Yes, just like incontinence, divorce happens. Like it or not, No Fault Divorce is the law in many lands. One person wants a divorce and legally the other has no say to stop it. 80% of divorces are unilateral. And that statistic may only be those situations where the person wanting the divorce files. Often the person who does not or did not originally want a divorce files for their protection—the kids need food and shelter.
When Sweetheart and I married we banned one word from our vocabulary: Divorce. It was a banned subject. Is that good or bad? Even then I was not sure. It crept in—not in threats, but after a few years the word got used. Now it gets used all the time because we faced it and survived. Neither of us believe in divorce, but we do not live in fear that it will happen to us and so we do not need to ban the subject—especially since it is hard to ban discussing something you are fighting to prevent beyond our own marriage. We aren’t in denial anymore.
Some of you out there who are Standing are divorced or you are now going through the process and will soon be divorced. Some of you aren’t facing divorce at all—that was me for most of Sweetheart’s MLC; we only had an in-process divorce for 2.5 months. Some of you who are not facing divorce will be in the future. It doesn’t matter what you believe in; it doesn’t matter if you are a Covenant Keeper, a Stander or whether your spouse is MLC-crazy. MLC-crazy is not legally insane, so your spouse is technically competent. Divorce happens; it could happen to you and you cannot stop it without the agreement of your spouse.
And yet there is some debate and even conflict on the forum about divorce. There are a few threads running now, but the issue has been stirring for some time and some Standers feel uncomfortable and have stopped posting, some have stopped reading all together.
I created this website as a support for Standers. That means that those who belong to the forum community usually come as Standers or in support of them. Let’s keep it that way.
Support Versus Encouragement
Sometimes the debate seems as though it is about being Pro and Anti Divorce. Sometimes it seems about Standers versus those who are choosing not to Stand. But it’s really about support. What seems to be the discomfort is not the divorce support but what some feel is divorce encouragement.
What some of you may think of as support, others will interpret as encouragement.
I support you as you go through your journeys. Some of you will choose to get divorced and I support you in that decision—though I may not encourage it. But some of you will get divorced without choosing and this site is still here to support you as you go through that process. I encourage you to protect yourself. Protect your finances and assets. Protect your children. Encouraging an inevitable divorce is not encouraging divorce.
Some people see that as encouraging an immoral act. Some see it as supporting your Stand and your security in inevitable circumstances. Encouraging divorce is not part of Standing. That seems as though it is clear, but it’s not and so some of you who are Standers are not going to like what I have to say.
We do not encourage divorce for the sake of divorce. That would be a divorce advocate. That would be advocating the laws of no-fault divorce. That would be believing that hey some marriages end. That would be buying into the idea that divorce is just a normal part of life—and that it should be that way. It would be believing that divorce is how to solve or get rid of problems… That is what I mean when I say encouraging divorce for the sake of divorce.
General Versus Specific Advice
When I give generalized advice, I encourage Standing and avoiding divorce. I encourage contesting and dragging out the process. I discourage filing. I discourage leaving and I discourage kicking out the MLCer. But that is my general advice. It’s not meant for anyone specific and it is based on a general MLC, not the context of MLC within your marriage. I also try to add comma-but’s to that general advice. …but do what you need to do to protect your children, your finances and your assets; each situation is different.
When I coach a specific individual I base my advice on the context of their situation—from what they have written in their posts. There may be times I will encourage a Stander to file for divorce. I don’t know if I’ve done it yet, but I have encouraged some to kick out their MLCer, or at least recommended they consider it, and there are a few rare situations where I do not feel Standing is the best option—at least not Standing for reconciliation. And let us not forget that Standing and divorcing or being divorced are not mutually exclusive. Many Standers are divorced.
Inevitable Divorce & Protection
So those of you who are upset with all the divorce talk, consider whether what you are seeing is encouragement for divorce’ sake or encouragement for the sake of protection—legal separation is not available everywhere. Sometimes a Stander needs to be encouraged to do what is best for their families. Sometimes divorce may be what is best for someone’s Stand. You don’t like adultery either, but it’s a major topic on the board and most people don’t complain about it being so. Well, like adultery, divorce is a fact of midlife crisis. People here are dealing with it.
This is not a place to learn how to get a divorce—not even for those where it is part of the Stand. This is not a place of divorce information and resources—there are already plenty of such places on the Internet. But it is a place of support and sometimes that means supporting people through getting divorced whether they filed or had it filed against them. It is a place of accepting the reality of what is happening and divorce is unfortunately part of that reality.
Some consider that divorce is what some MLCers will need to face themselves and eventually get through the tunnel. Consider that the same is true for Standers. It may be what it takes to get some Standers to accept the reality of this crisis, to detach, let-go and finally surrender, it may be what it takes to force them to Get A Life. It may be what frees them from what they think it means to Stand. I don’t like divorce. In fact, I hate divorce. But my head is not buried in the sand either. Sometimes it has to happen as part of the process of MLC and even reconciliation. It may be the psychological break that brings the MLCer to their knees or the Stander to acceptance. It may be part of God’s plan in the process for you personally or for you and the reconciliation of your marriage. He may not like divorce, but I do believe He will use it to restore your marriage if that is what it is going to take and that is one of the fundamentals of standing: Do what it takes, not anything, just what it will take and Trust that God knows what He is doing.
Comments, Questions, Maybe some Answers…?
I really do want to hear from you. If you feel uncomfortable with some of the discussions and posts on the forum, let me know and please offer specific post or thread references so that I can read them for myself. I have created a contact form for reporting both technical errors and problems on the site and reporting posts or threads which make you uncomfortable. This form will allow me to track all reports, as it is built to create graphs and tables of the reported data.