If you saw the emotional turmoil portrayed in the movies War of the Roses and Kramer vs. Kramer, you’d probably think twice about divorce. Unhappy individuals who believe that ending their marriage would make them happier are often living a
Chances are that they’ve attributed the failure of the marriage to their spouse, dispensing with self-examination. Blaming the other instead of oneself becomes the favorite pastime, the most convenient means to walk away.
By failing to accept their own frailties, and not realizing that they’ve entered the marriage with unreasonable demands and unrealistic expectations, they unconsciously released the forces leading to a potential separation.
There’s also the phenomenon of short memories. For some reason, the same individuals who vowed to support each other during their time of wedded bliss have forgotten their commitment and vows to love each other through thick and thin.
Our modern society has indeed become a disposable society. This is what Alvin Toffler had predicted almost two decades ago. This state of “disposableness” is reflected in our ability to DELETE and PURGE and SHRED what we no longer need.
And when our once beloved partner is no longer of use to us, we call our lawyer and instruct him/her to initiate divorce proceedings.
Funny, but despite its harrowing and complex web, divorce has also become just a phone call away, a “to go” solution that we can pick up on the way to cleaner’s.
Truth is, is that divorce has an ugly side to it. It’s the easy way out for people who have not an ounce of courage to salvage what deserves to be salvaged.
Divorce un-builds and undoes what took years to nurture, and sadly, often the only people who benefit from it are greedy lawyers who will use every trick in the book to divest the other of assets, until no remnant of the person’s investment -physical, monetary and emotional – remains.
While divorcing couples spend their mental energies accusing the other of causing hurt and disharmony in the union, they forget that the children suffer in double – triple dosages. Couples forget that the sentiments of children are more fragile and harder to mend. This is when the concept of human selfishness and self-centredness become transparent. It’s odd how the true character of people comes out when they’re the actors in a divorce.
The determination not to be swayed by the lows and downs of a relationship mirrors strength and integrity, not to mention the ability to see beyond one’s personal unhappiness. And by saving the marriage, more than one human being is saved.
This is the essence of this article; perhaps the most important one that you’ll ever read.
The Unpleasant Side of Divorce
Getting married is entering into a contract – but it’s probably the one contract that is the easiest to break because divorce has made it easy for husband and wife to walk out when they go through an unhappy period in their life, albeit temporary.
John Crouch, Executive Director of Americans for Divorce Reform, says that the most important economic contract ofour lives – marriage – is no longer legally protected.
Just think – lawyers will fight tooth and nail to protect corporations in their contract relations or between you and your landlord, your mechanic and your doctor, but can’t prevent you from breaking up with your spouse. In fact, they would even counsel you to break up your marriage and then discuss division of property as the next logical step.
Crouch says that marriage is the only contract that anyone can break, at any time, and not be held responsible for it.
“So getting married in America is like doing business in Russia. Everything is up for grabs, everything is constantly renegotiated, and nobody has to keep their
word. I think that makes for a lot of unhappy marriages.”
The Dollar Costs of Divorce
From a cost perspective, divorce can be economicallydamaging not only for the state but also for couples. Consider these figures:
- US divorces cost the country $33 billion annually or $312.00 per household;
- The average divorce in America costs state and federal governments $30,000 in direct and indirect costs. Direct costs to the state include child support enforcement, Medicaid payments, temporary assistance to needy families fund (TANF), food stamps and public housing assistance.
- To the couple, divorce costs about $18,000 and this would include lost work productivity, relocation costs and legal fees that vary immensely, depending on the nature of the divorceand the situation of the couple.
The Emotional Costs of Divorce
And what about the argument that divorce makes people happier after they leave a sad marriage?
Studies appear to suggest that this is a myth, because evidence points to the contrary. According to the Institute of American Values, when divorced couples were rated with couples who stayed married on 12 parameters of psychological well-being, it was discovered that on average, couples who divorced were no happier five years after the divorce than were equally unhappily married couples who stayed together.
There are other reasons why divorced individuals don’t end up happier:
- Depression symptoms do not necessarily diminish with divorce, nor did divorce raise people’s self-esteem;
- Unhappy marriages were less common than unhappy spouses;
- Staying married did not typically trap unhappy spouses in violent relationships.
Ms. Heines also raised the litigation aspect in most divorces. She said that a significant number of married people usually want to settle their divorce with the least possible hassle, but divorce lawyers are a species to be reckoned with. They come up with arguments to justify getting into World War III, and they drag out the paper work.
For divorcing couples who become emotionally and financially spent, is the courtroom drama really all that worth it? Couldn’t couples just talk about their differences without third parties who are in it to line their pockets?