home | what's new | other sitescontact | about

 

 

Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


 

Divorce

 


 

 

“Your relationship may be ‘breaking up,’ but you won't be ‘breaking down.’ If anything, you’re correcting a mistake that was hurting four people: you and the person you’re with, not to mention the two people who you [both] were destined to meet.” D. Ivan Young

 

Part I: Editor's Essay: Divorce: clearing a path, making space, for that which should have been

Part II: Editor's Essay: "And Jesus said, Yes, maybe you shouldn’t marry.”

Editor's Essay: What Men Really Want

 

 

 

 

Nancy Levin, Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth: “If I had believed in my own self-worth... If I'd known my value, I couldn't have spent so many years ignoring the whispering - and sometimes screaming - voice that told me to leave my marriage. For a long time, that truth was just too scary and painful for me to face. Talk about keeping my head in the sand! But how many years did I waste, postponing what has proven to be a much better life - simply because I went into hiding and didn't see that I was worthy of something better?”

 

 

Shannon L. Alder: “Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”

 

we ruined each other by being together

Kate Chisman, Run: “We ruined each other by being together. We destroyed each other’s dreams.”

 

what kind of message is sent to the kids by an unhappy mom and dad?

Jennifer Weiner, Fly Away Home: “Divorce isn't such a tragedy. A tragedy's staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.”

 

  • Editor's note: People use "the children" as an excuse to stay in a bad marriage. Jennifer Weiner is absolutely right - what does all the domestic antipathy teach the kids about the nature of love and marriage?

 

looking out for the rights of the destined mate-to-come, "hurting four people," is an argument the apostle Paul made

D. Ivan Young, Break Up, Don't Break Down: “Your relationship may be ‘breaking up,’ but you won't be ‘breaking down.’ If anything, you’re correcting a mistake that was hurting four people: you and the person you’re with, not to mention the two people who you [both] were destined to meet.”

 

  • Editor's note: In Thessalonians Paul uses the phrase, "defrauding a brother [or sister]," by which he means to say that those who enter unlawful sexual relations do so to the hurt of future rightful claimants - "the hurting four people." In a larger sense, such injustice would speak to most marriages of this world, as precious few rise to the sacred distinction of "God joined"; to the enlightened, this higher standard is invoked, suggesting that "unlawful sexual relations" means much more than a good time on a Saturday night and will not be remedied by "magic hand-signs and magic-words" by your friendly local Nice Young Man at Church. See the Matthew 19 discussion in the Editor's Essay, wherein we find Jesus asserting, "If you are one of the few who understand what I'm talking about, then you should arrange your life to put it into effect." Your future forever-mate has rights, too, and will grieve, grieve unto death, this aspect of loss as any other regarding his absent true love; just ask Elenchus how he felt about it.

 

Suzanne Finnamore, Split: A Memoir of Divorce: “I remember one desolate Sunday night, wondering: Is this how I´m going to spend the rest of my life? Married to someone who is perpetually distracted and somewhat wistful, as though a marvelous party is going on in the next room, which, but for me, he could be attending?”

Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye: “It wasn't about being happy or unhappy. I just didn't want to be me anymore.”

Suzanne Finnamore, Split: A Memoir of Divorce: “I was steeped in denial, but my body knew.”

Mitch Albom, For One More Day: “In college, I had a course in Latin, and one day the word "divorce" came up. I always figured it came from some root that meant "divide." In truth, it comes from "divertere," which means "to divert." I believe that. All divorce does is divert you, taking you away from everything you thought you knew and everything you thought you wanted and steering you into all kinds of other stuff.”

Sydney J. Harris: “Many married couples separate because they quarrel incessantly, but just as many separate because they were never honest enough or courageous enough to quarrel when they should have.”

THE GUESS WHO, No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature: “She hasn't got the faith or the guts to leave him when they're standing in each other's way…”

Suzanne Finnamore, Split: A Memoir of Divorce: “Delusion detests focus and romance provides the veil… So many events and moments that seemed insignificant add up. I remember how for the last Valentine´s Day, N gave flowers but no card. In restaurants, he looked off into the middle distance while my hand would creep across the table to hold his. He would always let go first. I realize I can´t remember his last spontaneous gesture of affection.”

