The following letter was written to Diane Sollee, the Founder and Director of SmartMarriages (their web site is found at Smartmarriages.com).
Here is what she wrote that we all should pay attention to:
I have to comment on the subject of children of divorce. I just have to say that no matter how many “rough spots” my husband and I have encountered (just the normal marriage stuff) I made a decision long ago that once we brought kids into the world, divorce was a taboo word.
I would never let these little creatures that I adore so much have to go through what I went through, with parent’s multiple ex’s, remarriages, too many step-siblings to count and just basically the loss of a family.
Although my parents divorced 40 years ago when I was 10 it still affects me today — no memories of happy family growing up, getting to know extended family and so on whereas my husband who is from a HUGE intact family full of love and closeness serves as such a contrast to what I missed.
Fortunately my kids are very close to them. I wish more people would simply come out and acknowledge the harm to children when parents have a bitter divorce. I am sure this is why I am so pro-marriage.
I had a couple yesterday with five children meet with me the first time and told me that two other therapists told them they should divorce (which I find appalling!) and instead we focused on strengths and reasons to stay married after 21 years.
We also of course discussed the hard issues they need to fix, but they left my office very pleased and hopeful.
If parents could put children first, divorce rates would go waaaaaaaaay down!