Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.
“I have decided to get a divorce. I had tried everything I know to try and it just doesn’t get better. My faith tradition says it’s a sin to get a divorce, what is your opinion? Not about whether it’s a sin but about divorce in general?”
Well, thank you for getting me off the hook on the sin question because I wasn’t going to touch that question with a 10-foot pole.
I will tell you that over 50%, based on the most recent statistics, of marriages end in divorce. That’s an interesting statistic, right? There must be a reason for that. I’m not sure what the reason is, you can draw your own conclusions about what that is. I will tell you, I have been through divorce before, it’s not pleasant. It’s not pleasant for the person initiating it, it’s not pleasant for the person receiving the news of the divorce, or even if it’s mutual, “It’s mutual, all is well.” It’s never, ever all well.
Here’s my opinion about divorce in general. It happens. Don’t ever think it couldn’t happen to you, it could happen to you. I had a client one time who basically had a very strong faith tradition like you do, who said, “I’ll never get a divorce, I don’t care how bad it gets,” and the next year, they got a divorce. This is a real, sociological, familial factor. I want you to know though, that to rationalize and minimize the effects of divorce on you, on those around you, and on your children is probably a mistake so make sure you pay attention to it.
Secondly, most people who get a divorce have an unrealistic expectation about what life will be like afterward. This whole idea that the grass is always greener isn’t always the case. Make sure that you’ve done everything that you can, that you’ve got accepted responsibility for your contribution. Recently, I was talking to somebody, and they were talking very disparagingly about the spouse they were getting a divorce from. When I asked them the question, “What was your contribution to the divorce?” It set them back and they said, “You know what?”
It took them a minute, took them 10 minutes to answer it. Then finally, they answered the question and realized, “Wow, I was a contributor.” If you’re in the blame game and say it’s all their fault, and none of your responsibility, I would wait until you can own your own stuff. Otherwise, you’re going to carry that baggage into the next thing. It’s never pleasant, but it does happen. If it does happen. Get in a good divorce recovery workshop, or a good divorce recovery program so you can learn from it so you don’t repeat your same mistakes again.
The other thing I would say is don’t jump right back in another relationship. Whatever you do, give it some time. Hope that was helpful.
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