In podcast 44 we talked about how to get over the pain of a spouse cheating, especially after a 23 year marriage. Marianne asked the pertinent question: “How do I move on from the pain of this?”
You can listen to podcast 44 HERE.
Marianne had a follow-up questions: “How do I forgive him for hurting my children now that he's gone?”
She so vulnerably shares that she really wants to hurt him back for hurting their children by moving halfway across the country. She knows this is wrong, but she doesn't know how to move beyond the pain her children are feeling. I understand, more than you know, Marianne!
Listen to my response here in podcast 45 (see below).
Although Marianne is from Australia, I did a bit of research about divorce in the U.S., especially since the U.S. has the highest divorce statistics of any country in the world. Here are some of the numbers. More are shared in the podcast.
These stats clearly show that divorce is not just a couples' problem or an individual problem. Divorce affects society at large. Everyone pays for divorce! Interestingly enough, when Americans were asked if they believe in marriage and if they preferred being married over being single, 96% of them said they prefer being married and believe in marriage. What a doozy – given the statistics that seem to be showing quite the opposite.
(Sources: marriage.rutgers.edu, divorcereform.org, divorcerates.com)
- America has the highest divorce rate in the world
- The number of divorces has quadrupled from 4.3 million in 1970 to 18.3 in 1996 (it's even worse today)
- Divorces cost Americans $33.3 Billion each year in food stamps, juvenile delinquencies and increased bankruptcies, teen pregnancies, abortions, and more
- 75% of all divorces are initiated by women
- Divorce counts for a major reason of suicide amongst males
- 50% of all children involved never see their fathers again one year after the divorce
- Children in single family households are twice as likely to develop serious psychiatric illnesses and addictions later in life
- Fatherless homes account for:
- 63% of youth suicides
- 90% of homeless / runaway children
- 85% of children with behavior problems
- 71% of high school dropouts
- 85% of youth in prison
- 50+ % of teen mothers
Get Clarity From The Get Go
It is imperative that mothers and fathers are protecting their children, while at the same time allowing them to build their own character through the decision of divorce. Divorce, separation and the exit strategy needs to be discussed and kept in mind from the very beginning before the would-be couple gets together “until death do us part.” And when push comes to shove, the promise of “until death do us part” needs to prevail. What this means is that you said to your partner “I will love you until death do us part.” Now that things are hard, especially as the relationships is not only fizzling out but is more often than not frothed with pain and agony, this promise needs to become king.
It is tough and agonizing to watch your children suffer through a divorce, no matter how amicable the divorce was. Children have their own thought process, their own fears, their own emotions and their own journey to walk through this process. And their journey is completely different for them. Allow them their own journey and remember that they are watching you like a sponge. If you hate your ex, for whatever reason, all you are teaching your children is that it's okay to hate when you've been hurt. When you are hurt, however, this represents an incredible opportunity to show mercy, grace, forgiveness, love and strength. Your children will watch you very closely and they will draw their own conclusion about how to handle their own heart breaks in the future.
There is so much to this topic that it's impossible to create one post or one podcast. But let's start with this one and hope that some of you will find some love and shelter here and some ideas on how to respond moving forward, while keeping your children's best interest at heart.
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