Helen Rowland: “When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn't a sign that they don't understand one another, but a sign that they have, at last, begun to.”    

Suzanne Finnamore, Split: A Memoir of Divorce: “I love you as the mother of my child": the kiss of death. Mother of His Child: demotion. I am beginning to see this truism: Mothers are not always wives.”

Shannon L. Alder: “A Plan B life can be just as good or better than a Plan A life. You just have to let go of that first dream and realize that God has already written the first chapter of the new life that awaits you. All you have to do is start reading!”

Jane Seymour: “After my divorce, painting took me out of panic mode and into a serene, calm place. I could absolutely lose myself.”

Maggie Stiefvater, Sinner: “You and I both know that love is for children,'' he said. ''We're adults. Compatibility is for adults.'' ''Compatibility is for my Bluetooth and my car,'' Teresa replied. ''Only they get along just fine, and my car never makes my Bluetooth feel like shit.”

 


The Guess Who
New Mother Nature
 

she hasn't got the faith or the guts to leave him
when they're standing in each other's way…
you know you've been wrong and it won't be long
before you leave 'em all far behind...

'cause it's the new Mother Nature taking over
It's the new splendid lady come to call
It's the new Mother Nature taking over

she's gettin' us all
she's gettin' us all
she's gettin' us all

 

 

Suzanne Finnamore, Split: A Memoir of Divorce: “I played possum. I did this, as the possum does, out of fear.”

Susan B. Anthony: “I do not consider divorce an evil by any means. It is just as much a refuge for women married to brutal men as Canada was to the slaves of brutal masters.”

Margaret Overton: “Everything can change in a heartbeat; it can slip away in an instant. Everything you trust, and treasure, whatever brings you comfort, comes at a terrible cost. Health is temporary; money disappears. Safety is nothing big an illusion. So when the moment comes, and everything you depend upon changes, or perhaps someone you love disappears, or no longer loves you, must disaster follow? Or will you – somehow - adapt?”

Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: “There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love? What happened to it, is what I'd like to know. I wish someone could tell me.”

Basmah bint Saud: “Today in Saudi, women are either at the mercy of their husbands or at the mercy of judges who tend to side with the husbands. The only circumstance that a woman can ask for a divorce or a 'khali' is when her husband is in total agreement with her or if she comes from a very powerful family who decide to back her up.”

THE BEATLES, I'm Looking Through You: “I'm looking through you, where did you go? ... Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight.”

Crystal Woods, Write Like No One Is Reading: “(On getting married at 19) We told ourselves we had forever and we never looked back. The problem was that we never really looked ahead.”

Shannon L. Alder: “Every broken heart has screamed at one time or another: Why can't you see who I truly am?”

Diane Hammond, Hannah's Dream: “Why did we divorce? I guess you could say we had trouble synchronizing. You know that carnival ride where two cages swing in opposite directions, going higher and higher until they go over the top? That was us. We passed each other all the time, but we never actually stopped in the same place until it was time to get off the ride.”

Jerry Hall: “Divorce is not the end of the world. It's worse to stay in an unhealthy marriage. That's a worse example for the children.”

Sue Townsend: “[His] father was so angry that so many people got divorced nowadays. HE had been unhappily married for 30 years, why should everybody else get away?”

J.E.B. Spredemann, An Unforgivable Secret: “It’s important to have a husband that lives and believes the same way you do. Otherwise, you’re asking for problems.”

Christopher Buckley: “As you know, divorce is still not allowed in the Catholic Church. But here insert a large 'however' – [the Church] is liberal in the granting of annulments.”

Ben Tolosa, Masterplan Your Success: “Divorce is success. Failure is staying married to a person you no longer love.”

