What are your opinions on divorce? Have your opinions changed now that you are married? Do you and your SO openly talk about the possibility of divorce? Why or why not?
Having been through a variation of the mess myself (getting an annulment from my abusive ex), I was pretty keen on getting things right this time around. Coming from a strong Southern Baptist upbringing in the Bible Belt, divorce isn’t really too accepted. I mean, people I know won’t hold it against you, but it’s certainly not talked about as an option. As far as my mister and I go, we both consider it a very last ditch solution, should one of us have a Grey’s Anatomy moment when some kind of brain damage turns us into an angry hater.
I want to say that both of us would consider counseling in the event of cheating, or feeling unsupported in our marriage. If things continue to decline from there, then we’d have to assess if there’s any future for us. Only if things progress to violence would I ever consider my first option dissolving another marriage. I’m a very open communicator, and make sure that Mr. SD knows exactly why I’m upset about something, and what we can do to make things better. He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of doing that himself yet, so I try to help guide him through the process whenever he feels upset about something. We really focus on finding the “whys” behind the behavior, so we both know how to make our marriage stronger. I think that commitment to each other and our relationship will help us keep growing stronger for years to come.
I’ve learned in life having a stand on something isn’t always definite. Things happen and your opinions change. Growing up, I always believed divorce wouldn’t be an option. I thought no matter what happened, I’d always make it work.
My parents got divorced while Mr. Starfish and I were dating. The experience definitely changed my outlook on divorce. Because it was so close to home during our relationship, we did/do talk about it a lot.
Although we’ve talked about the idea of divorce, we don’t openly talk about how things would be handled if it were to happen. We didn’t sign a pre-nup and we don’t think about what if it happens to us. Instead. we talk about ways to have a happy and healthy marriage and how to prevent divorce, for instance, if something came up, how would we deal with it to keep our marriage together? We also talked pre-marriage about our goals in life and what we can/can’t live with in our marriage. It’s important to me to have a clear understanding of what we both want in life, and know that we are both willing to work on things through the good and the bad.
Coming from a home where my parents “stayed together for the kids,” I was a proponent of divorce in situations where it became intolerable for all involved. Despite that, both before marriage and now, I never wanted divorce to be an excuse or an easy way out for us.
Together we work on keeping our communication open, and to keep all arguments on an even playing field. For us, divorce is not an option. I intend to marry for life, but I do know most married couples feel that way when starting out, otherwise marriage wouldn’t be as celebrated. I feel that with our hearts and minds fully immersed in keeping our marriage strong, we can overcome anything, and divorce will not be a concern for us.
Like Kiwi, my parents stayed together for the kids, too. I see why they and other parents might want to go that route, but is it really that much better for everyone in the long run? It certainly hasn’t played out that way, in my experience. I tend to be skeptical about all-out bans on anything, including divorce, so I think it’s an incredibly important option given what I know about the other side.
I am not one of those people who would say, “divorce is not an option.” Of course it’s an option: the nuclear option. My parents divorced after over 25 years of marriage, and I don’t remember them ever being nearly as happy together as they are apart, and so I think, for some people and in some situations, it’s the best option. For myself, both before and after I got married, I feel that if we ever find ourselves considering it, we’ve probably let things go too far for too long, so I hope it never goes there. (Fun fact that you shouldn’t quote me on because I don’t remember where I heard it: most couples who go to therapy to try to save their marriage do so only after things have become unbearable for six or more years… and that’s why therapy can rarely help save a marriage.)
Before we got married, the topic of divorce would sometimes come up in the context of my parents’ divorce: what we would not do to our kids were we to go our separate ways as well. Since then, we don’t really talk about the possibility anymore. I think it’s just too sad to think about, and things in our relationship and who we are would have to change in ways that I can’t actually imagine at the moment, so I don’t see the point in talking about it.
Having been through the process before personally has really sobered me on the subject. My old attitude, though I never actually voiced it, was “well there’s always divorce!” Back then, I felt like an appropriate reason for divorce was boredom, or wanting different things.
Now, I don’t even consider it an option unless one of us were GROSSLY misrepresenting ourselves (e.g. second hidden family, physical abuse, turns out one of us is a creepy law-breaking perv or abuser, etc.—crazy stuff). Divorce sucks even if it’s amicable and what you want. I can’t even articulate why it sucks so badly, but it does. It ages you 20 years in a month’s time. It’s a regret that hangs over your head forever, even if it was the absolute right choice for you. Take it from me: avoid it at all costs.
