Divorce as an Act of Self-Love

In a recent New York Times opinion article by Lara Bazelon, a professor at the San Francisco School of Law, argues that divorce can be a “radical act of self-love”.  She details her own experience with divorce and how it ended up making a positive impact on both her own life and her relationship with her children.  She also reviews conversations she had with other women who had been through divorce.  While it’s acknowledged that divorce can be difficult and painful, most of the people the author spoke with found it liberating. “Everything is my choice and I am in charge” one woman happily reported about her post-divorce living space.

Stay Together For the Kids

She also discusses the idea of staying together for the kids, and what that really accomplishes.  While every marriage is unique, the author paints a very grim picture of the actual benefit from “staying together for the kids”.  The idea being that when two people are not happy together, every behavior they model becomes a bad example for the children who are trying to learn what a healthy relationship looks like.  If days of icy cold interactions or silent treatments are followed by explosive arguments and resentment, it might be time to ask what you are really doing for your children by staying together.

“ for unhappily married women who are able to support themselves and their children, breaking free can also be like plunging into a cold ocean: a shock to the system that is at once brutal and cleansing. They can emerge stronger and clearer-eyed. Their children benefit because happier mothers are better parents.”

Lara Bazelon, author of “Divorce Can Be an Act of Radical Self-Love

Divorce is a challenging and rewarding journey

For most married people considering divorce, they will find that there are challenges and difficulties, as well as the promise of great benefit on the other end of it all.  The part that makes it scary is that it’s the promise of great benefit in the future in exchange for difficulty right now.  That “pay now – enjoy later” can be an unattractive proposition to the risk averse.  That’s not to even mention how the status quo in our lives makes us feel safe and is difficult to change.

A Message From the Other Side

As people we all need to learn to move forward with scary challenges – especially challenges that don’t have an immediate or tangible payoff. This author offered reassurance and hope for people who were unhappy with their marriages but scared about initiating a divorce.  Nothing should stand in the way of your happiness – you are your best self when you are happy.  If you have questions about any family law matter, the Law Office of Michael L. Maguire & Associates is ready to help you.

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