Celebrating divorce


Almost everyone can agree that there are circumstances---such as abuse or adultery---in which divorce may be the only answer to a bad marriage. Christian denominations vary in their views on the issue. But one thing about divorce is clear: Study after study shows that divorce is extremely hard on children. While it may be the only solution at times, it's not something to be taken lightly.

But do we? A British department store has just launched a "divorce gift list" for couples untying the knot, a kind of new twist on bridal registries. According to The Daily Telegraph of London, "Divorcees are expected to list large plasma screen TVs, computer games and non-iron shirts high on their lists to help them get over their break-ups and readjust to the single lifestyle."

The article refers to "congratulations on your divorce" greeting cards and divorce celebration parties, which thankfully I haven't personally encountered. Not yet, at least.

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Sadly, I'm sure it won't be long. A local writer recently published a book, written up in my town newspaper, called Happily Ever After Divorce: Notes of a Joyful Journey. While I can't possibly know the precise circumstances of the author's divorce, here's what I do know from the Publisher's Weekly review:

"At age 41, the mother of three young children, [Jessica] Bram [the author] was in a loveless marriage. But she was surrounded by people who insisted it would be hell on her and her children; even the marriage counselor she and her husband saw presented her with studies about the irrevocable trauma divorce inflicts on children. But Bram was out to prove them wrong and . . . she recounts the steps she built to create a new life and take joy in finding her own true self."

Now perhaps Publisher's Weekly got it wrong, but one is certainly left with the impression that this was a journey of self-discovery.

Are we still so stuck in feminist clichés that we can't put the future of our children's lives ahead of finding our own true selves?

Marcia Segelstein
Marcia Segelstein


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