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Divorce: Always a Bad Thing?

Updated on March 14, 2012

When to divorce

We were taught that divorce is bad. Period. Why? Because we were taught that marriage is sacred. That marriage is the union between two people who are in love (or not yet, in the matter of arranged marriage) under God. And we were taught that God is good and anything away from His grace is bad.

I'm a Catholic and I believe that any marriage is worth saving. But I'm also a pragmatic and I have even recommended a couple of friends to go ahead with their decision to divorce their partners. That is because I believe divorce is not always bad.

Worst case scenario for a divorce is spousal abuse. Sure, the couple can go to see a counsellor on that matter. In many cases, however, it is probably safer for the abused spouse to just leave. Here, divorce isn't such a bad thing. It might even save one's life.

Then there is the irreparable difference, unresolved by marriage counselling. When the couples don't even talk to each other anymore or can't stand each other anymore perhaps to the point of only wanting to hurt each other's feelings, divorce seems to be the best strategy.

What about children? That's the hardest factor in deciding to divorce. Children do thrive better when their parents are together. I remain, however, a little bit skeptical, especially considering the possible short- and long-term emotional and social effects on children when their parents can't stand each other anymore. Isn't it the children's right, too, to experience that their parents are happy individuals unrestrained by their marital statuses? And don't children thrive well when their parents are happy even when separated?

In sum, no, divorce is not always bad. There are circumstances where the benefits of divorce exceed its cost. This is, however, not an excuse to make divorce as the feasible exit strategy when things go awry in a marriage. There are ways to resolve dilemmas or problems in any marriage. It only takes courage, patience, and perseverance, and the desire to save the marriage.

Books on surviving divorce


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    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 7 years ago from Aurora

      I recommend visiting divorcecures dot com for practical advice on divorce.

      There is no need to *fill the pockets* of unscrupulous attorneys during a divorce when it is inevitable. But, you may need one to check your paperwork if you are trying to do-it-yourself (with ex naturally).

    • Anne Burlinson profile image

      Anne Burlinson 9 years ago from Australia

      Spot on, Shellz! Thanks for your comment and sharing.


    • Shellz profile image

      Shellz 9 years ago from Chicago, IL

      "..even bad love is better than no love" says your first commentor, no way!

      Anne, I love your article - my husband claims to be the devote 'Catholic' as he 'took his vows' and does not believe in divorce, however, my mental health says otherwise. Unfortunately it's taken me 10+ years figuring out what the right decision was for me; marriage is 22+.

      In particular, your last sentence:

      "It only takes courage, patience, and perseverance, and the desire to save the marriage."

      In my experience, it was easier to stay in the marriage than to get out. Every time I would attempt to get out, he fought it so much, always saying there was nothing wrong, it was only in my mind that things were not right, it was easier to stay. Separating/divorcing means making a physical move, a financial evaluation, and especially when children are involved, not only in their family ties, but also not to interfere with their school, activities, work, and other commitments.

      My current philosophy is: "It takes courage, patience, perseverance, and the determination and support to stay strong and focused to get out of a relationship."

    • Anne Burlinson profile image

      Anne Burlinson 9 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for your comment Bozyslawa =)

      You've pointed out quite an important idea there on the sacredness of marriage and people should take it more seriously. With respect to why marriages breaks, however, there's more than just people getting married on impulse or marrying wrong partners.

      Although there are instances that people married on impulse and ended up with partners that they should not get marry to, I believe most marriages break because the couples think marriage is 'the end' and not 'the beginning'. Once settled in, couples "forgot" to work on themselves and take the relationship for granted. Some started to develop 'backwards' instead of improving themselves. Once they realize marriage is not going the way they imagined it to be, an exit strategy is sought after.

      Should we make getting married much harder? I don't think so. I'm afraid that would mean denying an individual's right. What we should enforce is pre-marital counselling/education, so bride and groom to-be got a chance to reflect why they're getting married and where they want to go from there.

    • Bozyslawa profile image

      Bozyslawa 9 years ago

      I do believe that marriage is sacred. Not unbreakable, but sacred. Children are sacred.

      Marriages desintegrate because we are not perfect, and we sometimes marry on impulse people we should never get close to, people who are destructive, abusive, unloving, people who may have no capacity to love. Marriage is sacred but we not always realise it when we are in such a hurry to get married. It is too easy to be married without knowing the person we chose. If we could know how this person will behave in 5 years - we might have run bare feet on ice to get away from the wedding.

      We are human, and we do make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are costly, and sometimes other people, including innocent children, pay for our mistakes.  It should be made much harder to get married, so less unions are tied ON IMPULSE and with wrong partners.

    • Anne Burlinson profile image

      Anne Burlinson 9 years ago from Australia

      Thanks bohica =)

      Divorce is an intricate matter, especially when children are involved.


    • bohica profile image

      bohica 9 years ago

      A nice hub - very impotant topic! If this weren't such a public forum; I would be more honest and forth comming.

      Just please remember that for children, caught in the middle, that even bad love is better than no love.