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Divorce is not the problem, it's the solution.


YPestis

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I was listening to a podcast about divorce recently and this throwaway comment stuck with me. In all the talks about divorce, fundies always treated it as a problem in of itself. They say that if divorce was made difficult, then people would not divorce and families would be happier and unicorns would fly! What's more, fundies wax nostalgically of bygone times when divorces were scarce thereby concluding that couples must have been happier back then.

Most people would agree that divorce is a negative thing. It means the dissolution of a family unit. It signifies emotional anguish and pain. However, divorce is not, in of itself a bad thing, but merely a last step to a dying relationship . In that way, divorce is a solution to a pre-existing problem. Something bad already happened to that marriage. The divorce was just a public signal that the relationship is at an end. I guess I never thought of divorce in that light until now. Fundies have an even simpler view of divorce, believing that banning it will end the problem of troubled families. In that way, it exemplifies the simpleton reasoning of fundies in general. Black people complain about their status, therefore the Civil Rights movement was bad because prior to that, blacks never staged such protests. More people are openly gay, therefore The Gay must be spreading (unlike, say, Iran where gays do not exist).

It never occurs to fundies to reflect on the historical context of these issues. Blacks were disenfranchised long before the 1960's. Gays existed since the dawn of civilization. Divorce used to be nonexistent, but that doesn't mean marriages were happy. It occurred to me that fundies either do not understand this concept, or they prefer to live in a world where problems are ignored. I'd wager that it is the former, but perhaps some fundies believe that problems would go away if we'd just ignore them.

Anyway, I guess the divorce comment struck a nerve with me. It made me realize the fundamental difference between how I view societal ills and how fundies view them. While I can acknowledge that our society have always had problems and that we are just more open about them now, fundies think the opposite, that the previous lack of mention of these problems signifies the absence of them from society. Perhaps it proves the adage that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

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I was listening to a podcast about divorce recently and this throwaway comment stuck with me. In all the talks about divorce, fundies always treated it as a problem in of itself. They say that if divorce was made difficult, then people would not divorce and families would be happier and unicorns would fly! What's more, fundies wax nostalgically of bygone times when divorces were scarce thereby concluding that couples must have been happier back then.

Most people would agree that divorce is a negative thing. It means the dissolution of a family unit. It signifies emotional anguish and pain. However, divorce is not, in of itself a bad thing, but merely a last step to a dying relationship . In that way, divorce is a solution to a pre-existing problem. Something bad already happened to that marriage. The divorce was just a public signal that the relationship is at an end. I guess I never thought of divorce in that light until now. Fundies have an even simpler view of divorce, believing that banning it will end the problem of troubled families. In that way, it exemplifies the simpleton reasoning of fundies in general. Black people complain about their status, therefore the Civil Rights movement was bad because prior to that, blacks never staged such protests. More people are openly gay, therefore The Gay must be spreading (unlike, say, Iran where gays do not exist).

It never occurs to fundies to reflect on the historical context of these issues. Blacks were disenfranchised long before the 1960's. Gays existed since the dawn of civilization. Divorce used to be nonexistent, but that doesn't mean marriages were happy. It occurred to me that fundies either do not understand this concept, or they prefer to live in a world where problems are ignored. I'd wager that it is the former, but perhaps some fundies believe that problems would go away if we'd just ignore them.

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Anyway, I guess the divorce comment struck a nerve with me. It made me realize the fundamental difference between how I view societal ills and how fundies view them. While I can acknowledge that our society have always had problems and that we are just more open about them now, fundies think the opposite, that the previous lack of mention of these problems signifies the absence of them from society. Perhaps it proves the adage that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

1. I never get this point either . Are this people all fucking stupied? Did they never lay an eye on daily life records of times when is was very difficult or not possible to divorce/seperate? Families back then were by no means happier! They weren´t even families in our sense of a happy unit - it was more like a business agreement to be able to go through life. If families were rich enough, husband and wife had seperate rooms, aparments within their home or even seperate houses on their property (houses: I´m thinking asian countries here mainly).

