May 23, 2014

Divorce Is Child Abuse?

child dad coffee break

Last week, I posted this video called Staying In A Dead Marriage for the Kids. Looks like it struck a chord with many, given the comments I received via Facebook, elephant journal, and Youtube.

However, I received an interesting comment from a reader who is representing the other side. So much so, that he believes “divorce is child abuse.”


Now, I’m curious how you divorced folks feel when someone judges your actions as child abuse?

I understand that divorce may be a cop out for some. And for others, divorce is the best, most intelligent, wise move one can make.

We don’t really know the extent of someone’s marriage, how much they’re suffering, how much they’ve struggled, how much they’ve worked on it. Nor do we have all the many factors and variables that each party is juggling.

And, in my work as a relationship specialist, I see loads of people stay stuck in dead marriages, mostly because they are terrified. I also see people bail early on their marriage mostly because they lack tools or a proper context for how to work with a difficult marriage.

I counsel people to be true to themselves within the context of a marriage or long-term partnership. Believe it or not, people can stay true to who they are, while loving deeper, in a fulfilling marriage.

A few more thoughts on the subject:

If you want more context on where this reader is coming from, here are his comments below.

I saw this posted on “Elephant” and felt I needed to speak up:“Staying in a Dead Marriage For Kids”

Divorce is child abuse. Staying in a “dead” or “abusive” marriage is also child abuse.

If you have any doubt that divorce is child abuse, just look around you, watch the news. Most of the problems of our current society and culture can be traced back to divorce or broken homes.

We as parents have a choice when our relationship starts to suck, we can take the easy road, which is divorce, or we can fix the marriage. Actually if we knew what we were doing, the marriage would not need fixing. If we had maintained it from the beginning it would not have died. When you got married, or hooked up, life was great. Your partner was the best thing that ever happened to you. You made love and created a child. Then came the reality of marriage and parenting. You probably weren’t prepared for this. No one ever told you what to do. No one ever told you how to treat your partner. There was no course on this in your school or university. If you are under 40, there is a very good chance that your parents were divorced so they sure as hell never taught you or showed you.

In this little video clip, you say, “Abandon who you are to choose to stay”. I call bullshit. “Go find some other partner that is sexy and that you have a great connection with.” You already had one a few short years ago; why not find that one who is lying right beside you?

You say, “It’s going to take a lot of courage to do that” leaving doesn’t take courage, its the cowards way out. Your children will pay a much greater price if you leave and they will be rewarded if you suck it up and figure our where you screwed up.

“It’s possible that it’s more beneficial to your kids as you are modeling being true to yourself.” You are teaching your kids that it’s okay to quit on your partner. How about teaching your kids what a good relationship looks like? How about teaching your kids, how a man treats a women or how a women treats a man? What’s wrong with that idea? If you don’t figure that out then soon marriage will be obsolete and children will no longer get the up bringing that they need and have a right to.

“You’re modeling having the courage to do something really uncomfortable and scary, but you did it anyway because you wanted to honor who you are—that is the image you are showing your kids.” You are teaching your kids how to fail at marriage/relationship, because that is all that you know.

“What you are currently teaching them is betray your self, betray yourself, and stay in a marriage that sucks, that’s what’s going in the kids.” You are teaching your kids how to destroy a family, how to quit on someone that you once loved, how to not keep your word, how to not be a mother-father-parent. You are making it okay to throw your children under the bus for your own personal feelings and ego.

It pisses me off that we have people that are willing to promote the acceptability of divorce. We have created a world where people only deal with the “results” that we have. We need to start dealing with the “cause” that created those results. It’s the only way that we will ever create any positive change. If we keep doing what Jayson Gaddis recommends,then it will only get worse.

I’m a 66-year-old father and grandfather. I was married and divorced twice before I was 38 and I’ve been with the same wonderful woman now for 28 years (to soon old and too late smart). It’s been a great journey and I’m thankful for what I’ve learned and for what I’ve been able to give to others. I spend all of my free time helping create “The Men The World Needs.” I’ve helped save numerous marriages and I do it all for the children, as the children are our future. If we don’t figure this out, god help our grand children. By the way, religion doesn’t enter into this in any way; it’s about what works and what doesn’t work in all religions and all cultures.


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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Thomas Leuthard/Flickr

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