Kristan Higgins, If You Only Knew: “The bewilderment is the worst part. That’s what they don’t tell you in divorce articles. They talk about anger and loneliness and growing apart and starting over and being kind to yourself, but they don’t tell you about the untold hours in the black hole of why. Why? What changed? When? Why was I the one you chose to marry, but all of a sudden, I’m not enough anymore?”

Carlos Wallace, The Other 99 T.Y.M.E.S: Train Your Mind to Enjoy Serenity: “As a divorced man, I can say from experience that there may come a time when a couple decides it is best to live separate lives: where you have different dreams and are no longer willing to make sacrifices to achieve the other’s goal.”

Nancy Levin, Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth: “Accepting our greatness means no longer playing small. It often starts with baby steps. But eventually it means making major changes - in our lives, jobs, relationships, and dreams. If I had believed in my own self-worth, I would never have been willing to make the financial moves I made in the past. If I'd known my value, I couldn't have spent so many years ignoring the whispering - and sometimes screaming - voice that told me to leave my marriage. For a long time, that truth was just too scary and painful for me to face. Talk about keeping my head in the sand! But how many years did I waste, postponing what has proven to be a much better life - simply because I went into hiding and didn't see that I was worthy of something better?”

Lauren F. Winner, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis: “Some days my mantra was I will stay in this marriage because I am a Christian and Christians stay, but other days, I thought: if the choices are Christianity or divorce then I will just have to embrace secular humanism because I am not even sure I believe any of this anymore and it is one thing to devote twenty minutes every morning to praying when you are not sure you believe anything anymore and it is another thing to organize your whole life around a marriage you don’t want to be in because a God who may or may not exist says let no man put asunder.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana: “Many marriages would have been laid to rest a long time ago, if they were not on a life-support machine called other people’s opinions and/or expectations.”

 

you are the only one to decide how long you will walk in hell

Shannon L. Alder: “When you think this pain is all you deserve, you are right. You are the only one that can decide how long you will walk in hell.”

Abiola Abrams, The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love: “If you are in a bad relationship with anyone else, it is because you are in a bad relationship with yourself.”

Shannon L. Alder: “When you settle for anything short of the best life God wants to offer you, then you have been tempted to remain safe and the accountability for not changing your life becomes your prison of regret.”

 

 

M. K. Tod, Time and Regret: “Divorce is a process, not an event. It takes months to unfold, a barrage of emotional ups and downs as denial is replaced by grief, grief by anger, and anger gradually eases into acceptance.”

Linda Alfiori, The Art of Loving Again: How to More Intelligently Start Again After a Breakup, Divorce and the Death of a Loved One: Major changes in life are just the way the universe is aligning a better future for you.”

Auliq-Ice: “Marriage is just like business, only a few succeed, many manage, and the rest resign.”

Ann Landers: "The poor wish to be rich, the rich wish to be happy, the single wish to be married, and the married wish to be dead."

Janice Y.K. Lee, The Expatriates: “ ...after you left, I didn't understand what had happened. David, I don't hate you and I don't blame you. I don't think you were happy, and I wasn't that happy either. We were just coasting, seeing what would happen, and then you pulled the plug. Right?”

Kamand Kojouri: “Maybe when we face a tragedy, someone, somewhere is preventing a bigger tragedy from happening.”

Shannon L. Alder: “When you think this pain is all you deserve, you are right. You are the only one that can decide how long you will walk in hell.”

Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay: “...maybe, in the face of abandonment, we are all the same; maybe not even a very orderly mind can endure the discovery of not being loved.”

Evan Sutter, Solitude: How Doing Nothing Can Change the World: “How many relationships would be better if they were born out of something genuine rather than merely a petty desire? Divorce would drop because people would know why they started doing something in the first place. Teen pregnancy would almost be eradicated because for the first time we wouldn’t need to simply succumb to our desires and cravings pushed onto us from the media and society in general. Prostitutes would be searching for redundancy packages and brothel owners for new careers, and the whole shallow and superficial nature of sex would be under the spotlight.”

Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom: “Sometimes divorce is the best thing that can happen to marriage.”