Also, if one union is a unhappy one and death is the only way to escape, then exactly this will happen: A lot of deaths! Poisoning, staging an accidentand all other ways to get rid of an unloved husband or wife were not uncommon in old days. Same goes with unloved relatives. Also, domestic abuse with lethal results was running rampant in old times. HOW THE FUCK COULD OR WANT FUNDIES NOT KNOW THAT?! :pull-hair:

2. This goes not for all cultures, divorces were very common in ancient egypt, roman, greek, germanic, asian, native american,... cultures (it would be going a long list here, but I remember some ethnologist book that had an actual list with cultures through world history who had divorce as an potion - I´m going to search for source and post it here. Maybe some one knows that too and could post it? :) ) So an age-old invention too.

Same with legal abortion by the way -> The catholic church altered her opinion of "when is a full soul-equipped baby a full soul-equipped baby " from "the time it´s out of the mothers womb" to "the point a pregnancy beginns" just a couple hundred years ago.

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Even if fewer couples got legally divorced, people separated for a lot of reasons. My husband had a set of great-grandparents that separated because the wife wanted to immigrate to America and the husband didn't. She ended up making the trip without him, taking their 1-year-old baby. I had a great-great-grandmother that remarried (not sure whether her first marriage ended in death or divorce.) Her 2nd husband later "sent her back" to her family when she became ill.

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Fundie code says to idealize the past you don't understand; after all, who is living who was alive then to actually know they're blowing smoke out of their asses?

Divorce of some form has existed as long as humans have existed. Coupling and re-coupling is nothing new. It's the church that took marriage and turned it into something it never was.

In present time, I agree entirely that divorce is the solution to an existing problem. As someone who went through a really ugly one that took forever, I never once doubted it was the right thing to do. In fact, the longer it took and the more opportunity the ex had to remove his social / public mask, the more evident it was that no longer living life with that kind of person was the absolute right, best solution.

Of course, no god or religion had a damn thing to do with my marriage or divorce, so as a selfish, godless heathen, I suppose it was all my just desserts from a vengeful god for not believing or trusting in him. Whatever. Fortunately, no fundie had any say in the matter and I am now living a far better, safer, more secure life than I ever did while married.

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A lot of people were locked in unhappy marriages. My friend is researching her family tree and she asked older members for stories. One that has come up several times is about her great, great grandmother on her mother's side. She was married to an abusive man. After she gave birth to their fifth child, he tried to rape her. She was so desperate that she went to some kind of local voodoo/witch? woman and asked if there was a spell to kill him. Eventually, they began to sleep in separate beds and continued to share the same house but weren't really husband and wife any longer. To want her husband dead, the woman must have been desperate.

Just because two people remain together, doesn't mean that they love one another or even like each other.

I've noticed that fundies posts directed toward single people include a lot of happy images of the perfect, future marriage. For married people, there are many posts about how the woman is supposed to die to herself and not expect the man to fulfill her. I can see how one woman might fall for this crap but I don't understand how they pass it on to their daughters

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I had a conversation on the subject of divorce with a friend who is a family counselor. (I practiced family law for 25 + years). We both agreed that dysfunctional families exists with or without divorce. If the parents can put the kids' needs first, it doesn't matter if there is a divorce, the kids usually turn out fine. If they can't put the kids' needs first -- doesn't matter if they celebrate their 75th anniversary or get divorced, the chances are the kids are screwed.

That generality aside, what about abusive spouses, controlling spouses, cheating spouses -- the other spouse is just supposed to accept that and move on? :angry-banghead:

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I totally agree with you, Ypestis.

Many Christians believe that God can "heal" marriages. It wouldn't take too many visits to a church in order to hear this narrative. Some church bodies believe this healing comes through adopting the traditional gender roles, other through a supernatural means, others through straight-up, legit counseling. And, of course, on some level these work. When I was a church goer, I personally knew a couple who were on the verge of divorce unhappy and their marriage was "healed" (ie, they went to counseling and worked out her feelings of resentment towards him that came from her moving upwards in her white collar job while he spent his career in blue collar work.)

So, it's not so much that they think people should be stuck in miserable marriages, it's that they think God can fix anything (okay, some people, like Lori, just thinks you should stay in your horrible marriage.)

The fact that some things can't be worked out eludes them entirely.

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Most people would agree that divorce is a negative thing. It means the dissolution of a family unit. It signifies emotional anguish and pain. However, divorce is not, in of itself a bad thing, but merely a last step to a dying relationship . In that way, divorce is a solution to a pre-existing problem. Something bad already happened to that marriage. The divorce was just a public signal that the relationship is at an end.

Absolutely. This describes many of my cases.

