Yesterday, I sat down with a great friend to have a burrito on his lunch break. On this day, we weren’t just meeting to eat some chips and salsa and talk about sports; this conversation had a much more serious tone. My friend’s wife has requested a divorce and he wanted to talk to me about the best way to share the news with their young children. As we talked through the different scenarios and the reality of what was happening began to sink in, he broke down crying in the middle of the crowded restaurant.
He wasn’t crying because of the financial devastation that was about to hit him as their income was shredded by divorce attorneys and he wasn’t crying about damaged pride as friends and family members learned of the failed marriage. He was crying because he realized that his family was forcefully being ripped apart and pain was going to be deep and potentially lifelong.
He was picturing holidays that he would spend without his kids and family memories that would never be made. He was grieving the loss of stability and protection his children would now lose with a Mommy and a Daddy in two separate homes, and he was also grieving the loss of his wife. The woman he had pledged to love “til death do us part” would no longer be by his side and the dream of their life together had become another casualty of this divorce.
Below are 4 important truths about most divorces.
I’ve seen far too many friends walk through similar circumstances, and here are a few things I’ve learned:
1. The #1 Cause of Divorce is…Selfishness.
I’m definitely not trying to condemn or judge people who leave a marriage because of habitually dangerous or adulterous situations, but in our “No Fault Divorce” era, there are so many couples who call it quits out of pure selfishness. In these cases, one of the spouses starts fantasizing about how much better life would be if the other spouse was out of the picture and they start getting bad advice from single and divorced friends who help reinforce this selfish mindset.
2. Nobody wins (except for divorce attorneys).
The spouse who leaves usually plans an exit strategy where they’ll come out with everything they want, but it never happens that way. Your children will lose in ways bigger than you can imagine and both spouses will pay a heavy price financially and emotionally. Everyone involved will be hurt on some level.
3. It can almost always be prevented.
I’m certainly not trying to insult the complexity of every individual situation by offering a few blanket solutions, but I do believe there’s always hope for any couple willing to fight for the marriage. Here’s a short video sharing some practical ways to do it: How to Divorce-Proof your Marriage. If your marriage is in crisis, please also check out SaveMyMarriage.com.
Remember that couples who make it aren’t the ones who never had a reason to divorce; they’re simply the ones who decide that their commitment to each other is bigger than their differences and flaws.
4. There is hope even when everything feels hopeless.
Do everything in your power to prevent divorce and restore your marriage, but if you find yourself in the fight alone or maybe the marriage has already ended, don’t lose hope! Please take a minute to read these 4 things God wants you to remember when life is hard.
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