There’s an old adage that goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I believe the same is true of a marriage. It takes a village to keep one going strong. It takes the support of family and friends and even the children involved. In these times when everyone is jumping from one relationship to another, where infidelity abounds, and promises sworn are like vows made of wine, it’s no wonder that the divorce rate has skyrocketed to over 50%.
It makes me cringe when I hear parents say they’re staying together for the sake of the children. Though most my think this admirable, I think it does more harm than good if the adults aren’t civil to each other; or they make their indiscretions blatant. Let’s face it, in an unhappy marriage the children suffer along with the parents as they witness all the bickering and disappointments. Children learn commitments are not worth entering since you’ll be forced to be miserable for years to come because everyone expects it of you. Or they enter relationships that are unhealthy because, well, it resembles what they lived through with their parents for years. It’s even worse when there abuse whether physical or emotional is present.
For couples who are in the limelight, it’s often harder for them to admit their relationship isn’t working or try to find the help they need to improve their situation and make the marriage work. Let’s face it no one wants to admit things are going wrong or that they’ve made a mistake—especially if this was their second or subsequent marriage. In the case of superstars like Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony who have every inch of their life scrutinized, it’s even harder for them to reach out and find the help they need before it’s too late, not to mention admit to their family and friends their marriage is over. Luckily most of us don’t have to also tell the world as well. I find in this difficult situation for them, the most admirable think Jennifer and Mark Anthony have done is come to an “amicable conclusion on all matters”.
So how do you find that happy medium when you break up? Where do you turn when the world falls apart and you’re too embarrassed to let your family or your best friend know because you don’t want to admit you’ve made a mistake or that things aren’t as wonderful as you pretended they were? How do you create a path to say goodbye without destroying what’s left or allowing bitterness to coat your interactions with your soon-to-be ex-partner? How can you remain respectful toward them, especially around your children?
One of the things I recommend is going to “divorce counseling”. This is a program I developed years ago which allows you to part ways in an amicable manner, complete with a ceremony.