Why are you separating? Making distinctions when considering separation

Yesterday I wrote post where I tried to argue two things:

  • that we can’t trust lawyers to give marriage advice. They have an incentive to keep their sales funnel full of prospective families.
  • that if, in the back of your mind, you’re justifying your divorce because of abuse or violence, it better really be abusive or violent. Otherwise, you’re making a hypocritical statement when you send your children there post-divorce.

I always try to write clearly, and most of the time I think I do a good job but last night’s post was a struggle. I don’t think I made the latter argument as clearly as I could have. It was late and I was tired.

So this morning, imagine my delight when I read a post over at Mary’s Advocates where they have a section on making distinctions. As I read it, I thought, “YES! This is exactly what I was trying to say last night.” So here  it is:

Continue reading “Why are you separating? Making distinctions when considering separation”

If he’s no good for you, he’s no good for your kids

We can also say, “If she’s no good for you, she’s no good for your kids.”

Always be suspicious when divorce attorneys say divorce is OK. Divorce is very lucrative for them so they have an incentive to keep the sales funnel full of potentially broken families.

This post at at HuffPost Divorce, by a former divorce attorney, actually started out OK. She was making the very reasonable claim that people shouldn’t stay in violent or abusive marriages. She states clearly that “divorce is hard for kids,” and she also clearly states that research backs up this claim. I could quibble with some of her other characterizations, but I won’t.

Instead, I want to point out the logical inconsistency.  Continue reading “If he’s no good for you, he’s no good for your kids”

Divorce as immaturity

I am working on a theory that divorce is a manifestation of immaturity.

Divorce pushes a heavy burden down to the children. I’ve heard it said that:

Divorce is when parents cast of their crosses, and hand them to their children.

If the children live in “two homes,” this means that one or both parents thought the other one was too horrible to live with any longer… but not horrible enough to keep the children from going there. It sends a conflicting message:  Continue reading “Divorce as immaturity”

Honor your father and your mother

One of the things that has held me back from expressing my real feelings is the Biblical commandment to “honor your father and your mother.” (Exodus 20:12) Notice that there aren’t any qualifiers to the commandment, such as: “Honor them as long as you approve of their actions.” Lacking qualifiers, I take this to mean that we have to do it regardless of what our parents do.

So the question has lingered in the back of my mind: how do I honor them when they have mishandled things so badly? I’ve written some things here that might seem like I’m dishonoring them. My dad died in 1991, but I worry about what my mom would think if she read these posts. I need to express what it was like for me growing up, and my worry about hurting her feelings has forced me to remain silent for many years. I’ve had to pretend that so many things did not matter to me, in order to preserve my relationship with them. I was angry and sad a lot but didn’t understand why. It’s ironic that in order to honor them, I felt the need to pretend and hide. That tells me that I wasn’t really honoring them all these years. After all, the pretense was a type of lie. And I know that God doesn’t want me to lie.  Continue reading “Honor your father and your mother”

The conservative preference for children of gays

It is super frustrating when prominent conservative leaders and groups hold up the kids of gays to argue against gay marriage as another form of family breakdown, but completely and utterly ignore the kids of divorce. I could provide examples but I’m afraid to. I don’t want to alienate them. Plus I hope that someday they will realize, on their own, the logical gap they have in their arguments. Taken from the point of view of the child, gay marriage is more like divorce/remarriage than it is like marriage. Why can’t conservatives see this?

And just so I’m perfectly clear: I am not pitting the the kids of gays against the kids of divorce–Lord knows, both groups need all the allies they can get. Plus I am friends with a prominent person in the other group. But I must be honest about how I feel and the gap I see.

I won’t provide citations, but it will be easy enough for you to verify what I’m saying.

Continue reading “The conservative preference for children of gays”

Thank you, adoptee community

I just want to say “Thank you,” to the adoptee community. Some of them have done an outstanding job bringing to light the ugly underbelly of adoption. But wait: did you know that adoption has an ugly underbelly? Well, it does. I will probably touch on it from time to time.

The reason I want to thank them is that they have helped me understand my own childhood. I’ve read enough from them that I know they don’t like being compared to the kids of divorce. And in a way I get that. The two are not the same. But I have seen enough conceptual similarity to be helped in my own situation as a child of divorce. Here are several ideas I got from them.  Continue reading “Thank you, adoptee community”

But our son is smiling!

HuffPost Divorce is such a piece of crap. Check out this post from last month. It has a video of a smiling boy interviewing his mom and step-mom. And guess what? It’s all about THEM. Wow, I’m so surprised (not).

The first question and answer is worth dissecting since it reveals a theme we will be exploring quite a bit.

Son: Mom, when I was younger, were you worried about meeting my future step-mom?

Mom: Yes, I was completely freaked out by that situation. Sharing you with your dad was a way of life and it was all I had known so that was fine, but knowing that one day I was going to have to share you with a future hypothetical step-mom… this idea of the other woman really freaked me out. Then the day came that I met Julie, your step-mom, and all of that went away because she is incredible and she made it OK for me. She really made that OK for me. So… you’re very lucky. You have an awesome step-mom.

There is a lot embedded there:  Continue reading “But our son is smiling!”

Divorce apologists: go away

Please, PLEASE spare me the “rebuttal” about how we need divorce so that people can get out of abusive or damaging situations. You know why? It’s because I want to say, “No shit, Sherlock. Wow, you’re brilliant!” (That was sarcasm, by the way.)

Let me ask you a question: who EVER advocated for people to stay in abusive situations? Show me ONE reference. Just one. And it needs to be one that is commonly known. After all, that’s the thrust of your rebuttal–that lots of people like me would remove divorce permanently from the legal landscape.

I hang in some very socially conservative circles, and nobody I know advocates for that.

Continue reading “Divorce apologists: go away”