Divorce Shaming Drives Me Crazy!

I’ve seen this divorce shaming content before, and today I saw it again:

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I really hate this. I hate it enough that I stopped what I was doing in order to write this blog post because I am so hopping mad. I’d really like to curse a whole bunch, but I try not to do that here. I don’t know the profile of the people who share these memes. I don’t know how many are married or what percentage wish they were. I don’t know if their intent in sharing is because they want to celebrate lasting love or if they want to shame those who divorce.

But, whomever they are and whatever their motive, the message is clear:  “Older generations stayed together because they didn’t give up… unlike people today.”

Bullshit. (Oops, I said I wasn’t going to curse)

Well… yeah, OK, I can admit that these days we’re quicker to replace rather than repair. But that logic applies more to phones and refrigerators than human relationships, which are much more complicated.

And it’s not like divorce is a trendy new phenomenon. In the 1950s, the Divorce Rate bounced between 20-25%. A few years earlier, in 1946, it was 43% (I got those numbers here). Even people who were born and raised in the Good Old Days got divorced.

I wonder what that meme would look like if it was an honest Q&A without a passive-aggressive attack.  Perhaps the woman would say…

“We were born in a time when it was legal for him to beat me, so I never questioned my own worth.”

or…

“I kept my affairs a secret and he never found out.”

or…

“There wasn’t any love between us, but we were good roommates.”

or…

“We made it 65 years because we both exceeded the average life expectancy.”

or…

“We never stopped dating.”

or…

“We were honest and had an open marriage.”

or…

“We didn’t have children. We stayed in the same town and kept the same jobs and the same friends. There wasn’t a lot of stress on our marriage.”

There are many reasons for couples to stay together… or not. And the interworkings of any relationship are as unique as those in the relationship. It’s not fair to compare couples or make generational generalizations. (if it was, I’d like to accuse all older couples of doing a crappy job of instilling their fix-it-don’t-throw-it-away values in their children)

Stop the shame! Each of us is responsible for our own health and happiness. Sometimes you just can’t “fix” a toxic relationship.

 

 

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