Divorce: Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

by Cherise Holt, Brisbane, Australia

The definition, according to Wikipedia: ‘Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the final termination of a marital union, cancelling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage.’

To each individual, family and within society, the word divorce is laden with many beliefs of how it should be or feel, for self or for others… and in most cases emotional and painful events are greatly and personally associated with it.

Two years ago my marriage ended suddenly. I had gone from ticking the marital status box of ‘Married’… to ‘Separated’… and a year later, ‘Divorced’. I felt embarrassed to tick the latter boxes. I was dealing with the fact that my marriage was over, but I was apprehensive to let the world know that we had broken our vows which I had held so proudly for six years. Would this be the stereotypical label on me that I would forever want to hide – divorced, failed marriage, a woman with baggage?

As a child I attended church; I learnt that women who were divorced were once governed to wear a black veil to mass – a sign of continued mourning, perhaps? My understanding was that they were rejected within the community as failures. As a child I didn’t want this to be the case for me; I felt the hurt and humiliation that women must go through in these situations.

As an adult, I felt the stigma that comes with the term ‘divorced’. I also felt the reaction or discomfort of friends, and even strangers, when I would say the word: I too was once a person who would be stalled in sympathy, not knowing what to say if someone told me they were divorced. There is also that sense of judgment surrounding the one who departed the marriage, and the commiseration for the one left behind.

According to Australian statistics, every third marriage ends in divorce. That’s a lot of people potentially walking around feeling the shame, guilt or stigma of no longer being a part of a matrimonial union between two people.

As I have recognised my once held beliefs of divorce and ideals of marriage, I have felt to unreservedly discard them. I know my marriage could not continue, however I don’t feel to hold back from sharing great memories or experiences from a marriage I was once in: or how divorce has been a loving and grateful experience for me.

I listened attentively one day as Serge Benhayon presented how much true love he holds for his first wife… in fact the same amount he holds for his second. My first thought was, how can this be? In my experience, we live in a world where I have never seen this to be the case. I have since witnessed what a beautiful and truly loving extended family they share.

I felt inspired by Serge, and confirmation within me, that my experience of divorce is my own. My beliefs of how I thought marriage or divorce should have been were only ever derived from society or my perception of others’ experiences and opinions. But what is my own view on divorce? There is no such taboo of divorce for me; it is just a simple word with a simple meaning. Its use is nothing to be ashamed of, and its occurrence in my life is certainly nothing to be regretful for.

130 thoughts on “Divorce: Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

  1. Society does deem divorce as a ‘failed marriage’ yet this is completely dishonouring of the relationship, and what can be learned through what was shared, and how, so the opportunity to learn, grow and evolve can continue – deepening our relationship with love, for ourselves and each other.

  2. I too remember having all my fixed ideals and beliefs on marriage and divorce shaken up and reimprinted by the example and inspiration of Serge Benhayon and his family. Loving relationships with all includes all.

  3. Absolutely, divorce should not been seen as different to all other responsibilities we have.. As if we do we basically cut our life into pieces whilst actually it naturally is all One life. So this naturally needs honoring no matter the circumstances.

  4. That’s awesome Cherise. Why we are made to feel bad about life’s events is beyond my comprehension. Why do we view such things as failures, why not learnings? Is there really any such thing is a failure, if we consider that the only reason something may not have had a great outcome was because we hadn’t yet learnt our way with it and in that there is something for us to learn from and take to the next step in our life.

  5. Having witnessed the divorce of people close to me when younger, I pretty much wrote marriage off as a no-go area. Going through a divorce was such a ‘drama’ – I didn’t feel marriage was worth the risk. Until recently that is. I got married for the first time two years ago at age 51. The marriage is founded on the understanding that even in such a commitment, there is a choice to be together every day and this is deeply honoured. This brings a freshness to the marriage and a high level of appreciation. Every day is an appreciation of that choice to be with each other. With this, I feel there is a level of awareness that if one of us chose not to be in the relationship, it would be honoured equally as a choice we have the right to make and in this awareness, there is no longer a feeling of the ‘risk’ of divorce, but a life of appreciation for the relationship – and this is very supportive way to be.

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