We live in a country that offers so much opportunity that we cannot help but seek more and want more for ourselves and our family. This is not a bad thing. Americans want more out of their marriage. We continue to search and find ourselves in more creative ways that may lead to happiness and self-fulfillment. We marry our partner because most of what we see in our future is more happiness more self-fulfillment. We are happy for awhile and while this happiness fills us we are content.
Marriage brings companionship, love, hope, personal growth, eventually the family grows and children come into our lives bringing more fulfillment and personal growth, love, hope, purpose. Then the children grow and no longer give us that feeling of fulfillment, our marriage gets old and it no longer gives us fulfillment, what happened?
We are humans in a country that always wants more, knowing that once we persevere we can obtain more happiness, more fulfillment. What then is the next move for us when we are unhappy? We seek more possibilities of happiness. Where do we search for this happiness? Maybe in a new lover, a new friend or divorce and get rid of what we know to start anew. One of our basic needs is personal growth and having the urge to grow and change our circumstance sometimes ends up with divorcing our marriage and seek out more, seek out the possibility of a new freedom and new way of being.
Divorce isn’t always the answer. Although if the marriage stunts our growth and leaves us feeling oppressed possible depressed then it is understandable to a degree to consider the possibility of divorce.
But is it because we live in a country that accepts divorce more readily than other cultures, or is it the fact that we are a culture that prides itself on freedom and pursuit of happiness and divorcing a negative situation is one way to continue to the search for self-fulfillment and personal satisfaction?
We owe to ourselves to grow personally and to reach for the stars of love and breathe life into our hearts to make the most of this one life we get.
This happiness can be found but not at the expense of hurting others, so if this is the decision and life moves on without the spouse then the only dignified way around it is amicably. Maintaining the integrity of the family. Because it may be in the best interest to move on but if the intent is self fulfillment and others are hurt then the reward of happiness never gets realized.
It is the toxicity of a bitter divorce that leaves us in peril, in hell for eternity. There is no way out and no happiness to be found.
The search continues for happiness but this time it’s search is like a crawl out from under a bolder that is impossible to lift.
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Dana and Don co-founded the Mediation and Family Counseling Group.