A common thought for many married couples, even those in semi-happy or at least not problem-filled marriages, is what divorce might be like. After many years of providing marriage counseling, I know dreaming of divorce is a regular occurrence for a lot of wives and husbands.
Below are some excerpts from the article Confessions of a Semi-Happy Wife by Ellen Tien. The article expresses the thoughts and questions many spouses (wives and husbands) ponder, which is why I'm sharing it. However, I must place a disclaimer about several aspects of the article of which I do not agree:
- The article describes men, I believe, in an overly critical, stereotypical, and demeaning manner (albeit some of it being absolutely true and funny)
- The article also suggests that marriage is obsolete and not functional in our modern society
- Finally, I believe the article presents divorce in a way that doesn't emphasize enough the pain and damage it brings
Despite these disagreements, I share the article because it reflects a very common occurrence inside marriages -- dreaming about divorce -- represents the thoughts of many spouses -- "I want a divorce" -- and reflects how many people now think about divorce.
Here are some excerpts.
- I contemplate divorce everyday.
- A question that I've asked myself from altar to present, both incessantly and occasionally: "What am I doing here?"
- Beneath the thumpingly ordinary nature of our marriage -- every marriage -- runs the silent chyron (the text that runs along the bottom of TV news broadcasts) of divorce.
- At a juncture where we thought we should have unearthed some modicum of certainty, we are turning into the Clash: If I go will there be trouble? If I stay will it be double? Should I stay or should I go?
- We, the children of mothers who settled (or were punished for not settling), wonder: "Is this as good as it gets?"
- Reasons and rationalizations abound and rebound. It doesn't matter whether the infractions are big or small. At a certain point, we stop asking why and start asking how. "How did it come to this? How much longer can I go on?"
- Conventional wisdom decrees that marriage takes work, but it doesn't take work, it is work. It's a job -- intermittently fulfilling and annoying, with not enough vacation days. Divorce is a job, too (with even fewer vacation days). It's a matter of weighing your options.
- A friend once compared the prospect of leaving her husband to leaving her child's private school: The school wasn't entirely to her liking, but her daughter was happy there; it wasn't what she'd expected, but applying to other schools involved a lot of costly, complicated paperwork and the nagging uncertainty of whether another school would accept her and/or really be that much better.
- Another friend viewed divorce as being akin to an extended juice fast: You're intrigued but skeptical, admiring yet apprehensive. Is it dangerous? Does it work? You're not completely sold, but then again, you could envision yourself attempting it down the road.
Do you think about divorce too? How can you relate to these thoughts?
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