It’s likely you’ve overheard a friend say something to this effect: “Divorce is not an option.”
But the truth is, no one goes into marriage with the intention of splitting up. At best, the statement is naive — at worst, it’s a little offensive. While staying married is certainly a worthy goal, sometimes — in cases of emotional and physical abuse, for instance — divorce is the only imaginable option.
In light of that, we asked HuffPost Divorce bloggers to share why divorce was the best option for them after years of marriage.
1. “Sometimes, splitting up is the only thing left to do. My ex and I tried everything: date nights, long talks, counseling, more sex, more affection, taking a break from each other, fulfilling our own separate needs, together and apart — we simply could not make it work. It’s a terrible feeling, to visit a friend out of state and break down sobbing because you don’t want to go home again, but that’s where I was. We get along better as co-parents now than we ever did as spouses, and I’m convinced our children are better for it, as they get to have two happy, fully-functioning parents.” — Kasey Ferris
2. “Marriage is not synonymous with guarantee. Although it’s less romantic to think of it this way, life is full of gray. In a fading relationship, there comes a time when in-depth discussions, stern sit-downs and ultimatums no longer apply. Divorce becomes an option and not for lack of trying. It is not a failure.” — Cindy Withjack
3. “Divorce was the only option for me because the man I married no longer existed. Or he never did. Either way it became clear that I could no longer be married to someone who hit me and talked down to me. ‘Till death do us part’ became a closer reality than I ever thought and that’s when I knew I had to leave. — Jeanette B.
4. “You know how in ‘Titanic,’ Rose survives because she recognizes that — with Jack hanging onto the wooden board with her — she can’t survive? In marriage, some decisions are just as difficult. You reason with yourself that you can stay in the marriage, but it is likely you will both drown. From sorrow. Anger. Resentment. Pain. Whatever cancer is ailing your marriage. The other option is choosing to save yourself. ‘Failure is not an option’ is a lovely sentiment until it applies to a life that is drowning you. Failure happens, and it doesn’t mean you are weak, careless or any less of a person. It means that you care about the quality of your life and ultimate survival.” — Michela Montgomery
5. “Sometimes two people just aren’t suited. I suspect those who post ‘divorce is not an option for me’ see divorce as a cop out, but misery and martyrdom aren’t a badge of honor.” — Beth Cone Kramer
6. “By the time you finally break down and admit there is no other option but to divorce, there actually is no other option. I had lost a sense of what made me, me. I had lost my innate need to own my words, my fears and my dreams. I was lost. I regret nothing. I’d change very little. It was our story. We wrote it, we lived it and we ended it with a level of grace.” — Jessica Kahan
7. “When my ex-husband and I said our vows to one another we intended to grow old together. Life happened in between and molded us into different people. Communication slowly broke down; we were either ignoring one another or fighting. Today, we’ve both married other people and my daughters have four strong adult role models, two more siblings, and a united parental unit.” — Trish Eklund
8. “Nobody wants to get a divorce. Those of us who are happily divorced still wish we didn’t have it on our record. It’s not an easy option, but sometimes its the only one. When I knew there was no reconciling with my ex, when I knew there was no way I could trust him ever again, and when I realized that I felt an immense relief at the thought of divorce, I knew it was my only option.” — Samantha Darby
9. “Divorce should never be your first option, nor should it be your second. But when there is nowhere else to turn to get yourself back, divorce can sometimes be the only option left, like it was for me. It can save you from the pain and lack of validation that you were never meant to feel for the rest of your life. Divorce is sometimes the answer to finding happiness.” — Chelsie Dort
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