A gal I know through work has been talking of getting a divorce as long as I have known her. And for as long as I have known her, I have been giving her good reasons why she may want to reconsider.
She’s 35, together 15+ years, married 10 years, has four children (two from a previous relationship, two with her husband.) The oldest is 19, the youngest is 8. She’s been a stay at home mom since they married with the odd job here and there. They aren’t wealthy but they have a nice life, their own home, and enough money to pay the bills each month.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there is never a reason to divorce, but I have probed and asked and as far as I can see or she is telling me, she is not being abused, he’s not an addict, he isn’t cheating. He goes to work every day, comes home right after, tries to make her happy and provide the things she wants, and is a good father to their children.
So what is the problem? I have written about her situation before but in a nutshell it seems to be a combination of she is bored, she’s frustrated with her own life, she and her husband are engaged in an ongoing power struggle that is killing the relationship, and rather than take steps to remedy the situation she endlessly fantasizes about getting divorced, instead.
I have shared with her what a struggle it can be to be a single mom, to be solely responsible for the family finances, the family chores, and most of the childcare. It’s a stressful and uncertain life, and I often worry about what would happen to my family if something happened to me?
Yet, she still didn’t seem to be hearing any of that. Until another friend of hers sent her the link to a message board of women who are either going through the divorce process or who are recently divorced. I believe her friend thought this message board would help her figure out how to get a divorce too, but it has had the opposite effect.
She’s lurked for hours on the message board, reading the stories of these women and their experiences.
Instead last time I saw her, she admitted she’s not thinking divorce is the solution she once did. It seems after reading real life divorce tales firsthand, she’s decided she doesn’t want to put herself, her kids, or her family through that. And it seems reading about the marriage struggles and problems experienced by other women, her situation suddenly doesn’t seem nearly so bad by comparison.
Another version of this might be going down to the local courthouse and spending a day sitting in and listening to family court.
No marriage is perfect. No marriage is all upside with no negatives. And yes, some marriages are bad news. But many times divorce may not be needed and in fact may be more difficult than repairing fixable issues.
I am happy my friend is reconsidering. I think she’s making a wise choice. I hope she will now spend as much time thinking about how to make her marriage better (and doing those things) as she once did thinking about how she was going to get out of it.