Decorative image Divorce can be radical self-love
Decorative image Divorce can be radical self-love

Am I being dramatic when I write that divorce can be radical self-love? I don’t think so, especially if your divorce saved your life.

Yes, divorce can be a terrible thing for families, especially children. Is it worse than children growing up in an environment where they watch one parent abuse another? I don’t think so.

Divorcing someone who is physically, psychologically and/or emotionally abusive and unwilling to change is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your whole family.

For many survivors, divorce marks a start to their new lives and healing.

decorative image of a woman holding her hands over her chest

Divorce Can Be Radical Self-Love

There has been some recent criticism over women divorcing their partners because they feel they have lost themselves to unhappy marriages. Lara Bazelon wrote an article for the New York Times on the subject that can give you a quick background on the topic, “Self-Love” