The Huffington Post Divorce Blog recently asked its readers an interesting question: would they have married the person they did if they somehow known it was destined to end in divorce?
The responses flooded in, reports the site, with more than 100 comments appearing on Facebook. Some were positive, for example ‘Mike’:
“Without a doubt yes! When you marry the person that enriches your life and brings you the most loved and happy feeling, you don’t know what the future holds, but you know it will hold more happiness and good memories than bad, why wouldn’t you.”
Some less so. A reader called Brenda said:
“… had I known he would repeatedly cheat on me after 22 years, I would have divorced him after the first time (13 years) and cut my losses and heartache much sooner. So many years wasted!”
Many of the responses are upbeat ones, from readers seeming to have come to the wise realisation that their relationship had been a valuable experience, even though it eventually ended. ‘Kristina’ said:
“Absolutely yes. If it wasn’t for all the amazing times, the two fab kids and even the not so good times…it was time well spent.”
Like Kristina, many commentators focused on the children produced by the marriage. ‘Phil’ was pretty succinct:
“Yes. Children and memories are worth it.”
All the responses are intriguing little snapshots of lives moulded by the ups and downs of marriage – and it is this, the time spent with your former partner, that is the important thing, not the fact that it ended. It is heartening to see how many of the commentators have realised this. The word ‘divorce’ looms so large sometimes – on this blog as much as anywhere else! – and yes, it can seem like the end of the world if you are unlucky enough to be struggling through a bitter one. When clients come to see us here at Stowe Family Law, it is sometimes clear that they are going through one of the worst experiences in their lives.
But time heals and a few years on most divorcees achieve acceptance and reach a new perspective on even the unhappiest of breakups. The good times and good memories still matter, no matter what happened later.
I would always advise anyone struggling to cope with a recent divorce to join a support group if they can and talk to those who have already gone on the same journey. There is a lot of strength and wisdom to be found in their perspectives and conclusions.
Maybe nobody should define themselves as a ‘divorcee’. It’s a very limiting label. Divorce is something that happens to you – it is not who you are.