The marriage and divorce continuum

One of the mistakes that we make as a society is that we think of marriage and divorce as all or nothing. In practical terms it is anything but that. Of course there are those at either end of the spectrum. Some married people just are made for each other and appear to have all their relationship needs met by one person for life. Some divorced people just absolutely hate their ex and want as little to do with them as possible. However there is a whole group of people somewhere in between.

It is fairly common to see married people who are little more than roommates. They have grown far apart so no real bond remains yet they stay together for a variety of reasons including family or religion or just plain inertia. They are probably afraid of divorce just because of the seeming finality of it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something in between for married couples like this or for those that are divorced but want some type of relationship in between? I know of a couple that got divorced because of money pressures but now date exclusively while leading separate lives. In my case I like the sense of family my ex and I have when we get together with our children and their growing families. I see no good that would come from tearing the family completely apart other than to meet some artificial constraints imposed by society.

Each situation is different and those unhappily married or considering divorce need to look with fresh eyes at all the options available to them. Perhaps there is no need to go to the far end of the spectrum and maybe there is a solution that would solve the problem between them while still allowing them to be married. I think the “marriage counselors” out there need to be trained to help couples with these choices and to be more open to alternative options. In fact I would like to see the term “marriage counselor” go by the wayside and we just end up with relationship or life choice counselors.


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