Divorce Is The Easy Way Out.From time to time we see the claim that "Divorce is the easy way out". Those writing this insist that they are made of sterner stuff and will not take this "easy" resolution of their issues.
As a person who has survived two divorces, I imagine these people would look on me with pity or contempt. Maybe both . . . The following is my story - the story of why I think "divorce is easy" is a false statement.
I cannot speak for others but I can say that, for me, divorce was the most difficult and heartbreaking thing I ever did. And I speak as a person who has survived many other serious life challenges that have brought their own shares of grief and pain.
For me, the challenges of divorce were the same as those that face most people. I truly loved both my husbands. I made my commitment to them (at different times!) with the absolute intent of honouring my vows and of being their loving partner for life. Leaving someone you love is very VERY painful - and, regardless of the other issues, very hard to do.
I was a single parent the first time - my children were six and seven years old. I had a part time job. I owned nothing - not a home, not a car, just some old second hand furniture. At that time (thirty years ago) divorce laws were in their infancy with regards assets and child support. I struggled mightily with very little financial or other help from my Ex.
My parents in law and other in-laws discarded me and my children like dirty rags. The pain this caused me was largely for my children's sake. I fought the urge to tell my parents in law about the numerous affairs and the physical and emotional abuse I suffered at the hands of their son. At the time I felt it was not right to come between them and their child - today I may not have the same scruples!
After several years of struggling alone and coping with a series of other family disasters, I married my second husband. By now my children were twelve and thirteen years old.
My second husband was (is) a very different person from my first husband. He loved me - and still does. He was (and still is) a good step-father to my children. But he came complete with his own set of serious issues. And I bought into this situation without sufficient awareness of how his very differences (from Husband No One) were in themselves red flags - albeit for different reasons.
I was so glad to be loved (and to love) a man who did not cheat on me, that I did not realise that he was without any interest in sex or intimacy. I was so pleased to marry a man who was not a spendthrift or a heavy drinker, that I did not realise his need to control everything would seriously impact EVERY aspect of his life - and thus of our relationship and of my life.
In some ways it was harder to leave the second time - he was/is a "good man" and his issues are deep seated and apparently beyond his ability to deal with. I thought, as many of us do, that I "could not leave over something as minor as sex". That was back in the days when I thought "everrything in the marriage is great except for the sex" . . . I've come a LONG way since then!
Yet leaving my first marriage was really WAY more difficult, because I was so much younger and my experiences of life had not prepared me as much as I was prepared the second time. I had good reasons to go - abuse is abuse. But I dreaded separating my children from their father; I was terrified of being financially totally responsible for my family. I feared the rejection that occurred with his family and some of our friends. And I simply did not know if I could SURVIVE the stresses these things placed on me.
But I did survive - twice. I raised my children. I earnt my living. I cared for my children and other family members. I remained on civil terms with my first husband's family for the sake of my children. I progressed in my career. I made new friends. I faced and overcame new challenges in my life.
Was it "easy"? HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Would it have been easier to stay in either of the marriages? Maybe - I certainly stuck at both for FAR longer than I should have, when I look back on them now.
Was it all my husbands' faults? No. I accept that I was (am) far from perfect and that I overlooked red flags and accepted all sorts of behaviour that should have clearly indicated to me that my marriages were on shaky ground. I stayed for years because I believed things would get better if I "just tried harder". I didn't realise (the first time round) that you cannot fix something if your spouse is not prepared to cooperate.
Now that I am out of my marriage and living a blissfully happy life with Baz, I sometimes hear from people: "Well, it is all right for YOU . . . but I am facing xxxxxxxxxx and yyyyyyyyy and zzzzzzz. That makes MY situation so much harder / more difficult / not NEARLY so easy as it was for you!"
Well, as one of my friends would say: "Whoop De Doo!" It was NOT easy for me. It was NOT something I could do without a great deal of pain and heart break. I did NOT have any reassurances of success before I left either marriage. I forged my way, sometimes well and often by making more mistakes. At various times I was lonely; ashamed; financially broke and heart-broken for the sake of my children.
So, if YOU are considering leaving your marriage, know this. It is NO cake walk! It is NOT "easy to divorce". There ARE no guarantees of success or happiness or anything else. Life is what YOU make of it - and even with your best and finest efforts, it may fail to take you where you want to go . . . .
But if you choose not to divorce, then you would be wise to have some pretty good strategies in mind for re-inventing your present relationship. Because without these you will be living a miserable life - and not even have the hope that being free of such a relationship brings.
My purpose in writing this story is not to boast about my success. Rather, it is to show you that you CAN survive and make your life better and happier. And that divorce is NEVER "easy", but sometimes it is the better choice open to you.