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What would you want them to think?

I recently read an article about a celebrity couple. The focus of the piece was on their marriage. The writer went to great lengths (six pages), to extol their union and all of the obstacles they had overcome in order to be together. The teaser splashed across the front page said that they had, "endured heartache and pain to find happiness." The article spoke of how "they risked their reputations," and also mentioned "integrity," as coming into play. But they were able to deal with all of those things and now "They’re the perfect couple, fully realized human beings."

What was the cause of the heartache and pain they endured?

They were married and had families with other people.

In what follows, it's not my intent to trample over sensitive hearts that have personally experienced the harsh realities of divorce.  I have no wish to impose further pain or suffering.  In fact, hope my words can, in some small way, work in the opposite direction in the way that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."     
 
I like to think I'm a realist.  I understand that as long the people who are getting married are imperfect, then divorce is, to some degree, inevitable.  But it should always be the final option, not the first one, or an easy one. It should only be considered when every other possibility has been exhausted.  And when it must happen, it shouldn't be celebrated or romanticized. It is a failure, an painful amputation of sorts. It is not fatal or final, but it is something to be avoided if at all possible.*
 
To spin broken vows, the emotional duress of children, and the suffering of two other spouses as something that had to be "endured" in order for people to be fully realized is revisionism of the worst sort. Fawning over celebrities is bad enough, romanticizing their selfish pursuit of personal fulfillment at the expense of so many others is hardly the way to a better world.

Pat Conroy wrote this after the dissolution of his marriage:

Each divorce is the death of a small civilization. Two people declare war on each other, and their screams and tears infect their entire world with the bacilli of their pain. The greatest fury comes from the wound where love once issued forth . . . It was a killing thing to look at the mother of my children and know that we would not be together for the rest of our lives. It was terrifying to say good-by, to reject a part of my own history . . . How does it happen that two people who once loved each other, who felt incomplete in the absence of the other, are brought to that moment of grisly illumination when they decide it has gone irretrievably wrong? How can love change its garments and come disguised as indifference, anger, even loathing? Divorce should be declared a form of insanity . . . I have seen no one walk out of a divorce unmarked.

I wonder how many will read the article I did and find in it rationalization for them not to stick with their commitment? How much more pain will result because the actions of the two are being lifted up as an model of what it means to be fulfilled?

In the same magazine, there was an article reviewing a new movie. The movie is about a man who has an affair with a married woman. Of course, they have their reasons (they always do, don't they?). 

If you were the Destroyer of people, what would you want them to think about divorce --- that it was the road to liberation and fulfillment, or that it was devastating and carried lifelong consequences?

God bless those who find reasons to honor their vows, to love their partners, preserve their families, and find fulfillment by doing so. 
 
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*  Several people had posted comments similar to mine on the online version of the magazine.  I sent a letter to the editor.  In the following month's magazine the only (and featured) letter to the editor said this, "I truly enjoyed your story about . . . They endured through their divorces and ended up right where they were supposed to be, with each other." 
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