Divorce:Facts and Myths/David Kaufman

Posted on August 19, 2010

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When all other options and efforts to remain married have been exhausted, divorce is an act of kindness. However, many couples presume that their lives after divorce will be easier and happier, offering a second chance at love. Unfortunately, statistical evidence clearly demonstrates that divorce is infinitely more complicated and painful than people expect. Even in the rare instances in which divorce is amicable, research indicates that divorce seldom supplies the solutions that the divorcing partners seek.

Marriage brings together two individuals with different histories, perspectives, temperaments and expectations – although often with the same mistaken assumption that each shares the other’s notion of what marriage should be. Unforeseen challenges and conflicts arise, forcing couples to re-orient or re-define themselves. Transitions such as parenthood, career change, financial difficulties, loss of employment or health, the departure of grown children, or bereavement may create turmoil and lead one to question basic suppositions/premises. A partner may become so overwhelmed that he or she stops investing effort in the marital relationship, or so desperate that he or she believes that fulfillment can only be attained outside the marriage.

Other reasons for which couples seek divorce include poor communication, heated arguments, perceived character flaws, loneliness and lack of emotional satisfaction. What needs to be made clear to a couple contemplating divorce is that, in the vast majority of cases, the best response to these problems is to renew the marriage, not to terminate it.

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