Divorce is so common we take it for granted that “D I V O R C E “ is not just an old country song. Divorce touches the lives of at least ½ of all families. It is so common that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, the common is all too tragic when it hits close to home.
The family, as the base unit of society, is often replete with expectations of and desires for stability and consistency. It is like an earthquake when a son or a daughter gives the grandparents/ in-laws the news that a divorce is in the near future. When there are children involved it makes a marital breakup even more difficult to get through.
A divorce evokes many questions:
Who am I now without him/her? Why did he/she do this to me? Could we have worked harder at our marriage? Is there another man/ woman?
What will happen to me? Will I get to stay in my school? Will I have to stay with him/her? Will I be shuttled back and forth? Who do I agree with? Will I be in the middle? What will happen if I have a step mother/ step father?
Who do we side with? Maybe my son/daughter is to blame?
Will we lose our grand kids? What will happen to our Holidays…Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukah? What about birthdays?
Will I have to go back to work? Should I change jobs for more money? Will I be able to advance if I have to take care of the kids? Will I be perceived as a failure? Will people want to set me up with another man/woman?
Will I have to move into a smaller place? How will that work for the kids? What can I afford? How far away will I be allowed to move? What about the schools and safety of another neighborhood? What about the friends our family has made where we are?
Will the settlement be fair? Will I end up contributing more than he/she does? Will I be cheated out of the things we have bought?
Will our friends side with him/her? Will I have anyone to “hang out” with?
Will they trust me? Will the couple friends be ok with me if I am single again?
Will I be rejected by my faith community? Will I be accepted or judged by them? How does God feel about me now?
….and more questions keep crashing into the core of our beings.
No one walks down the isle thinking, “I hope we get divorced someday”.
The heartbreak of a divorce may be shot through with anger, regret, guilt and many fears.
It is only with time and effort that the family and all of its members arrive at some sense of balance again. Time is important but a counselor can offer the various persons affected by divorce guidance and encouragement as they struggle with the new status of being in a family of divorce.