I generally write about divorce from a faith-based perspective, specifically, that stepping back from whatever is going on in your marriage and reminding one another what God says about marriage and what marriage means in the “supernatural order” is a meaningful place to start in determining whether divorce is really something you both want to do. However, I found this TED talk by a divorce mediator, Michelle Rozen, and I think it’s pretty good.
First, she talks about how prevalent divorce is in our culture and more to it, that divorce is in fact contagious. She cites a study that states your chances for divorce increase a whopping 75% if someone from your close circle of friends or family gets divorced. That is huge! Divorce really is contagious and I say it all the time. I also say to those couples who stay married and fight through the difficult periods – you are making a difference to all those who come in contact with you – from your kids to your neighbors to your friends and family and even to strangers. When people see strong marriages, they work harder on their own. When they see couples get through adversity it motivates them to work through their own issues. I will go further and say just because you are not always “happy” does not mean you are keeping your kids in a “bad” situation. That is nonsense talk. Your kids need to see the ups and downs of life. Your kids need to see the reality of marriage which goes from a bubbling exciting smaller river to a more powerful, calm river like the Mississippi. There are some not-good times in there and then there are amazing times. But what really comes out is commitment and what it means to love.
Sorry…I digressed. Ms. Rozen discusses a three-question approach she gives to couples to determine whether they “qualify” for divorce. And people like little “tests” that give them answers. So I was intrigued. After listening, what I really liked, were the second and third questions which I think are impactful on the first question. The second question asks: how much have I been doing more of the same in order to create the change I want to see. And the third question asks, how responsible am I for the failure of this relationship. So as you watch and listen to this TED talk, keep your answers to the second and third questions in mind before you answer the first question. Answering the first question without the other two is probably an unfair assessment.
Take a view of Ms. Rozen’s Ted talk. It’s short and the three questions are also a good starting point in determining where you are in your marriage.