The Selfless Divorce

The Selfless Divorce.  By:  Daniel Findling

Divorce is sometimes described as a selfish act, especially when children are involved.  How many times have you heard or been a participant in a conversation like this:

“Did you hear  ______ is getting a divorce . . . I feel so bad for the children . . . they are surely going to suffer . . .”


Sometimes one party wants to work on saving a marriage through therapy or with the assistance of clergy or friends.  Therapy can work, however, if both parties are not willing to work and resolve the nature of the problem failure is inevitable, leaving only two options.  Do nothing or divorce.

Many people do nothing and stay in an unhealthy relationship under the disguise of “staying together for the kids”.   Which is code for “people who get divorced with children are selfish; I am not selfish” or maybe “I am afraid of being alone”.

The decision to get divorced is usually not a selfish act, in fact it is often a selfless act.

Staying in an unhealthy relationship is easy.  Notwithstanding, many people justify the decision to do nothing as being a good parent.  Take for example the following:

  • Good parents shelter their children:  Therefore, staying in an unhealthy relationship protects the kids from the impact of divorce.
  • Good parents are loving:  Therefore, staying in an unhealthy relationship means I love my kids.
  • Good parents are involved in their child’s life:  Therefore, if I divorce, I will no longer be involved in my child’s life.

It is easy to ignore problems and hard to address them.  Staying together in an unhealthy relationship for the “benefit of the children” may actually unintentionally cause harm.  Take for example the following thoughts:

  • Good parents shelter their children:   It is important to shelter your child.  It is also important to nurture your child for life’s inevitable bumps and bruises.  Kids look to their parents as role models and staying in an unhealthy relationship may unintentionally teach a child that it is ok to be in an unhealthy relationship.  Children become adults, and a parent’s role is to help their child achieve success and be a good role model.
  • Good parents are loving:  Staying in an unhealthy relationship teaches a distorted view of love.  Love should be healthy.  Furthermore, divorced parents can equally love their children.
  • Good parents are involved in their child’s life:  Divorced parents can be equally involved in their child’s life.

Good parents are honest with themselves and their children.  Staying in an unhealthy relationship is often dishonest to both.  The decision to divorce can be a selfish act, however it is often a selfless act.  Doing nothing is often easy.

Life can be hard.  A divorce can teach your children that it is important to be happy and not ok to stay in an unhealthy relationship.    Everyone deserves to be happy and a divorce may be the best pathway to the goal for parents and children alike.

About Findling Lawdivorce and christmas

I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.

That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

We want to help you manage your situation. Let our exceptional legal team help you . . .


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By:  Daniel Findling

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