Before You Divorce Your Spouse, Think Of Your Children

Selfishness in marriage

Many people know that divorce is very devastating on the family. But some people will still end up walking that way.

In the long run, divorce does more harm than good to the couples involved, to the children produced by the broken union and to the society in general.

No marriage is beyond redemption, if divorce is not an option

No troubled marriage is irredeemable, if you believe in God. With the cooperation of the couples involved, even the most hopeless marriage can be restored to health and happiness.

Rather than take the divorce option, couples who have marital challenges should find a way of working things out between them.

If you want your marriage to work, you will find a reason to stay in it. But if your mind is made up on filing for a divorce, you will also find a ‘good’ reason to do so.

In other words, whatever you want to do, you will find an excuse for it – including divorce.

Recently, I suggested on this blog that couples who want to make their marriage work should shut the door on divorce. You may want to consider that advice too.

As relatively unpopular as that suggestion might sound to some people, it is not something I would want to change my mind on; neither should you if you are committed to the ideals of having a marriage that works.

Divorce impedes the chances of happiness for your children in the society

One of the greatest joys of a marital union is the children produced in the marriage. Divorce is not one of the ways to increase that joy.

On the contrary, divorce will limit the chances of happiness of the children from that union.

I cannot find a good reason to believe that children from divorced marriages make happier people in the society than children that grew into adulthood having parents who stayed together in their marital unions.

Shouldn’t all children be given the benefit of having both of their parents in their lives together in the same union forever? In my opinion, they should because it is their right!

The values you uphold in the society are often a reflection of the values you have established from home

A broken marriage will cause emotional trauma for the children from the union and may have the ripple effect of setting them on the wrong courses in life. Can’t you make the necessary sacrifice to avoid that?

You cannot think of making a society work better, if you are not open to the idea of making your marriage work. “Charity” they say, “begins from home.”

The values you uphold in the society are often a reflection of the values you have established from home.

A healthy marriage is a fertile ground for nurturing good moral values in children. And that’s what every child deserves!

I am not suggesting that your marriage must be perfect to be able to meet the mark. That will be asking for too much because neither you nor your spouse involved in the union are perfect in yourselves.

But the point has to be made that in spite of your perceived imperfections, you can still find the lasting glue that sticks you to each other, rather than grasping unto the divisive wedge that pushes you both apart.

Give or take, the sanctity of the union should not be jeopardised by either you or your spouse through divorce – at least for the sake of your children.

You don’t want to cause heartache for yourselves as well as your kids by divorcing your spouse. Do you?

Between men or women, who files for divorce more?

As at the time I began to write this piece, a short remark which suggested that 80% of divorce suits are filed by women, appeared on my twitter timeline.

A further research into the claim showed that a different source puts it at a lower rate of 60%, while yet another source shoots it up to as high as 90% (amongst educated women).

Does that mean that women are the prime architects of divorce in marriages?

It is not the purpose of this post to explore that question. But beyond the seemingly lob-sided ratio of women to men who files for divorces, it would be instructive to know the real reason spouses file for divorce.

The hidden reason people seek divorce

There are many reasons a couple may seek divorce:

  • incompatibility
  • infidelity
  • job loss
  • broken trust
  • physical / emotional abuse
  • diminishing love
  • financial stress, etc.

As you can see, the reasons for divorce can come in different shades and colours. But the root of it all is this:

Selfishness

That’s right!

Selfishness – that excessive concern “for oneself or one’s own advantage, pleasure, or welfare, regardless of others” – is the main reason a spouse would file for divorce.

Most marriages will work if selfishness is taken out from the hearts of the married couples.

As I said earlier, if your mind is fixated on getting a divorce, you will often find a ‘suitable’ ground to do so. But before you serve the divorce papers to your spouse, please think of your children- the divine products of the marital union you are about to break up. (This assumes that you have children).

Reasons parents should consider their children before filing for divorce.

Why should you consider your children before you file for divorce? 

The answer to that question my friend, is the fundamental purpose of this post. And to a large extent, a great deal has been said about it in the preceding paragraphs.

Divorce exposes the children to all kinds of vulnerabilities – drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, depression, low self-esteem and so on.

In exploring that question further, I will like to draw from the lessons in the story of Gerty as recently published on Joseyphina’s World. (Thank you Joseyphina for your kind permission to use extracts from that story).

After that, I will then offer my own thoughts as well.

Enter the Story of Gerty

According to Joseyphina, the writer of the story, Gerty’s “childhood was plagued by a nasty divorce between her parents.”

The negative effects of the divorce on Gerty, loudly echo the sentiments that inspired this post. Many couples would give up the idea of divorce if they would spare some quality thoughts on the negative impact divorce will have on on their children.

How did Gerty’s parents’ divorce affect her?

1. Confusion caused by custody issues

Joseyphina tells us that Gerty “grew up confused about whom to love since as per the custody arrangement, she was to stay with her mother during school days and be with her father during the holidays.”

In the process, “Each parent took any chance he/she got to badmouth the other to her.”

2. Automatic membership of Association of Children from broken homes

Gerty became an unwilling statistic added to the children from broken homes association.

And as it turned out, Gerty’s closest “friends also had divorced or separated parents.” As they say, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

In school, Gerty and her friends “would spend their break time talking about what their parents told them about each other and how life sucked for them all.”

3. Lost of faith in marriage and procreation

Because of her parents failed marriage, Gerty begins to feel there is no use for her to get married in future.

“What is the use of falling in love, getting married, and then ending up getting divorced?” she wondered.

She even decided that if she eventually got married, she would not have children so as to avoid custody battles like it happened with her.

4. Burden of guilt for life

Gerty couldn’t be completely sure why her parents got divorced. But “a part of her felt that she was the reason behind it.”

Right or wrong, Gerty goes about in life carrying this heavy burden of guilt of the divorce action of her parents.

5. Rendered an ‘Orphan’ unduly

“Gerty later found herself as an orphan of some sorts when both [of her divorced] parents remarried. She felt out of place in either one’s new matrimonial home.

As she noted, both spouses gave her ‘the issue out of divorce’ look. Both of them had found other people to love but she was the one who lost it all.” What a pity!


Do you want your children to experience the pains of their parents’ divorce like Gerty did? I hope not!

That is why I am telling you to consider the wellbeing of your children before you yield to the temptation or pressure to file for divorce.

Concluding Thoughts

Child-raising is already a difficult job by itself. Divorce will make it more complicated.

I know a single parent can raise children. But having both parents do it in the same marital union will make the job easier.

Divorce will devastate your children. As we said earlier, it can result to a lifelong emotional damage to them.

Children from broken homes are the most vulnerable to all sorts of ills in life: drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, depression, low self-esteem and so on.

My dear reader, as much as it it depends on you, please save your children the pain, the burden or the guilt of divorce.

Resolve your differences with your spouse. Forgive where necessary and stay together – married.

Your children deserve the love and care of both of their parents in the same marital union. Don’t deny them that right because of your selfish reasons by taking the option of divorce.

Remember, if you can find an excuse to sue for divorce, you can also find a reason (your children, for instance) to stay in the marriage – and make it work.

What do you think?


If you like reading this post, consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp and also let me know what you think in the comment box.


©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

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