Shannon L. Alder: “Too many people spend their life in fear of making a mistake. However, here is the truth: Fear is the mistake. If you block out all the doubts and listen only to what you feel in your heart, then follow that course, you waste less time in indecision and spend more time being authentic. Life is too short to settle for part-time happiness.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: I don't want to be married anymore. In daylight hours, I refused that thought, but at night it would consume me. What a catastrophe. How could I be such a criminal jerk as to proceed this deep into a marriage, only to leave it? We'd only just bought this house a year ago. Hadn't I wanted this nice house? Hadn't I loved it? So why was I haunting its halls every night now, howling like Medea? Wasn't I proud of all we'd accumulated—the prestigious home in the Hudson Valley, the apartment in Manhattan, the eight phone lines, the friends and the picnics and the parties, the weekends spent roaming the aisles of some box-shaped superstore of our choice, buying ever some appliances on credit? I had actively participated in every moment of the creation of this life—so why did I feel like none of it resembled me? Why did I feel so overwhelmed with duty, tired of being the primary breadwinner and the housekeeper and the social coordinator and the dog-walker and the wife and the soon-to-be mother, and—somewhere in my stolen moments—a writer...? I don't want to be married anymore.”

Shannon L. Alder: “There is nothing spiritual about a marriage that uses guilt, blame, shame or religious manipulations to keep a relationship together.”

Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!: “In any situation, listen and follow the first instinct, the sacred inner voice.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: “My husband was sleeping in the other room, in our bed. In equal parts I loved him and could not stand him. I couldn't wake him to share in my distress—what would be the point? He'd already been watching me fall apart for months now, watching me behave like a madwoman (we both agreed on that word), and I only exhausted him. We both knew there was something wrong with me, and he'd been losing patience with it. We'd been fighting and crying, and we were weary in that way that only a couple whose marriage is collapsing can be weary. We had the eyes of refugees.”

Azar Nafisi, Things I've Been Silent About: Memories: Most serious confrontations in life are not political, they are existential. One can agree with someone's political stance but disagree in a fundamental way with how they came to that position. It is a question of attitude, of moral configuration. My husband and I had plenty of grievances, but it all boiled down to a fundamental difference in the way we perceived life, the context within which we defined ourselves and our world. For that, there was no reconciliation or resolution, there was only separation or surrender.”

Anthony Liccione: “Most people give up finding their soul mate, and settle down to just having a flesh mate.”

Solange Nicole: “There's nothing more devastating in a marriage than when a spouse puts their work, their desires above their partner's heart.”

Honeya: “Some people will only love you as much as they can use you, their loyalty ends where the benefits cease.”

Shannon L. Alder: “You don't walk away to prove your worth. You walk away because you allowed someone else to dictate your value and you found yourself believing it.”

Kunle Olusegun-Emmanuel, Guidance for Your Way: “Mistakes are great teachers. They are stern, confident and fierce in redirecting you from what you should not do; to what you should do.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: “Getting out of a marriage is rough, though, and not just for the legal / financial complications or the massive lifestyle upheaval. (As my friend Deborah once advised me wisely: "Nobody ever died from splitting up furniture.") It's the emotional recoil that kills you, the shock of stepping off the track of a conventional lifestyle and losing all the embracing comforts that keep so many people on that track forever.”

Ritu Lalit, Wrong, For The Right Reasons: “People often equate divorce with failure. No one wants to admit to failure, but sometimes it is inevitable. The alternative is a far worse option.”

Mark Rubinstein, Mad Dog Justice: “You don't have to make any decisions right now," Colleen says. "But I'll tell you this. There's life after marriage."

 

for a thousand summers...

Shannon L. Alder: “It is better to stay single and wait for the one that makes sense then to marry someone that makes absolutely no sense. The moment you settle is when the one person that makes all the sense in the world shows up and Satan sits back and enjoys your spiritual meltdown.”

Abiola Abrams, The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love: “If you are in a bad relationship with anyone else, it is because you are in a bad relationship with yourself.”

 

your life becomes a prison of regret

Shannon L. Alder: “When you settle for anything short of the best life God wants to offer you, then you have been tempted to remain safe and the accountability for not changing your life becomes your prison of regret.”

