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Why Divorce Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Failure

Date: October 18th, 2012 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

Today, nearly half of all British marriages end in divorce. However, does this mean they have ‘failed’? Or, have they simply ended ‘successfully’?

Till death do us part?

In modern society, marriage isn’t the lifelong institution it was just half a century previously. In the past, many marriages that stayed together for ‘life’ did so long after they stopped being mutually rewarding relationships.

That’s not to say divorce is a good thing. It isn’t, especially if there’s children involved. However, in many cases, it may be the best thing for both parties in the long term. For people that stay together after the marriage is over, the cost can be their personal happiness and an unnecessarily stressful home environment.

Nowadays, divorce has replaced death as the endpoint of marriage. Understandable when you consider that we’re living longer, contraception, greater opportunities for women in terms of education and employment and, of course, massive changes in social values.

Two sides to every story

Most people don’t go into marriage expecting it to end in divorce, although certainly, in the western world, particularly the US, marriage isn’t viewed with the finality as in the past. It’s seen as perfectly acceptable that many individuals choose to get married three or more times. In fact, in the US, it’s common to hear the term ‘starter’ marriage applied to first marriages.

Relationship experts don’t see divorce necessarily as a bad thing either. Marital therapists view divorce as a positive and courageous act, something that can be beneficial for both parties when all other avenues have failed. The fact is, people get married for all sorts of reasons and sometimes those reasons are wrong. In these cases, divorce is a very welcome second chance to get it right next time – or even the time after that!

A happy ending

It begs the question: if every divorce is a failed marriage, then is every loveless marriage that stays together a successful partnership? Clearly not. Being able to ‘stick it out’ regardless doesn’t make a good marriage or a sensible lifestyle choice.

Today, it is more acceptable to walk away from a marriage than ever before, and increasingly, that can mean a happy ending for everyone.

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