One of my stepdaughters recently was shamed regarding her parents' divorce. "Our family doesn't believe in divorce," they said. My stepdaughter was kind and good and listened to this person's monologue on the devastation of divorce in families.
Well, I'm not as kind and good. This sweet girl is getting married in a mere six months. I pray with every part of my being that she never knows divorce in her marriage. But you know what? NO ONE BELIEVES IN DIVORCE. No one enters marriage believing that they will someday endure a divorce of their own. Having not known divorce myself, I cannot speak personally of the fear and loathing that is present in so many lives when they realize that their marriage is over. My husband experienced it. My parents experienced it. Many friends have experienced it. I have heard their stories of shock and grief.
My stepdaughter knows exactly what the breakdown of a marriage looks like. She knows the tragedy of a divorce. She and her siblings lived it. They know that they don't want it. But they should not feel shame because of choices their parents made. They should not feel "less than" because of circumstances beyond their control. They shouldn't have to condemn their parents to justify that they desire a healthy, happy, loving marriage.
Many things in life are out of our control. But we do have the power to control our words. Let's stop shaming people. Let's stop making our children, our parents, our brothers and sisters and friends feel unworthy and disgraced. Let's stop talking about what we don't believe in and start talking about what we do: each other.
And the next time someone tries this degradation on one of my stepchildren, I sure hope I'm around.