I was sitting in the Public Library today using the internet and as I was there a book on the shelf caught my eye. The book was How To Get Out Of An Unhappy Marriage by Dr. Eugene Walder. Being troubled by just the title of the book I picked it up to see at least what the chapters were inside. As I flipped through the book, I see why our country is divorce prone if this is the advice being given by “noted clinical psychologists”.
Some of the chapter titles include how to blow the cover off your unhappy marriage, are you willing to risk it, when to pull the plug and let your marriage die, why isn’t it simple to get out, taking the plunge, breaking loose from your spouse, you have a second chance. The way the chapter titles are worded it seems like marriage is just a game, not something that we should take seriously.
Throughout the book there were things that I guess you could say shocked me. There was a section that gave you marriage situations and then you had to decide whether or not the marriage could be saved. There was the “leaving readiness test” which was prefaced with:
“Are you willing to risk it? You’ve taken a chance in your life before. How willing are you to take yourself on faith now? The leaving readiness test will help you gauge your preparedness”
“Should you feel guilty about the children” was another section in the book that was disturbing to me. It was strange to me that they called coming up with the conclusion that divorce was a destructive experience for the children the vicious circle and the conclusion that divorce can be a constructive experience for the children the virtuous circle. Here’s their explanation:
The “Vicious” Circle “If you start with the premise that divorce is a destructive experience for your children and you’ll feel guilty. You’re going against your ideal of being a good parent. That makes you a “bad” parent. Being a bad parent will lower your self-esteem. A loss of self-esteem will cause you to feel depressed. In you depressed state you’ll lack energy to meet your needs, and your children’s. Accordingly, your children will suffer. You’ve come full circle… Your premise becomes your conclusion: divorce is a destructive experience for you children.”
The “Virtuous” Circle. Start with the premise that divorce can be a constructive experience for your children and you’ll feel virtuous. You’re living up to your ideal of being a good parent. Being a good parent will raise your self-esteem. An increase in self-esteem will cause you to feel elated. In your buoyant state, you’ll have the energy to meet your needs and your children’s. Accordingly, your children will benefit. You’ve come full circle...Your premise has become your conclusion: divorce can be a constructive experience for your children.”
The author also explained “object lessons” your children can learn from your divorce. Risk-taking, active orientation, survival (teaching them courage in the face of adversity), independence, mastery of separation, security, and growing. Give me a break. What do children really learn? They learn that it is okay to divorce and jump from relationship to relationship sometimes for reasons that can be very petty.
Everything in this book, that I saw, said divorce is okay, normal, and healthy. I guess I have never seen a book quite like this that advocated divorce.
While I am not married, I believe marriage is to be held high not as some game that we choose to end because things aren’t going our way or something difficult was thrown in the mix. I believe the Bible is pretty clear on marriage and divorce. The Bible compares marriage between a husband and a wife with the relationship between Christ and the Church in the book of Ephesians, which would make me believe that marriage is something that is to be taken very seriously.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed he by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and old fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
What Jesus Said about divorce:
It was also said “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.” But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matthew 5:31-32
And the Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh, So they are no longer two but one flesh therefore God has joined tighter, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of you hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery. Matthew 19:3-9
What Paul said about divorce:
To the married I give this charge (not I but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Cor. 7:10-11To wrap up my thoughts I will say... I believe in holding the Word of God above all else and so it saddens me to see there are books our there that treat marriage as a game and look to divorce as the way to "fix" the problems not believing that it negatively affects most everyone involved.