The effort required to learn how to be happily married is microscopic compared to the suffering that comes from getting a divorce.
If you start cutting down trees in a forest, at some point the forest is no longer anything other than a clump of trees. Where the forest is a very special ecosystem that supports life of all kinds, a clump of trees is not. Similarly, when a husband and wife get a divorce, what once was a family now becomes individuals who are related - a clump of trees.
If we had true, objective wisdom and the ability to calculate what each of our actions brings in the future, I am positive we would see divorce as one of the greatest calamities imaginable. Think of the misunderstandings that lead to a possible divorce. Think of the breakdown in communication and the heartache all the individuals in the family feel as the mistrust and suspicion builds. Then add the horrendous polarization that takes place in America's divorce courts.
The family unit that once was, no longer exists. The mutual reliance that each person felt disintegrates. Friends have to choose sides, relatives are confused and children have no idea which way to turn. Property is split, income is now diverted into two separate streams, common resources are divided and petty fights break out over trivial objects.
If we had true, objective wisdom and the ability to predict the results of our actions, I am positive no one would ever get a divorce. If we could look into the future and see our children all grown up without a divorce, and by some magic wand all grown up after a divorce, I know that no one would ever get one.
There is a saying I coined: "The effort required to change one's self is like a speck compared to the suffering one experiences if they don't change." This same philosophy applies to the question, "How does divorce affect the family?"
The effort required to learn how to be happily married is microscopic compared to the suffering of getting a divorce. So please love your spouse, be good to them and tell them with all the sincerity of your heart, "I love you."
Paul Friedman, author of Lessons For A Happy Marriage has personal experience with divorce. He discovered the truth from his clients: they only sought divorce because the help they found to stay together didn't work. Read more on the Relationship Advice Blog, about how he entered into the business of helping couples mend their marriages.