Divorce

“There are many good Church members who have been divorced. I speak first to them. We know that many of you are innocent victims—members whose former spouses persistently betrayed sacred covenants or abandoned or refused to perform marriage responsibilities for an extended period. Members who have experienced such abuse have firsthand knowledge of circumstances worse than divorce.

When a marriage is dead and beyond hope of resuscitation, it is needful to have a means to end it. I saw examples of this in the Philippines. Two days after their temple marriage, a husband deserted his young wife and has not been heard from for over 10 years. A married woman fled and obtained a divorce in another country, but her husband, who remained behind, is still married in the eyes of the Philippine law. Since there is no provision for divorce in that country, these innocent victims of desertion have no way to end their married status and go forward with their lives.”

“Now I speak to married members, especially to any who may be considering divorce.

I strongly urge you and those who advise you to face up to the reality that for most marriage problems, the remedy is not divorce but repentance. Often the cause is not incompatibility but selfishness. The first step is not separation but reformation. Divorce is not an all-purpose solution, and it often creates long-term heartache. A broad-based international study of the levels of happiness before and after “major life events” found that, on average, persons are far more successful in recovering their level of happiness after the death of a spouse than after a divorce. Spouses who hope that divorce will resolve conflicts often find that it aggravates them, since the complexities that follow divorce—especially where there are children—generate new conflicts.”

This past week we discussed divorce and the many different aspects that accompany that. I decided to do some research on the topic because it is not something that I am super familiar with. My parents have been married for many years and a good majority of my friends parents have been married for many years. For this reason I am pulling material from a talk by Dallin H. Oaks entitled “Divorce” to help me out a little bit.

As I was researching this material I came to a couple of different conclusions. The first one has to do with the first quote that I have posted at the top. It talks about there being situations in which divorce is necessary. I would agree with that because I do believe that there are certain situations in which it is very necessary, whether it be because a spouse is unfaithful or because they’re abusive. I do think there are many situations that fall under this and I do believe that there are times when divorce is necessary. If you are in a situation in which your spouse has been cheating or is being abusive then like Elder Oaks said, there is a reason to an end of a terrible situation.

However with that being said I also think there are many situations in which divorce may just seem like the easy solution to a fixable problem. I have seen this problem in society today where the two people just think that their relationship is damaged beyond repair and the easy way out is to walk away from it. It is very sad to think we live in a society today where this is a common thing and it is generally accepted by everybody. I think Elder Oaks said it best when he said that the solution to this problem is humility and repentance. Many of these problems are caused by selfishness that one or the other or both are unwilling to overcome. If we could only realize the damage that this causes emotionally for all involved, I think we would be more willing to work through it.

I am grateful to have been born to a family where my parents set such a great example of love and working through problems. Their example will shape how my relationship with my future wife is and I can never thank them enough for that. Lets all work together through our problems when we are able to and allow our families to grow stronger and closer through problems, not apart.

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