I am reminded once again of the divorce epidemic in the U.S. as another family member of mine admits to a failing marriage. My paternal grandmother has remarried multiple times. My maternal grandparents never divorced but had a rough relationship for many years. My own parents are divorced. My uncle, my mom's older brother, just recently filed for divorce after eleven years of marriage.
My aunt and uncle, Chris and Lindsay, are parents to two kids. Their autistic son Andrew is a third grader and their daughter Brooke is in preschool. I know that these kids do not understand the change that is coming to their lives and that breaks my heart. On the other hand, I also know that it will be better in the long run. In my opinion, it is better for the separation of their parents to occur than for them to be surrounded by verbal and physical negativity as they continue to grow up.
Around family gatherings, for the past several years I always noticed the tension between the two of them. Lindsay was always extremely verbally abusive to my uncle. It seemed to be more acceptable since she was a woman. I also learned recently that she was physical behind the scenes. During arguments, she punched walls and cabinets. If a person starts by hitting objects, it is likely that their eventual target will be a person.
I am not saying that I am a relationship expert, but I have seen the progression occur in my own life. My father went from taking his aggression out verbally at my mom, by punching the walls, and finally towards my mom physically. I learned to walk on eggshells during my childhood for fear of being screamed at or of the bruising belt coming towards my flesh. More than anything, I do not want my cousins to experience the childhood that I did.
My family is Catholic and divorce is heavily frowned upon. No matter how bad the marriage becomes, it is expected to just work out the marriage somehow. I carry the unpopular opinion from those around me that divorce can be the solution, although not the easiest or happiest one. My perspective on the situation is that it takes a lot of guts to separate from someone you still love because this person is ultimately harming your happiness.
In my mind, this marriage should have ended sooner just as many others that I have seen. Sometimes the marriage should not have existed in the first place. Relationships can become complicated to begin with and the children brought into these divorces can be affected for the rest of their lives. The way that divorce has affected me was not always positive, but even at the early stages of my parents' divorce, I realized that it was the best for everyone involved. The situation between my parents has never been resolved, but now me, my mom, and my siblings are all happier and better off because of it.