Jennifer Cullen recently wrote an article “Divorce Doesn’t Have the Same Bad Reputation It Used To.” She states that “there is definitely less of a stigma attached to having a marriage that didn’t make it.”
While I agree that there is less of a stigma, there are many cultures and religion that still have negative views on divorce. For instance there are still many cultures that believe women are second class citizens that live right here in the United States. They believe that women are there property. The views on divorce for some Christian religions are that there is never a reason to divorce and that the women is to obey their husband as per the Bible. With America being a “melting pot” of a variety of religions and cultures, we will always have those that put a stigma on a divorce.
When a woman contemplates leaving her marriage, the views on divorce of her religious organization, family and friends play a large part in her decision. Some religious organizations will totally kick you out or shun you while others will just give you the cold shoulder.
Women go through so much heartbreak during and after a divorce, it is a shame that those that should be there to help her through do not. If your husband dies your home is full of family and friends that allow you to lean on them. They take care of all the cooking and cleaning. Neighbors and religious organizations will bring you casseroles for weeks after he dies. They encourage you not to make any major decisions for a year, because you need time to mourn.
On the other hand, if you announce that you are getting a divorce a lot of your family and friends will run the other direction. Even if they themselves were divorced they do not offer to clean and cook for you. They are not there for you to cry your heart out to. The group of women that were once a huge part of your social group may be talking behind your back. Women whom you thought were your friends are no longer inviting you out to coffee or girls night out. This just increases your pain and makes you feel worse about the divorce that you thought you would never have.
I was told by my church family of 10 years, that God did not care if I was happy or not and that I would burn in hell for getting a divorce.
The views on divorce are so varied and depend upon so many factors. There are families that disown their daughters for divorcing. There are people who still believe that divorce is the ultimate sin. Many believe that the sacred vow of “til death do us part,” should not be broken under any circumstance.
With a 45% divorce rate, you would think that the stigma is gone. You would think that the views on divorce were not as varied as they are. It is true, that regardless where you go, you will most definitely run into other divorcees to share your stories with. When you mention you’re getting divorced, many people don’t even think twice about it anymore. However, the shame lies in the fact that as a society we do not honor the person going through divorce.
We do not allow them to grieve. We act like it’s just as natural as taking a walk around the block. This may be, because of the sorrow that surrounds divorce. Just as some people don’t know what to say when a loved one dies, they don’t know what to say when a loved one is getting divorce. And because divorce is so rampant, they often say things like, “you are better off without him,” “I never thought he was good enough for you,” or “You are still young enough to get married again.” Statements like this do little to aid a woman who is grieving the loss of her marriage as well as her hopes and dreams.
While the overall views on divorce are changing, they still have a long ways to go for people going through divorce to get the love and compassion that they so desperately need and deserve at this time.
What are your views on divorce?