seems that many (men mostly it seems) have implemented already by trading in their wife for a "newer" model. (Although the opposite may happen as well, I doubt it is as frequent).

In our case, if we had divorced when things got difficult (we were separated for a year) then I doubt that either one of us would have learned what we did by working it through. It was not easy - and sometimes the greatest growth comes through dealing with adversity. Although in your case, ending the marriage was all for the best.

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2010 - 10:42AM #8
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Welcome to the Divorce & Separation Forum, Rose. I am sorry for the pain you have endured in your relationships. I hope you find your time here a valuable experience. There are many caring members who are glad to share their thoughts with you (although the board has been quite slow lately).

It is sad that your pain is not being heard, and I also hope you can find the support you need in this difficult time. Low self-esteem is a challenge to cope with, and it certainly does not help to be told to just “get over it.” As painful as it might be, it can help to go into the source of that and deconstruct it. Can you listen to your inner dialogue and hear the “inner critic” who is telling you awful things about yourself? Is the voice one that you recognize? How were you treated growing up - were you praised and valued, or were you criticized and put down? If the latter, then is there a similarity to how you were talked to and how you see yourself now?

I wish you all the best - please let us know how you are doing!

Blessings,
Arnie

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