Dr. Wall writes that when many people contemplate divorce, they think everything will be fine, only to discover there is a darker side they hadn’t anticipated.

There is a way that seems right to a man

But in the end it leads to death.

Proverbs 16:25

Pride goes before destruction,

A haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16: 18

If you love your children more than you love your husband or wife you are headed for trouble. There’s nothing wrong with loving your kids. It’s just that there is something wrong about not loving your spouse. I have these clients who proudly declare that they love their kids, but they will not be caught dead loving their spouse. They pontificate that their spouses are not worthy of their love. Who of us is worthy of love? Who of us does not have feet of clay? Take the log out of your own eye before you worry about the speck in your spouse’s eye.

Many of these folk who take this arrogant stand will not be dissuaded. They are determined to divorce. They are convinced that divorce will be a positive thing and tell themselves variations of the following:

-kids are resilient;

-they will be fine

-it’s better than seeing us fight

-I don’t want my children seeing me “settle”

-I don’t want my kids to think it’s Okay for them to be married to someone who treats them this way

-my kids have told me to divorce

-my kids don’t like him either

-I just can’t watch him hurt them this way

-if we didn’t have kids I’d divorced him a long time ago

-I’m only staying for the kids and that’s just not fair to me

-all we do is fight

-I love him; I’m just not IN love with him

-I care for him; I just don’t love him THAT way

-I don’t care if I’m ever sexual with him again

-I have no desire sexually for him and I know this is not dead in me, so I need to find the person I’m sexually attracted to

-I won’t have to put up with him; I don’t need another kid

-it’ll be a civil divorce and we’ll remain friends. There’s no sense being mean about it like everyone else.

Yeah, right. Everyone wants the amicable divorce. Welcome to la-la land. How are you supposed to be nice to the person that took your kids away from you half the time or sometimes way way more than half the time? How are you supposed to be kind to the person that kicked you out of your house? Or was sleeping with that other person and you didn’t know about it? And now that other person sees your kids more than you and your kids hate that other person and that other person hates your kids and is mean to them and is demanding and treats them in a way that you would never treat them? And now this new “spouse” tells your old spouse very mean things about your children and about you and fills them all with all kinds of animosity. And they never let you see the kids or they want them when you want them or they never cut you any slack and they say mean things about your new lover and accuse you and her of being psychotic and crazy and the stories they tell your kids would burn your ears, but you can’t do anything about it, and they have different rules of parenting, speaking of which, if you are a kid who’s mom and dad divorced, how is this supposed to be a good thing with this stranger in mommy or daddy’s bed or both and neither of these two new bed-mates likes you and both are critical of you and scoff at you and accuse you of being disrespectful and are constantly on your case and you don’t like going to either house, or you have friends at one parents house and not the other, or you don’t like to go to your dad’s apartment, cuz there’s nothing to do, cuz there’s nothing in the apartment, but a stupid TV, and what are you suppose to do, it’s depressing just to walk in the door, and he never cooks anything and you’re so sick of McDonalds, that if you have to go there one more meal you’re just going to throw up and all you do is get shipped all over the place and nothing seems normal and your dad never calls and when he does he seems distant and aloof, all four of these parents disagree about how you’re supposed to act and you don’t agree with any of them and now you’ve got four crazy sets of grandparents and half of them think you’re a waste of a person, too, and the other two sets are starting to wonder and all you do is drive on Christmas, cuz all these stupid relatives want to see you and it’s just a mess and how was this supposed to be a good thing for you, and if you’re the father and you get kicked out of your home and you can’t tuck your kids in bed at night and say their prayers, you call them instead on the phone, like this is somehow parenting, and they are crying, because you aren’t there, and then they say they miss you and why can’t we be together daddy, and then they don’t seem to miss you so much, and then they act all indifferent when you call or put out or mad or hurt, so why call them, since you seem to do nothing but cause them grief, so you quit calling, not because you don’t love your children, but because they don’t seem to love you or you don’t want to be a burden, or maybe you bore them or you’re just taking up their precious time, cuz there’s not enough time to warm up and feel close or talk about anything of any substance, so you sit in your room and just do video games, cuz at least when you do that you don’t have to think about all these problems, and then your X files papers against you for more money and you can barely pay your rent in this crappy apartment and there’s no furniture in there and no decorations, but whose got money for that, and your car is a piece of crap and you need a newer one and you have to pay half of your daughter’s skating lessons and you never agreed to that, but your X threatens to take you to court again if you don’t pay it, so you do and your new girlfriend thinks you are crazy and you need to stand up and fight for your rights and she thinks you don’t and she’s constantly reminding you of what a crazy person your X is and how your kids take advantage of you and they are wild animals and no one ever makes them toe the line and this is just nuts, and then your X says she’s going on a cruise with her new boyfriend and you are thrilled to have the kids an entire week, but you have to work and what are the kids supposed to do when you are at work and you don’t have enough money to be able to take the time off and your new girlfriend says there’s no way she’s staying home with all of them, that she never bargained for being a babysitter and did I tell you your kids are animals?

Yeah, right. Divorce will be fine.  You’ll be buds with your X for sure.


Dr. Bing Wall is a marriage therapist with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa.  To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473.  For more information about Dr. Wall click here.

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