I do find it sad that many relationships fail, and do believe that in many cases, couples would have benefited from putting more effort into their relationship. By the time someone comes to see me, though, the relationship is often dead and we are simply doing the funeral.

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If divorce were harder to get, I would never get married. Not that we should go into our relationships expecting them to fail - romantic love can be a beautiful thing and hope is a big part of that. However, impeding the right of anyone to act in their (not to mention their children's) best interest will probably result in fewer marriages, not more.

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I never get this point either . Are this people all fucking stupid? Did they never lay an eye on daily life records of times when is was very difficult or not possible to divorce/separate? ....if one union is a unhappy one and death is the only way to escape, then exactly this will happen: A lot of deaths! Poisoning, staging an accident and all other ways to get rid of an unloved husband or wife were not uncommon in old days. Same goes with unloved relatives. Also, domestic abuse with lethal results was running rampant in old times. HOW THE FUCK COULD OR WANT FUNDIES NOT KNOW THAT?! :pull-hair:

So true. When I was a practicing Catholic and going through the annulment process in order to remarry, my priest told me that, in the old days, when a widow or widower wanted to remarry, there was an investigation to rule out any possibility of foul play.

In the early '70s, before no-fault divorce came to my state, one of my uncles and his wife were divorcing. It was bitter, especially because they had to "show cause" for the dissolution of their marriage. Relatives were being urged to lie in court on behalf of one spouse or the other. Their teenaged kids suffered.

Forcing either of my marriages to limp along would have been a disaster. My first husband was an alcoholic with unmedicated bipolar disorder, but we were able to come to an agreement about custody and child support on our own. And my second husband (no kids together) was a controlling prick, so I thank God I was simply able to kick him to the curb and get on with my life.

As one sage said, "Why is divorce so expensive? BECAUSE IT'S WORTH IT."

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Both my parents were married and divorced before they met each other. My dad married his first wife cuz she was preggo, had two sons with her. They divorced because she was bipolar and abused the kids. My moms first marriage had no kids, he cheated on her with her brother's wifes sister. They were legally married for less than five years but lived together for only one. It took her a long time to divorce him cuz she didn't have the money for a lawyer plus he joined the service after they separated. Mom and Dad got married a week after Moms divorce was final. If they had not divorced their first spouses I would not be here. I tell people who are anti-divorce that story.

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My parents separated when I was 9 back in the early 70s. To this day she sees her divorce as a failure. I think this is largely a product of the times - a Catholic woman in Quebec. It wasn't that common. However, my brothers and I have all thanked my mom for leaving him. All our lives would have been pure hell if they had stayed together and I doubt any of us would have turned out relatively unscathed. That's why I take exception to the term "a broken home". There are plenty of broken homes where both parents stay together.

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Both my parents were married and divorced before they met each other. My dad married his first wife cuz she was preggo, had two sons with her. They divorced because she was bipolar and abused the kids. My moms first marriage had no kids, he cheated on her with her brother's wifes sister. They were legally married for less than five years but lived together for only one. It took her a long time to divorce him cuz she didn't have the money for a lawyer plus he joined the service after they separated. Mom and Dad got married a week after Moms divorce was final. If they had not divorced their first spouses I would not be here. I tell people who are anti-divorce that story.

Great story!!

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My husband had a childhood friend who got married to a man that everyone assumed was a good person. They were married for less than a year when, without warning, she abandoned the house in the middle of the day (while he was at work), moved to a city several states away, and she changed her last name to her grandmother's maiden name. To this day, she refuses to discuss the details behind why she left. She only says that something happened that made her realize she had to get OUT. She has just gotten married for the second time to a wonderful man who has stuck by her through thick and thin (the "thick" including cancer treatment).

With the advice Lori and Sunshine Mary give out advising women to stick with horrible husbands, they will have blood on their hands one day.

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On paper, my great-grandmother would show up in Canadian statistics as never being divorced.

In reality, she was badly abused, tried to leave once, was persuaded by a judge and her husband to go home and give it another try, he beat her again while she was pregnant with my grandmother and locked her in the room, and she escaped out the window. He then kidnapped the older children, left the country and shacked up with another woman and had more kids. [He then died without a will. 60 years later, we are STILL dealing with issues....]

My grandparents, meanwhile, realized that they were not compatible by the time my mother was 3, but didn't separate until she was 27. Instead, they lived together in misery and bitterness.

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