Michelle - posted on 03/31/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )
I'm sure many of us have had some kind of experience with divorce, either our own, our parents, or someone we cared about. I think that seeing firsthand the terrible tragedy of divorce can make us all the stronger in our conviction that marriage is forever.
I was a child of divorce. It was one of those "acceptable divorces" -- my father was an alcoholic and a drug addict who couldn't hold a job and who beat my mother. After the divorce I rarely saw my father, and he completely disappeared from our lives when I was 12. Even when we did see him, he never acknowledged my youngest brother, who was born shortly after the divorce. (My mother was pregnant when she left.) When I was 17 my younger (not youngest) brother began receiving letters from our father. Apparently he'd cleaned up and was living on an Indian reservation with his new girlfriend in another state. The last letter he received was from the girlfriend; she was sending us the flag from my father's funeral. He died of tuberculosis contracted by sharing needles.
I think it's obvious that my parents divorcing was better than growing up with a father like that, and I will never blame my mother for protecting us. But even in an "acceptable divorce" it's still the lesser of two evils. I grew up without a father and I fulfilled all the stereotypes of the fatherless girl. Promiscuous, unable to commit to a relationship myself, and pregnant and unmarried at 20. If not for the loving guidance of my husband and the Heavenly Father to whom he introduced me, I don't know where I'd be today.
My husband grew up in an intact family; his parents are still married today. He married relatively young after a very short romance (I think about a month) and had two children in quick succession. (My step-children are ten months and one day apart.) Then his wife left him for his best friend. It was another "acceptable divorce" since she cheated, but it was the end of his world. When I met my husband he'd been drunk for six months. His toddler-aged children had been bouncing between parents and grandparents and babysitters. We were quite a match. I was constantly cheating on my then-fiance, he'd turned his back on God and was still drunk when he woke up in the morning. I still don't know how we managed to turn that into a loving family for his children and the ones we created together!
Even though we have been happily married for seven years, we are still dealing with the effects of the divorces in our lives. The most obvious being that my darling step-children are still hurting from the separation from their mother. (She lives in another state now.) They have a half-brother and a half-sister whom they love but never see. It's something I never wanted for my children, but there's nothing I can do about it.
What about you? How has divorce impacted your life?