It's kind of everywhere.
Statistics show that the American divorce rate holds strong at 50% (with second marriages coming in at 64%). That's half. Half of American marriages end in divorce. So, even if you are happily married, chances are divorce has impacted you somehow.
Since divorce is so prevalent, I feel like we as a society have become somewhat numb to it. You hear someone is getting a divorce, and the sentiment is something along the lines of "Oh, that stinks" and you go on eating your dinner. It's unfortunately become not a big deal.
But it is. It is a big deal.
You see, I am happily married. Sure, it is hard at times, but Hubby and I believe in marriage, commitment and family. I look forward to the decades to come of my life with him. Despite finding my Prince Charming, and working hard to live my Happily Ever After, I cannot ignore the fact that I have ish to work through.
Fact: When I was 15, my parents got a divorce. It was a rough one, although not as messy as some. It was not amicable. It was not pain-free. So, I may be married, and intend on staying married until death do us part, but I have lived through the divorce of my parents, so I can speak firsthand about how divorce affects people.
My parents divorce has deeply impacted my life. I still deal with the emotional and mental aftermath, even today. I think it is important to realize that divorce affects people: the people involved, the people who know the people involved. No one encounters a divorce without being affected. And I'd go as far as saying that divorce, even the most amicable, can really mess you up. Divorce challenges what you believe about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. It pokes holes in your ability to trust, to understand commitment, to experience love.
But we do a disservice to those dealing a divorce when we chalk them up to being "another statistic." As a 15 year old first learning about my parents divorce, I wanted to scream to the world, "I AM NOT A STATISTIC! THIS WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE MY LIFE." Since divorce has become so commonplace, we quickly move on from the news of a divorce. Yet, we forget that the people involved do not move on. They live in the reality of the divorce. It's something they face every day. They hurt. They get angry. They make poor decisions. They regret. Like someone living with chronic pain, they are unable to escape what they are living through.
There is nothing so isolating as watching people live life around you as you are stuck in a nightmare you can't wake up from.
What we forget most of all is the people who are hurt the most: Kids. While I do not necessarily agree with divorce, my experience has helped me realize that sometimes divorce is the only (or best) answer in a given situation. I do not say this lightly. And while two adults make choices that impact their relationship, there are small people involved who have no choice in the matter. No choice, and often no voice, yet they will wear the scars of the battle.
So, I've started writing a bit about what I experienced dealing with my parents divorce: the onset, the process, the aftermath. I'm not sure where to go with this post series, but I know writing has helped me process over the years. It is my hope that:
- This can be a resource to people dealing with divorce.
- It gives those of you who have not dealt with divorce first-hand a better understanding of the implications of divorce.
- This series can give divorced kids a voice, and the adults in their lives a better understanding of how to help them through the process.
- It will give those of you who have beenimpacted by divorce a chance to process and work-through your own stuff.
I'd love to hear your stories, what you've learned, how you've healed, and your advice to others.
So stay tuned.