When a Friend Seeks Divorce

When a Friend Seeks DivorceDivorce is just part of life today.

The sentiment is common. It seems as if divorce can’t be avoided. Affairs occur in 50% of marriages, and children are talked about as being resilient. They’ll get over it.

But why should they have to? Why should their security be shaken, their foundations be built on sand rather than on rock? Why are you the one to shake them?

Many justify their actions:

I just couldn’t take it anymore.

How long would I be expected to live like that?

I just want more. There’s got to be more!

And friends and family who love the divorcer don’t want to see that person unhappy. They don’t want to see them upset. They don’t want to see them hurting or miserable or bored and so they agree that divorce is justified, acceptable, and even agreeable.

But, while divorce is justifiable in a very few cases such as in cases of abuse or serial infidelity where sexual health puts the partner’s life at risk, most of the time friends and family make a mistake when encouraging divorce.

Divorce, even in today’s society, shakes families and leaves children shuttling from one house to another, causing confusion, misplaced homework, and forgotten team uniforms. Divorce often means grades drop, friendships change, and confidence diminishes.

And yet still our friends say they’re okay with our getting divorced. Some will even encourage us to do so.

For adults, divorce means lowered income, mediation and/or court battles, missed birthday parties, bedtime cuddles, and a good portion of our children’s lives. Divorce means a loss of concentration, confidence, friendships, and belonging and a gain in anger, regret, confusion, and bitterness.

And yet still our friends say they’re okay with our getting divorced. Some will even encourage us to do so.

For society, divorce means missed work and lowered productivity, increased medical concerns with fewer individuals on employer paid health insurance. Divorce means an increase in poverty for women and children resulting in nutrition based issues and even homelessness. Divorce means a raise in funding required for school lunches, food stamps, home heating help, school related issues such as counseling, daycare, and academic assistance.

And yet still our friends say they’re okay with our getting divorced. Some will even encourage us to do so.

What may be worse is that divorce seems to be contagious, which means what is happening in to our hearts, in our homes, to our children, to our society is likely to happen in the future to those encouraging or agreeing to, even in subtle ways, of our divorces too.

And yet still our friends say they’re okay with our getting divorced. Some will even encourage us to do so.

It is a crazy cycle. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, thinking our families are different, that we are different, that our situation is different, that we are more special than others who have tried our paths before.

Not all of us have been through the cycle of divorce many times, but our society has. We have seen the effects of divorce both short and long term time and time again.

And yet still our friends say they’re okay with our getting divorced. Some will even encourage us to do so.

Friends and family members, I say this to you… if someone you know and love is considering divorce do not go along with it. Divorce does not make things better. Generally, at best, it makes things different.

The Book of James Chapter 1 verses 2 and 3 tell us

Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Yes, life can be hard, and our spouses can be mean, nasty jerks for a long time, but you can find Joy out of anything if you try and Joy, like divorce, is often contagious spreading to your own families and to others.

Working it out, sticking it out is the best long term plan. Ask anyone who has done so!

photo credit

God Bless…

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6 Comments

  1. Johan Persyn on September 18, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Partner Violence exist and between 1-3% of men are psychopaths. Some of this professional liars even have many relations. My wife could get an annulment from her Catholic marriage. In all the other cases, I totally agree with you. What you think, some men never become adult? Love and blessings!



    • Strahlen on September 18, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Absolutely, Johan. Thank you for commenting. It has taken me a LONG time to realize that the Lord has created us in His image and likeness and that He WANTS EXPECTS us to, not only treat others, but also to be treated by ourselves and others with dignity, respect, and Love, and that abuse in ANY form is not in His plan. In such cases, I believe divorce is an option but must be carefully and prayerfully considered. Unfortunately, abuse also does not mean that the abuser will not receive some sort of custody, and many will use children to hold a victim captive in subtle ways.

      I am happy that your wife was granted an annulment. What a Blessing that must be for both of you! I have begun a new online community I’d love to have you both join called Divorced & Still Catholic. It’s for anyone who has ever experienced divorce and/or marriage or familial problems – which pretty much makes us the world in one way or another. I bet your insight and your wife’s words would be welcomed by many trying to figure out this process, day-to-day survival, and their walk of faith! I know I am grateful when you comment here and would enjoy hearing more from both of you!

