When I meet with folks thinking about separation and divorce, I always try to impress on them the good in furthering their own happiness and peace in life. Many times, that’s making the tough decision to move on from the person they thought they’d be with for life. Surprisingly, I’ve discovered the happiness-and-peace-in-life approach to lawyering is a fairly controversial one. Some call it selfish; others call it sinful. Frankly, I don’t care. Doing the things that promote self-care is, arguably, the highest good. (As an aside, the Bible says something along the lines of loving your neighbor as yourself. If you can’t love yourself, that doesn’t bode well for your neighbor!)
Truth is, there's a great deal of inertia to overcome in facing a prospective divorce. On the one hand, your heart tells you to move on and start over. On the other, your logical mind steps in with its unmitigated barrage of counter-attacks. It reminds you that your desire for happiness and contentedness in life is selfish. It states propositions often difficult to counter rationally. It may replay those voices you’ve heard all your life: “The Bible says divorce is wrong!” “What will my parents and friends think of me?” “How will I start over?” I appreciate Louis C.K.’s thoughts: “Divorce is always good news. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true because no good marriage ever ended in divorce. That would be sad. If two people were married, and they just had a great thing, and then they got divorced, that would be really sad. But that has happened zero times.”
In all honesty, relationships should not be that hard. If you’re finding yourself in a marriage that’s a constant strain, leads to recurring anxiety, fighting, bickering, and drama, perhaps it’s an indication it may be time to move on. I always applaud people who have the courage to leave the safety of the familiar in an attempt to forge a happier path into the unknown. And divorce is certainly an unknown.
It takes courage to talk to someone about divorce, to admit things aren’t working out at home, and to start the whole process of carving out a new (and better) life. The unknown is undoubtedly the more challenging path than the oft-trod path of the status quo. The latter offers little resistance, is safer, familiar, and promises exactly what you expect: continued misery.
It’s time to embrace Louis C.K.’s precept that divorce is always good news!