Are You Feeling Guilty About Divorce?

Are you feeling guilty about divorce?

Are you miserable in your marriage but feel you don’t have a good enough reason for wanting to end your marriage?

Are you thinking that divorce means you’ve failed?

Do you know why you’re thinking like this? Where these thoughts are coming from?

Views on marriage|divorce support|Since My Divorce

Sacred Cows: The Truth About Divorce & Marriage

You may not realize it but much of this thinking comes from our culture and the way we’re raised. This is a conversation I often have with clients who are trying to decide if divorce is right for them and lots of the comments on my blog here are rooted in this issue. Exploring this allows you to challenge the beliefs and values you’ve subconsciously accepted along the way and to make conscious decisions about what you believe, given your own life experiences.

In Sacred Cows: The Truth About Divorce and Marriage, Captain of Moonshots at Google[x], Astro Teller, Ph.D. and his wife, Danielle Teller M.D. set about explaining this by challenging readers to take a fresh look at seven sacred cows and the beliefs they represent:

  • The Holy Cow: Marriage is always good and divorce is always bad.
  • The Expert Cow: All marital problems can be fixed with the right self-help book or marriage counselor.
  • The Selfish Cow: Everyone who gets divorced is selfish, and everyone who stays married is selfless.
  • The Defective Cow: If you cannot make your marriage happy, or if you choose to divorce, you must be defective in some way.
  • The Innocent Victim Cow: Children’s lives are ruined by divorce.
  • The One True Cow: Finding true love should be your highest goal in life unless you are married, in which case you should stop believing in true love.
  • The Other Cow: Nobody should be allowed to leave a marriage in order to be with a new partner.

Through their own divorces the Tellers learned how widely held cultural assumptions and misinformation that nobody thinks to question—these  “sacred cows”—create unnecessary heartache for people who are already suffering through a terrible time.

“We did not write this book to advocate for divorce,” say the Tellers. “We are happily married, and passionately devoted to one another. To be “for” marriage or “for” divorce misses the point. What this book stands “for” is the freedom to decide how to live most honestly and happily either as part of a couple or a single person.

Divorce does still carry a social stigma. Although we’ve come far in changing that, there’s still more to be accomplished and the Tellers’ book will help. For yourself, succumbing to the social stigma is a choice and Sacred Cows will help you figure out what you want to choose. It’s definitely worth a read.

P.S. One of my pet peeves around divorce is marital status on official forms. Most of the options such as divorced or widowed are life experiences, not marital status. But the bigger question is why is it even relevant?

The Social Stigma of Divorce

Views on marriage|divorce support|Since My Divorce

By Astro Teller and Danielle Teller When asked why all of her marriages had failed, anthropologist Margaret Mead is said to have replied “I beg your pardon; I have had three marriages and none of them was a failure.” This statement (apocryphal or not) highlights our social tendency to equate divorce with failure. Culturally, we believe that divorce reflects weakness and selfishness, and the … [Continue reading...]

Wisdom From Divorce: Was My Marriage A Lie?

When your marriage ends because you discover your spouse has been deceiving you since the very beginning, you ask yourself, "Was my marriage a lie?": The fact that he was cross-dressing behind my back is, to me, a betrayal on the worst level. It's like my whole marriage was a lie. I feel honestly, that he stole twelve and a half years of my life. ~ Andrea Andrea and her husband married after a … [Continue reading...]

Separation vs. Divorce: Finances

071914 Separation

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What You Can Learn From Your Divorce

Learning From Your Divorce|divorce support|Since My Divorce

Nobody chooses divorce because it will be "a good experience" but without a doubt you can learn from your divorce. And that applies to everyone. In this last segment with my current guest, Bill he reflects on what he feels is his most significant accomplishment since getting divorced. Here's Bill: I think it’s probably different between men and women, because men spend a lot of time … [Continue reading...]

Dating After Divorce: You Never Forget How To Date

Dating after divorce|divorce support|Since My Divorce

We're hard-wired for companionship so it's only natural at some point to start thinking about dating after divorce. Depending on how long it's been since you dated or even how competent you felt dating, you could well be asking your friends for advice on how to date. My current guest, Bill was in his early fifties when his marriage ended about two years ago. He didn't find dating after divorce … [Continue reading...]

Wisdom From Divorce: I’m Afraid Of Being Alone

Have you ever asked someone whose marriage is clearly troubled why they stay? Ever heard, "I'm afraid of being alone?" or "I'd rather stay married than be alone?" Coming out of marriage at thirty-six I felt fear and loneliness, the fear that I would never find a match that I would really love, ultimately on a primeal level, that I would die alone. ~ Sally Sally and her husband were married for … [Continue reading...]