      God Bless…



  2. Dave Heath on September 7, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve written before that the modern definition of divorce has left out all pain and sorrow by cloaking it in a fur coat and perfume. Sadder still is that the spouse enmeshed in marital unhappiness (absent any abuse, of course) believes it and readily drinks the kool-aid. But saddest of all is that many of those same spouses will not Google “children and divorce” before pulling the trigger and read what divorce does to the innocent ones they purport to “love”. Were they to do so, I can’t believe that any would pull the trigger and it may lead them to re-examine their spousal relationship, with outside help, that would keep the family intact.

    I am soon starting the 6th year of the travesty that is divorce and would not want it for my worst enemy, let alone my own children. I had and wanted no part in this injustice, but have been forced through No Fault Divorce laws to accept it anyway. And the Catholic Church doesn’t help matters any by the Bishop’s ignoring 7 Canon Laws that require seeking spousal reconciliation, which just adds fuel to the fire of spousal discontent in the first marriage. It’s hard enough when you have to fight for your marriage in the civil courts… having to also do so in an ecclesiastical one is heart-rendering and in this day and age – over 90% futile. Am I bitter? Nope. Just sad the Church seems to have upended the scale to focus on the one dis-affected spouse at the expense of the other members of the family.



    • Strahlen on September 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks for commenting Dave. I agree with so much of what you said. This particularly struck me as significant, true, and well said:

      Sadder still is that the spouse enmeshed in marital unhappiness (absent any abuse, of course) believes it and readily drinks the kool-aid.

      You are so right in saying the abandoning spouse doesn’t even realize what he/she is doing, but drinks the Kool Aid. I’m guessing the other woman (or man) must do that also to justify her (his) having an affair with a married person and consequently helping to break up the Sacred unity of a family.

      My one question is whether the cheating/leaving spouse does not in fact know the risks he/she is exposing children to. I think in some cases he or she truly does not know, but (my opinion only) I feel that most do and just don’t care or push the blame onto someone else. In many cases the abandoner is so self-centered, he feels the kids should be happy because he is happy. He thinks the world revolves around him, when it should be the other way around. He should be happy when the children are happy. (I’m using he because being gender neutral got bulky in text, but no partiality is intended).

      I also think many know but, again according to the pattern of an abandoner, refuse to take responsibility. I tried to talk rationally and maturely to my ex about how the kids’ lives were changing, but he threw any blame back on me. I don’t think I’m a rare case in that. I think abandoners do know the risk to children, but they are in such an extreme position of self-centeredness that they think nothing can possibly be their fault, that the majority of the conflict or disinterest in the marriage, any problems with finances, housework, and certainly children must be someone else’s doing. “If only you would get over this, the kids would be fine.” “If you would get a better job, the kids would get to go to the sports camps their friends do.” “If you would…then everything would be fine.”

      Finally, I am not aware of the 7 Canon Laws you mentioned but will look them up. One of the problems I have with the Annulment process is that no one explains anything (at least not to the non-filing party anyway). I’ll look into them, but would you be able to post a link to those 7 Canon Laws either here or( maybe AND!) in Divorced and Still Catholic so others can look into them as well?

      Thanks so much again!

      God Bless…



      • Dave Heath on September 20, 2015 at 9:51 am

        The seven Canons are: 1152.1, 1153.2, 1155, 1446.2, 1676, 1695, 1713, all from the 1983 Code. I know of no bishop who enforces them here in the USA. I believe they tend to use the “civil divorce decree means the marriage is irreparably broken” meme, so they don’t even bother. Which is a travesty in itself, considering they are taking the word of a civil court judge over that of the Sacrament.

        There is a good book that I keep on my desk for handy reference : “When Marriage Becomes Worse – What To Do” by Sheryl Temaat and Therese Wright. It has the Canons listed and many other fine points that are taken from Church documents and Traditional Teachings and urges Catholics to preserve marriages, not destroy them. It is available from Mothers House Publishing, link: http://mothershousepublishing.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=74&products_id=146

        I made a post on the Google + page also…



        • Strahlen on September 20, 2015 at 11:45 am

          Thanks so much Dave! I’ll look into both the book and the Canons! I so agree that the civil divorce seems to trump the Sacrament in too many cases.

          God Bless…



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