- Gender and Relationships
Divorce: Always a Bad Thing?
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.