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:


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

32 thoughts on “Before You Divorce Your Spouse, Think Of Your Children

  1. The Practice Wives Club Feb 8, 2017 / 5:59 am

    I have had the experience for example of families whereby 1 of the parents is abusive, possibly drug and alcohol dependencies are a factor…the selflessness for the sake of the children at times has Mom (in this scenario) who does love her husband deeply, have to make the choice to stay or go. Often times through intervention the situation is corrected but times when the addiction for the abuser is too great. Keep in mind however that these people may not live with the support of family of church or synagogue- Mom must remove the children in order to spare them…change can happen but only if the individual wants it and trusts in it. I have another matter where Mom was loving and self aware, she was a stay at home and her husband was extremely wealthy. After years of abuse and control by dad he one day files for divorce without provocation from mom. Mom has no choice but to leave and allows their child equal access to both parents as she figured that at least half the time their daughter would be spared the violence.In this case mom encouraged through dads family intervention and support- he did not want it, his fear anxiety and mistrust was too great and his soul very damaged.

    Sometimes a parent acts selflessly for their children with no other alternative than having to leave the marriage. If children were not exposed to this enormous dilemma and it was just the marriage that needed the work then I do agree that divorce often is for the wrong reasons.



      • The Practice Wives Club Feb 8, 2017 / 6:09 am

        It is difficult to explain how, when church is not a factor, people reach the to divorce as the only way to remedy their relationship…even typing that i understand the hypocrisy. How do you fix a marriage when you end the marriage?


  2. The Practice Wives Club Feb 8, 2017 / 3:52 am

    Hello Victor…Sir I did read Gerty’s story. I saw it as I read it, I felt it too. Tikeetha, may I compliment you for your open minded thoughts re God’s union…how very interesting.
    Mr. Victor, my days fill with peoples pain as they struggle with your post in part lay in the very real problem of domestic violence- often 1 is extremely well intentioned and mindful. The children lose their right to childhood. It would have to be of union of 2 like minded people to see the joy of a successful marriage. I do believe divorce can be selfish and I have seen that divorce is also selfless. Tikeetha raises such an excellent point, is the marriage sanctified for by God? Even if not people seem to have lost or were not taught a consistent and appreciative moral fiber.
    Thank you for your post,

    Liked by 1 person

    • VictorsCorner Feb 8, 2017 / 5:27 am

      Thank you Alexandra for reading and commenting. I am glad you recognised Tikeetha’s honest contribution too.

      I understand your struggles with some parts of the post as you pointed out. I wasn’t suggesting that troubled couples MUST stay married because of the children only, although that will be a strong factor to consider. With commitment from both parties, thorny issues can always be resolved.

      The issue of domestic violence is very disheartening. My heart goes out to all those who have been victims. Such people should know better what to do in their peculiar situations. But no matter what we face in our marriages, we can trust God for His intervention, rather than taking the divorce route as some people will want to do.

      You agreed that divorce is selfish. That I know! But you said divorce can be selfless too. Would you want to throw more light on that please?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anuli Jan 8, 2017 / 10:28 pm

    This is one of the reasons why courtship is advisable. I am not saying the marriage will be perfect afterwards though. Most people have so little tolerance that once a thing is almost getting spoiled or spoiled, they throw it out, instead of fixing it, never minding the people that get hurt in the way. Yes, everyone wants to be happy, but if you weren’t from the start, why enter?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tikeetha T Dec 28, 2016 / 11:26 pm

    Selfishness is one part. I think the bigger issue that a lot of people don’t address is the fact that if God united the marriage then it wouldn’t break. However, many people were never united by God. Does that make your marriage valid if God didn’t say it was to be? So, if you get out of a marriage that God didn’t bless is it selfishness or obedience? Just my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • VictorsCorner Dec 29, 2016 / 1:59 am

      Tikeetha, thanks for reading and commenting. I am happy you agreed that selfishness in marriage contributes to divorce. But then you raised a valid question too: what if a marriage is not united by God?
      In the first place, how do I know a marriage is united or not united by God? I can only talk about a properly or legally constituted marital union here. If that condition has been met, I believe God can meet us where we are. (You know in the time of ignorance, God overlooks…).

      On the other hand, the fact that a marriage is approved by God doesn’t make it divorce-proof. The couples must strongly play their part to make the union succeed.

      Any marriage will work if the partners are completely committed to making it work. Though marrying in the will of God is a big marriage success factor, I believe God is not the one who decides whether one’s marriage will work or not…

      The point is, if I believe I made a mistake in marriage (or as you put it, I feel that my marriage was not united by God), I think divorce is not the best solution for me – other things being equal. (Two wrongs do not make a right).

      What I should do in that situation is to ask God to help me with the situation. If God can save a hopeless sinner, He sure can help to salvage a failing or failed marriage.

      Disobedience arises when we clearly know God’s will and we chose to do otherwise. Selfishness is when we do what we think is best for us not minding our partner’s interest.
      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tikeetha T Dec 29, 2016 / 7:25 pm

        Point taken. I’ve heard various pastors say that if God didn’t tell you to marry that person then your marriage is not recognized by God. Whether it is true or not believes on the individual. However, I believe that we must seek God in all things prior to getting married. I married a man that God had told me not to marry. I was disobedient. God continued to have grace and mercy on me through my disobedience. That “free will” will get you in trouble all the time. People take marriage to lightly these days. I did. But, I will never believe that you should stay in a marriage that is abusive for the sake of your children. There are many messed up and broken individuals whose parents stayed together and they assumed that is how marriage is supposed to work. That’s not healthy either. It takes two people who want to make a marriage work. One person can want it all day long but if the other person has no regard for you then it will not work. I know that marriages that are blessed by God go through things, just like those who have favor by God. The bible doesn’t say that it will be easy. We just have to stop rushing with lust and seek to do God’s will before we get there. I’m not an advocate of divorce even though I am divorced. I’m an advocate for healthy relationships where both people are committed to Christ leading their lives and their homes. God can take your mess (even divorce) and turn it into a message of triumph. I truly believe that. But, we as humans have to get out of our own way and stop being selfish.

