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Have a Bad Marriage? Reasons to Try a “Good” Divorce

wedding-cake-split-300x168[1]    Sometime in the 1970s there was a popular slogan that said, “save water, shower with a friend.”  Although I am not certain, the slogan appeared to be a cross between early conservation efforts and a symbol of the “free love” concept that took hold in the mid 1960s.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that two parents living with their children under one roof (and sort of, euphemistically, showering with a friend) is a lot more economical than parents who live in two separate households with two separate rents or mortgages, two separate sets of utility bills, two separates sets of furniture for the kids, etc.

Still,  although  the economic implications of staying together in a bad marriage may weigh heavily  in a decision not to divorce, the emotional reality of living with the constant strains of a marriage made in hell may, in the long run (not to mention the short run) be far more devastating.

Think about it.  If your household is wrought with non-stop arguing, yelling, fighting, door slamming, and dish throwing hell, what are you teaching your children?  That this is okay?  I don’t think so.  Moreover, what child wants to live with the tensions that surround this type of behavior?  They are probably living with the real stress of those times when both parents are in the house together and the fighting begins.  So, if you are going through this, are you wondering why your kids, if they are old enough, never want to be at home?  More so, do you wonder why their friends never come to your house?   Enough said.

Yes, divorce studies do indicate that divorce impacts children, but let’s think about the positive impact.

First, the day-to-day on site fighting stops. True, many divorcing parents see the final judgment not as an end, but as a realignment of the battle lines, and keep on “fighting” long after. However, I have been doing this family law gig long enough to know that those who chose to end the battle with that final judgment (or at least end the battle visible to their children) are those who have children who, maybe in a week, maybe in six months or maybe many years later, realize that this is the parent who really cared about them as children, and not who cared about being the “winner.”

Second, because so many decisions have to be made during the divorce process, from dividing the furniture to coming up with a time sharing schedule, those parents who are open to compromise rather than battle in these areas teach those skills to their children.  More importantly than the division of things, when, after the divorce, the parents can present a united front to their children about decisions that directly affect those children, (i.e.: not letting the kids play one parent against the other, not buying affection) then this imparts values in the children that they hopefully can carry on if and when the day comes when they are parents.

Third, once a party escapes the angst that precipitated the divorce in the first place (whatever it was) can now work on his/her own personal happiness.  Remember the adage, “happy wife, happy life?”  Well if that didn’t work,  how about “free at last, to look towards the future, not the past.”    I just made that up, but I think it is apropos.

Now, this blog is not an encouragement to, at the first signs of marital discontent, throw in the towel and seek a new freedom.  In fact, I definitely believe the opposite.  However, if after exhausting true attempts at working things out, including, at a minimum, some counseling, don’t stay just for the money.  Money can buy you a lot of things, but it will never buy you happiness.


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