Mr. MJ and I never even joke about divorce, nor do we talk about it as an option for us. We had very serious discussions about our relationship before we got married, and they helped us clarify our positions on the subject. If he and I had problems, we’re in agreement that things unable to be worked out between us would be discussed in counseling. I think we’re settling well into our marriage now. We both agree that it’s for life, and we put a lot of time and effort into understanding each others’ situations, changes and opinions (even if we don’t necessarily agree). It takes maturity and patience to stick with a marriage, and I feel like we’ve refined both over the years we’ve been together!
Mr. Socks and I are never afraid to discuss divorce, but we don’t see it as being an option for us personally. We aren’t against it for everyone, but we both agree that communication is what is going to keep our marriage strong, and as long as we keep lines of communication open, there probably isn’t a situation that we can’t work out.
We’ve discussed the issues that we’ve seen others go through in their marriage and have had “what would we do in this situation” conversations, and that helps us make sure we’re on the same page.
The thought of divorce from each other makes us both so sick to think about that we do not discuss it often, but when we do, we both agree that we will work our hardest to make sure we never have reason to ever think about it seriously.
I wouldn’t say either one of us believes that divorce is not an option. We work really hard to keep our marriage strong and happy, so I really don’t think it will ever become a serious consideration. On the other hand, I would not be willing to remain in a deeply unhappy, irreparably broken marriage just for the sake of NOT getting divorced, if that makes sense. We don’t really discuss it, though, other than the fact that two different sets of family members are going through very ugly, unpleasant divorces right now, and we’ve both made comments like, “wow, if we were ever in that situation, I really hope it wouldn’t come to that…” types of things.
All that said, I also believe there’s virtually nothing I would consider an instant deal breaker. I really think the only thing that could get me to walk out the door without a second thought would be if he hit me (which would also mean that he’d been possessed by an evil spirit or an alien, because he would never, ever do that). I’d do my very best to work and communicate and fight through basically anything (and yes, at this point, I think that includes cheating) before we put divorce on the table.
So basically, I think that if we ever did get divorced, it would have to be for a really legitimate reason, because we are both willing to work really, really hard to exhaust every other possible option first.
We don’t talk about divorce seriously, but I do joke about it at home. I constantly talk about how much better of a wife I am than his mythical, non-existent, second wife. I guess I just do it because I’m insecure, or to get a laugh. I’ll say things like, “Your floozy ass second wife will never be able to do XXX as good as I do. So soak it in now!!!” We mostly talk about divorce in terms of what we’ll do with the dog. Mr. Peng wants joint custody. Eff that. The dog’s mine. Chalk it up to immaturity.
That being said, I’m not against divorce, although I do want to take every measure to try to amend our marriage if it ever gets to a point where we are unhappy. Mr. Peng is excellent at communication—he voices praise a lot and he also voices displeasure in clear terms. I am a little worse when it comes to communication (I just think we were raised differently—I was raised to keep displeasure to myself…and I’m an only child who’s never had to compromise much).
Long story short, I do think divorce is a viable option. If we’re irreparably unhappy with each other, we only have this one life, and I think you should try to make yourself as happy as possible in this short time on earth. I personally believe that if divorce is presented as a viable option in a marriage, then you have more reason to work harder to maintain the relationship, which seems to be the opposite view of most people here, I think. I don’t WANT to get divorced. I want to be married forever to Mr. Peng. So, I will have to work hard to maintain his happiness, and vice versa. If we both sat down and agreed that we’d stay married no matter what, I feel like we’d have more leeway to just live selfishly, knowing that our respective partner has committed to being married for life.
You know what I would LOVE though. I would love to sign some sort of contract that says that in case of cheating (kissing counts as cheating), the cheater is left with NOTHING but our debt and the cheatee takes all of our material property. You can imagine how I feel about cheating. I’ll kick your cheating ass to the curb.
For reference, my parents are not divorced and Mr. Peng’s parents are. I come from a family that doesn’t see divorce as a viable option. None of my family on my side is divorced (none of my blood aunts/uncles).
We’ve only discussed divorce once since we’ve been married and it was a discussion we had because of my parents. I had some land that we were going to build a house on and my parents wanted us to have a discussion about what would happen if we ever divorced. I didn’t want to have the discussion because it was like I doubted we would make it. Mr. Joey said he understood why my parents wanted us to have the discussion and we actually came up with a fair solution if something should happen. We hope and will towards never having to go with that solution.
Doing what I do—Marriage and Family Therapy—I work with the fallout from divorce daily. Most of my referrals are not for couples but for the children of divorced parents. As a result, my job makes me want to work at my marriage like it’s my second job.
Mr. Seashell and I are lucky to come from families where strong and loving marriages were modeled to us. I came from the school of thought that if you throw “divorce” on the table as a threat, you create room for the possibility. We both believe in not creating that possibility in our relationship.