        Liked by 1 person

        • VictorsCorner Dec 29, 2016 / 7:58 pm

          I appreciate your time and çomments here.

          Some pastors like the ones you referred to above obviously are preaching their personal opinions rather than the word of God.

          God’s position on divorce is very clear. That doesn’t mean I support People staying in abusive marriages. To stay or not to stay is their decision, not mine. Let God guide each person…

          But no matter what one is experiencing in marriage, one can find a reason in the will of God and stay to make it work. Well, I concede that it takes two to play. But if a believer in a troubled marriage decides to stay against all odds, he/she should know that he/she has God’s backing. With God nothing is impossible.

          Thank you for sharing your personal experience. We all have disobeyed God one way or another. But we are grateful for His unchanging love and mercies.

          Good to know you don’t advocate divorce. I don’t, either. But I strongly believe no marriage is beyond redemption, except if we leave God out of the equation.

          Like I said, God’s grace can always meet us wherever we are. But it feels better if we are in His will. And divorce is not His perfect will. Let me conclude with your words, “God can take your mess (even divorce) and turn it into a message of triumph.” Splendid!


  5. Barbara Fisher Nov 14, 2016 / 1:10 am

    I agreed with you before I read the content, and I am a divorcee. I wrote about this in two different posts: Broken Vows and Love is Going to Cost You. The bottom line is selfishness. You’ve hit it on the head.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Victor for your acceptance of what I shared and your desire to highlight what it means for a Man to be The Bride of Christ. It is True that in Christ Jesus there are neither Male or Female, we are all one Spiritually although we do have God given different Roles which we were Created for.

    Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither Male nor Female for ye are all one in Christ Jesus and if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the Promise.(KJV)

    1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is One Spirit.(KJV)

    1 Peter 3:7 Likewise ye Husbands dwell with them according to knowledge giving honour unto the Wife as unto the weaker vessel and as being Heirs together of the grace of life that your Prayers be not hindered.(K.J.V)

    I wrote a Post Message about the Woman’s role Victor, in case you would like to read it I will put the link below.


    Blessings – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • VictorsCorner Nov 11, 2016 / 3:35 pm

      It is true Anne, there is neither male nor female in Christ, as you rightly quoted. But then it just occurred to me that when the Bible refers to us as the bride of Christ, it is not in our individual capacities but as a church, the universal body of Christ. What do you say about that?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jesus said that Divorce shows a hard heart Victor, which does include Selfishness but also lack of forgiveness and Submission and these are the reflection of the Carnal flesh which we are to put to death by The Spirit as we Aim to be Perfected in Love.

    Most Marriages start without Children, some never have them like both of mine, my 7 Babies are in Heaven, dying at Birth or during gestation. I was Married 8 years the first time which broke up because my husband got another woman pregnant, he wanted a child that I could not give him. I have been Married now 35 years as a Christian and there has been no Children of our own only Ron’s Daughter who is 10 years younger than me, so Marriage is not just about Unity because of Children although this is very important as you shared Victor.

    I was asked by a man, how can I as a man relate to being The Bride of Christ ?, I found the Scriptures that speak about Marriage as I do not share what I think without confirmation of them. They tell us it is a great mystery which means it can’t be solved by worldly fleshy Man, this is because it is not of the flesh but of The Spirit. This became even clearer as I looked at the Man’s and Woman’s roles in Marriage.

    Being The Bride of Christ it is not about our gender but our Submission coming from Love and Respect, in our Marriages it is putting each other first as you said Victor, sacrificing our own wishes to please each other, giving up all we own and have known, to be in Unity. As a Woman being the Helpmate she was created to be, supporting and encouraging her Husband in his Leadership role in willing Submission and for a Man being the Leader, the one in Authority under God and answerable to Him and having the same Sacrificial Love for His wife that Christ has for His Church.

    Both roles reflect the heart of Jesus to The Father and His Bride The Church. A Man when he is Born again is Married to Christ by His Submission that comes from Love and a Woman by her Submission in Love to her Husband which reflects her Submission to God and both give up all for their Spiritual Husband Jesus Christ as they submit in Love to Him and in obedience to God’s guidelines and in this Submission they are neither Male or Female and it is the same for those who have the gift of Celibacy .

    For a Man and Woman to really find each other they have to find Jesus first because it is in Him alone that they can know Eternal Unity of The Spirit.

    Christian Love Always – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • VictorsCorner Nov 10, 2016 / 8:51 am

      Wow. Thank you very much Anne for this çontribution. This is so insightful. I learnt alot from this comment.
      I feel like I should write a post on that question that man posed to you. How can a man identity as the bride of Christ! Good question I must say. Once again thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. joseyphina Nov 8, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    A great exposé on the topic, Victor. And you are right, most couples divorce out of selfishness. If only they would consider the interests of their kids before theirs, the next generation would turn out better than we fear them to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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