Does Divorce Equal Failure?

Taken from here.

The gasp that escaped my lips upon reading about Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries’ divorce surprised me a whole lot more than the fact that their marriage was over. It was also way more unexpected than the criticism, speculation and ridicule that has followed the announcement. And while 72 days is an unbelievably short union, do they deserve to be called a failure? Does any divorcing couple, for that matter?

It’s not at all unusual to hear a divorce referred to as a “failed marriage.” But this notion assumes, incorrectly, that every couple that stays married is in a “successful” relationship. Doesn’t everyone know at least one twosome who probably would be (or would have been) better off calling it quits? It sounds pretty cynical, especially for me since I generally consider myself a believer in love, but it takes only a little bit of life experience to know that it’s the truth.

I should qualify this statement further. Unfortunately, I will once again refer to Kim and Kris to make my point (and pretty much follow in the footsteps of those mean old naysayers I chided a couple paragraphs ago). Divorce should not be viewed as failure if a couple has done all they can to stay together. For some people, this would mean a year of therapy, for others it might look more like a trial separation. Who knows? The solution has to be as unique as the partnership. Judging by the express lane quickness of their marriage, I’m guessing Mr. and Mrs. Humphries chose to skip this step. Incidentally, they also decided to get hitched after dating for about six months, right? Is there a correlation?

Once a true and heartfelt attempt has been made to stick together, nobody should fault you for bailing. The way I see it (do I say that too often in this column? It’s sort of stating the obvious, isn’t it?), making the decision to get out of a situation that is causing you emotional harm is a brave thing to do. For most people, divorce is the antithesis to the path of least resistance. It requires action, follow-through, lawyers and money. Non-cynical me feels like things would have to be pretty awful to drive a person to jump into those waters. If that’s true, then I say you’re doing the right thing.

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