Does Getting Divorced Mean Failing?
Considering divorce a failure is a huge mistake that will only increase your suffering. Are you feeling well?
Then, you should know that a divorce does not fail.
"For some reason, we see divorce as a sign of failure, despite the fact that each of us has the right and the
obligation to rectify any mistake we make in life".
Joyce Brothers (psychologist and celebrity columnist)
The difference between divorce and failure
Many people who get divorced see their divorce as a failure and this is the worst thing they can do. They see
failure as something very negative. Telling someone that they are a failure is just like telling them that they are
incapable, stupid, worthless, not worth being taken into account and so on and so forth.
But what does failing really mean?
How many times must any medical or scientific research fail before you find what you want? "Do these failures
make it less valuable or important for people or do they make researchers less valuable as persons?
The dictionary defines failure as: "stoppage of the expected result". From this point of view, do you know
someone who has not failed multiple times?
Maybe you're thinking: "Well, but failure is failure. Failure in a non-issue is not the same as failure in
marriage". In order to analyze this issue, we have to take several aspects into account. First, who decides what
failure is and what it is based on and how do you measure failure?
Consider the following example: Mario is in university. He failed three subjects and the rest of his grades are
not very good. He took part into a painting competition and he won the first place.
What would you say of Mario? Is he a loser or a successful person?
To his father, a mid-level executive, who could not get a better job for lack of better preparation, Mario is a
failure. The man is angry and embarrassed that his friends know about this.
To his uncle, the director of a major museum and a popular painting teacher, Mario is a successful person. He is
very proud and everybody talks about him.
Who is right and who is wrong?
People evaluate other people according to their own values, tastes and preferences. Therefore, the "score" is
What some people see as a good thing, some other people may see as a bad thing. What was once considered
important or appropriate is different a couple of centuries before or after.
Secondly, what is important is that there really is a divorce and what that divorce really is. A divorce is the
decision to end a relationship that no longer works for the couple or at least for one member of it. It is based on
the desire to seek a better life. Does that mean that the marriage failed? No. It means that two married people
with certain needs, expectations and feelings and so on have changed. With the passage of time, they are not or
cannot be in that relationship any longer, which was given or expected in the beginning.
You get married to a person you only know in part, no matter how long you were boyfriends or even lived together
before getting married. Marriage is a greater commitment, there are greater expectations from us and our partner
and the emotional "charge" is also more important.
You both change over the years, so you must adapt to these changes, both when it comes to the personal ones and
to those of the couple.
At the same time, there are a lot of elements that generate tension and imply the need for constant agreements
in relation to the children, the extended family, friends, leisure activities, work, the economic aspect and so on.
These agreements may go against our way of thinking and even against our values.
There are many reasons that lead to the increasing emotional distance between partners or to constant conflicts.
Why are some couples still together and seek to resolve the problems and others do not?
The reason has nothing to do with the person’s ability to be successful or unsuccessful. It has to do with a
question: "Is what I have in my relationship worth the effort, frustration and / or suffering caused by living with
them?” Only the person in question can answer this because it is them who pay the cost of that relationship.
What happens to the person who does not want a divorce, but whose partner chooses so or leaves the house? "Did
their marriage fail because they could not be happy as a couple? No. Definitely not. Nobody is responsible for our
happiness and welfare more than us. We are responsible for our attitudes, thoughts, feelings and behavior as well
as for the experiences we live.
If the other person has new needs and unmet expectations or if they cannot change your life, if you express what
happens to you and you look for an alternative together, you could find a solution.
It is said that marriage is made of two and divorce is also made of two. Both situations involve a lot of people
(children, family, friends, coworkers, etc…) and situations (health ones, economic ones, religious ones, etc.) that
interfere with the day-to-day relationship.
So what is failure? Is it to decide that a relationship is not worth it or is it to stay married, despite the
suffering, the emotional loneliness and the frustration that exist in a bad marriage?
Failure is seeing a problem, knowing that it has a solution, that you can do something about it and doing
absolutely nothing but complaining. Although the results are not always the ones we want and they may cause pain,
acting is never failing. In fact, it is all about having the courage to act.