We’ve never really talked about divorce. I mean, people around us have gotten divorced since we were together and we’ve had conversations about that but we’ve never really sat down to talk about it in regards to us. I think we try really hard to be appreciative of one another and listen to each other’s needs. I know if we were ever going through a hard time, we would go to counseling and do whatever we needed to do to work on our issues. However, I think we both feel that we can’t rule anything out. It’s hard to be so “absolute” about anything, divorce included. You just never know, but we work our hardest to avoid engaging in anything that might lead to major problems in our relationship.
I think we both feel the same about divorce: we’re not morally opposed to it, but at the same time we don’t think it’s an option for us, at least not unless our circumstances were to change dramatically.
We have talked about divorce, but mostly only because I’m the type of person who doesn’t shy away from potentially scary subject matter. I’ll just bring up things randomly and hypothetically, and the Dude is kind of like “Whaaa?” We have talked about it particularly in the context of our house because, technically, it’s in the Dude’s name and he bought it before we got married. So according to the wonderful community property laws of Texas, it is his separate property. Were we to split up, I don’t have a right to half of it. So we’ve talked about putting my name on the deed for that reason. One time I brought up something about which cat would go to who if we were to get divorced, but it was too sad on too many levels to talk about, so I dropped it.
Neither of us has experienced divorce in our immediate families, and we were both lucky to have parents in happy marriages. So for that reason, I think it’s hard for us to imagine getting divorced.
We’ve talked about divorce before we were married. I’m more open about it than Mr. Snow Pea is. He’s the sweetest and an easy going guy but there are a few issues he just doesn’t joke with—divorce being one of them. He doesn’t believe in “messing” with the sanctity of marriage. We’ve been very upfront in the beginning that divorce is NOT an option which is a good way to enter a marriage. 🙂
However, we’re still realistic about it. There are some things out of your control and we’re talked about them all. Two examples is Adultery and Mental Illness. We know an older couple who ultimately separated due to the husband’s mental illness. She waited until all their children were grown and out of the house. We believe that once married, we have only each other and if it came to this, that whatever the state of our marriage may be emotionally, we wouldn’t abandon each other. As for adultery, to be honest, I told Mr. Snow Pea if he really really realllllly wanted to leave me for another woman (or man), I’d leave him with all our kids and take the dogs. 😛 We did discuss that if one of us does want out because we want to be with someone else (although neither of us would let it get that far), then we need to be upfront and not manipulative about it. Also, there is no going back and the other has to be fully aware of the consequences. We’re open to marriage counseling and marriage retreats. Whatever helps. A marriage needs to be nurture through its lifetime I think.
Wow, I guess I’m really in the minority here, so I hope I don’t offend anyone with this answer, but I’m against divorce in almost every case (barring the obvious abuse/extreme situations). I think that divorce is taken way too lightly by a lot of people. It shouldn’t be considered as one of the choices when things in a marriage get tough. I get pretty fired up about the idea of someone taking vows in front of not only God, but also in front of all of their family members and friends, and then later deciding, ‘Hey you know all those promises I said I’d never break? Well I’m breaking them now, because things got tough, or I found someone better.’ I’m sure my anger comes from the fact that my parents were divorced when I was 9, and yes they are happier now, and no I didn’t have a terrible childhood, but as an adult I have a hard time not judging the parent that decided to leave (I’ve forgiven, but not forgotten, I guess you can say). I’ve heard it said that optimists get divorced—thinking that there is the perfect person for them out there and they are not happy because they picked the wrong one; while realists stay married because they understand that every marriage will have its ups and downs. So I guess that puts me in the realist camp. Marriage is hard sometimes and you have to WORK at it. There’s no reason to get married or to take those vows if you think you won’t be in it for the long haul. When divorce becomes a choice that is okay to make, how can you give working on your marriage a fair shot? Mr. Tiramisu and I discussed this before and after getting married, and thankfully we are on the same page.
I’m very much in the Seashell/Tiramisu camp. I will quote the lovely Mrs. Seashell, “if you throw “divorce” on the table as a threat, you create room for the possibility. We both believe in not creating that possibility in our relationship.”
In fact, even when we were dating and got into an argument (I would never claim that we don’t have disagreements – we do, a lot), we always had this saying, “no divorce.” We used it more playfully back then, but I think it shows how dedicated we were to our relationship even as boyfriend & girlfriend.
Both of our parents have had 30 years of loving but at times difficult marriages (so, realistic ones), and they have served as excellent role models. After being together for nearly seven years through some difficult times, we really feel that we are always better together.
What about you? What are your opinions on divorce? Have you discussed it with your SO before?