Chris Burkmenn: “You are far too amazing to be someone's backup. You're someone's first choice.”

A.S. Byatt, Babel Tower: “She is afraid of divorce, which will free her, as she was not enough afraid of marriage, which trapped her.”

Madeleine L'Engle, A Ring of Endless Light: “Don't you realize that in my world my parents are peculiar because they'd never been divorced? Basically, because it would have been too much trouble.”

Shannon L. Alder: “There are no guarantees with finally being honest and coming clean with people. Sometimes you don’t win love back. Sometimes you lose the love you had. Sometimes you crush people that cared. Sometimes you break apart families. Sometimes you lose your career. Sometimes you lose your way of life. Sometimes you end up worse off than you were before. However, you walk away with a heart free from lies, regret and you have closure. Within time, you find yourself in a life that is far from the prison you once lived in. This type of freedom is the scariest road you will ever travel. However, it is the road God will never let you travel alone.”

Brené Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough": “The biggest potential for helping us overcome shame is this: We are “those people.” The truth is…we are the others. Most of us are one paycheck, one divorce, one drug-addicted kid, one mental health illness, one sexual assault, one drinking binge, one night of unprotected sex, or one affair away from being “those people”–the ones we don’t trust, the ones we pity, the ones we don’t let our kids play with, the ones bad things happen to, the ones we don’t want living next door.”

Shannon L. Alder: “It is not lies or a lack of loyalty that ends a relationship… It is the moment you realize that you left without ever leaving. It is the moment you realize that fear, shame or guilt is the only thing standing in the way of the life God meant for you to live.”

Oliver Markus, Sex and Crime: Oliver's Strange Journey: “A horrible end is better than endless horror.”

Dave Willis: “Marriage is not 50-50. Divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It isn't dividing everything in half, but giving everything you've got!”

Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch: “When abandoned women follow their fleeing males with tear-stained faces, screaming you can't do this to me, they reveal that all that they have offered in the name of generosity and altruism has been part of an assumed transaction, in which they were entitled to a certain payoff… Properly speaking, altruism is an absurdity. Women are self-sacrificing in direct proportion to their incapacity to offer anything but this sacrifice. They sacrifice what they never had: a self. The cry of the deserted woman, 'What have I done to deserve this?' reveals at once the false emotional economy that she has been following.”

Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses: “If the Pentateuch is inspired, the civilization of our day is a mistake and crime. There should be no political liberty. Heresy should be trodden out beneath the bigot's brutal feet. Husbands should divorce their wives at will, and make the mothers of their children houseless and weeping wanderers. Polygamy ought to be practiced; women should become slaves; we should buy the sons and daughters of the heathen and make them bondmen and bondwomen forever. We should sell our own flesh and blood, and have the right to kill our slaves. Men and women should be stoned to death for laboring on the seventh day. 'Mediums,' such as have familiar spirits, should be burned with fire. Every vestige of mental liberty should be destroyed, and reason's holy torch extinguished in the martyr's blood.”

Debbie Ford, Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life: “Divorce becomes a holy moment when you choose to use it as a catalyst for having an extraordinary life.”

Rossana Condoleo, Happy Divorce: How to Turn Your Divorce into the Most Brilliant and Rewarding Opportunity of Your Life!: “I like marriage, family life and I wish to get married again. But opting out of an unhappy marriage was a duty toward myself and my future.”

Justina Chen, North of Beautiful: “How many times had I begged Mom to divorce him already?”

Elysse Poetis, The Mind of a Poetess: “I believe in unlimited discovery and achievement. I believe that dreams can become reality. I believe in true love. I believe in kindness and intelligence. I trust life, regardless.”

Lisa Thomson, The Great Escape: A Girl's Guide To Leaving a Marriage: “Choosing to break up your family is one of the most difficult decisions you will make in a lifetime. But once you have come to it; it will be with certainty. Certainty that you are ready to embrace the changes, the challenges and the joys of starting a new life.”

 

 

Editor's last word: