[OPINION] Til death or divorce parts us

If everybody had to choose the best interests of their children as quickly as they choose divorce there would be fewer divorces, more established and unbreakable marriages and fewer children in the world wondering what they did wrong.

Divorce is a sensitive subject. There exist many reasons and many justifications why the marriage didn’t work out. The most common explanation is incompatibility.

During the preparation for my first marriage we were asked to list the things we disliked about our partner. It was amazing how quickly two or three things sprung to mind. He drives too fast, he is bad with money and he is a people pleaser. Looking at our lists the counselor asked us to look at each other and he said: “This is it, it is unlikely that these things will change… You need to decide whether you can live with that? I pick up from both of you the impression that ‘there will be none of that when we are married’… The truth is none of this is going away. This is part of who you are.”

It was a valuable insight that served many purposes during those first happy and shaky months of marriage. Mostly the issues that arise are there before we get married, and we mistakenly think love or commitment will see us through and we can deal with it when it comes up. Unless we acknowledge it, we can’t.

Many divorced people give you the reasons the marriage couldn’t work and the reasons were there for all to see during the courtship. Unfortunately, one, two or three babies later, it becomes unbearable and instead of turning towards each other – knowing that your partner is not just those things, they are also all the things you fell in love with, had common ground and purpose with – and figuring it out, we turn on each other and fight it out to the divorce court.

I believe there is a case for making your marriage your work for the sake of your children. Yes, most children would rather come from a broken home than live in one. I…

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