Saturday, November 12, 2016

When to stick it out...

Divorce is happening all around us, it's even happening in my little LDS town. In fact, one estimate is that 25-30% of LDS couples who regularly attend church experience a divorce.

President James E. Faust spoke of divorce and said that he believed that there are definitely cases that a divorce or separation should occur.

He says, "In my opinion, "just cause" should be nothing less serious than a prolonged and apparently irredeemable relationship with is destructive of a person's dignity as a human being.

At the same time, I have strong feelings about what is not provocation for breaking the sacred covenants of marriage. Surely it is not simply "mental distress" nor "personality differences," nor "having grown apart," nor "having fallen out of love." This is especially so where there are children."

There are three major things that President Faust mentioned that are good reason for divorce:
Prolonged Problems - meaning that the couple has had these problems for quite a long time. It is not a hasty decision that has been made.
Irredeemable relationship - which means that they have tried and failed to reconcile differences. This may even mean separating for a time, while one spouse works through the problems on their own, and
Destruction of Human Dignity - if your spouse continues to cheat on you, apologize, cheat, apologize, and cheat again that is wearing. If a spouse is abusive you begin to believe that you are less than you really are. These are good reasons to look at getting out.

Marriage professionals believe that the decision to divorce should not be a quick decision. They encourage couples contemplating divorce to do everything in their power to correct the problems, including dumping the computer in the garbage if internet pornography is a problem, seeking marital counseling, or even moving if needed.

Marriage is hard, separation is hard, divorce is hard. While many children who experience a divorce are resilient they are still at about twice the risk for various social and emotional problems than kids who don't experience a divorce.

It has been said that for a young child, psychologically, "divorce is the equivalent of lifting a hundred-pound weight over the head." There is so much to process, so much change. However, when a child is witness to ongoing, high levels of marital conflict it can be even more damaging and in those cases it may be better off for the child if the parents do divorce. If a divorce really is the best thing it is highly recommended that the parents try to change as little as possible, meaning don't move the kids away from their homes or schools, try to keep as much as possible the same. Especially important is that both parents continue strong relationships with the children.

Edited: 12/10/2016 - Ideas and quotes were enhanced by the text book Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives. Edited by Alan J. Hawkins, David C. Dollahite, and Thomas W. Draper. I really recommend that everyone purchase and READ this book. It's so great.

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