Friday, September 15, 2017

The Myth of A ”Happy Divorce”

Dear Parishioners,

There is an interesting article I recently read in an edition of Our Sunday Visitor concerning the emotional toll of divorce and the myth of the “happy divorce.” Marriage is not the valued institution it once was, and this is regrettable. The article points out the impact that divorce has on children. Their attitudes and emotions are affected by their parents’ divorce in significant ways as compared to children whose parents have intact and stable marital relationships. Children need stability and clear boundaries in order to develop. A chaotic and unstable home life makes this hard to achieve. Children from divorce grow up without an image of what relationship stability looks like.

My own upbringing points to this as my parents were separated several times and had periods of great acrimony and tension. I stood between my parents once while my father, drunk and in a rage, threatened to kill my mom. Things like that led me to be a psychologist and to seek out solutions for myself and others. The article suggests that one million children experience parental divorce every year. That is a great deal of trauma and emotional pain. And it gets carried over into the children’s relationships.

Our church sees marriage as a sacrament and honors the institution. This gives a much deeper meaning to it than just a nice and convenient way for two adults to share expenses that can be abandoned when things get tough. I have been married for 42 years and often keep in mind my parents struggles and pain. Of course, I married a gentle and beautiful person who has made the time go by in an almost easy manner. I thank God for this and know how blessed I am. I ask that we all pray for those who experience this difficult and challenging situation of divorce. It fractures lives, especially those of vulnerable children.

Deacon Steve

“Our Lord takes pleasure in doing the will of those who love him.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars