There was an article in the Daily Mail (Femail – onliine) today – ‘Yes, of course, divorce shatters lives. So why DO we pretend it’s an easy option?’ by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. In my opinion this is a controversial article.
My comment to the article was as follows:
“I don’t think most people look at divorce as an easy option. This is rather a sweeping statement. Divorce is painful, stressful and traumatic. However, the same can apply to staying in an unhappy marriage.
I have been widowed and divorced and have not suffered ill health because of it. I am now extremely happily married to my third husband (of 10 years) and, in fact, I could not be happier.
In my experience most people do recover from divorce.”
However, I also said that I thought Yasmin Alibhai-Brown should get some coaching or counselling but this was taken out by the sensor. She is married again, to an apparently nice man, but says she lives in fear of being abandoned again. Yet she has no reason to believe her current husband will abandon her. No wonder she believes the report that states divorcees suffer from serious health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. If she spends her life worrying about being abandoned the stress is likely to cause these health conditions. We tend to attract what we think about and she continues to believe that he will leave her it is likely that he will. If she believes that he is different and he loves her and will not leave her then he is likely to stay. I did not suggest coaching or counselling just because I am a Coach, I suggested it because she needs to move on with her life and enjoy her current marriage to the full.
The article goes on: “there is a ‘lingering, detrimental impact,’ says the report. Scary stuff – but it’s a truth we divorcees know well, after all we’ve been through.” Well, I’m sorry but this is not a truth I know and it’s not something people I have coached or interviewed believe either. People do recover from divorce. Sometimes they need to get some help.
The most outrageous part of this article, in my opinion, is the title. I don’t believe that most people do pretend divorce is an easy option. In my experience it is not a decision taken lightly. Most people don’t enter into marriage thinking if it doesn’t work out I’ll just get divorced, although I do believe that couples should have to undertake a ‘compatibility course’ before they get married. I also believe that most people don’t ask for a divorce before they have tried to resolve their problems.
I do believe that staying in an unhappy marriage can be worse than divorce both for the couple and for the children. Leaving is not an easy option and would always encourage couples to really discuss what is wrong and see if things can be mended. Counselling at this stage can also be useful. However, if differences cannot be reconciled or the marriage is abusive then I believe it is perfectly acceptable to get divorced. I don’t believe that it is a flippant thing and I don’t know anyone else that believes that either.