Divorce Should Be A Couple's Last
Resort - Not It's First
Guest Author, Anne Kass, - a retired District Judge of Albuquerque, New Mexico
Many divorcing parents seem to believe that relief is spelled d-i-v-o-r-c-e, but that's not necessarily so.
A short time ago a young couple came before me. They'd been married five years. Each was 35 years old. The wife had been married once before, and she had a child from the first marriage, which means this couple's marriage from the start had a stress point-a stepchild.
Two years after they married, they had a child together--another stress point.
Shortly after their child was born, the wife went on part-time status at her regular job to begin a new business--two stress points.
Unfortunately, although they had reduced their regular income, they did not reduce their spending habits, and by the time they filed for divorce, they had accumulated $10,000 in consumer debt.
They had clearly adopted their generation's fantasy of wanting it all now.
The wife's business venture was not successful, which generated feelings of failure and blame, along with substantial business debts. On top of that, the stepchild was acting up, which generated more blame and guilt.
Their lives were a mess.
Researchers have listed what are considered to be big life stress factors. Each has a common thread, which is major change.
Big changes are required of people when they marry, have a child or change jobs.
Money problems cause enormous stress and they also worsen when a child is born or a job changes. Money problems almost always accompany the start of a new business.
This young couple was dealing with virtually every stress factor know to man, with the exception of death of a loved one.
They decided to try to lessen the stress by getting a divorce, which, of course, would have had quite the opposite effect. Divorce always makes problems much, much worse. In this case, divorce almost certainly would have made bankruptcy unavoidable.
This case had a a happy ending. The couple agreed to counseling.
They agreed to explore which of the two businesses had the greater potential and to devote their energies to that one.
Whether the outcome will be reconciliation is uncertain, but at least they will be able to say they tried.
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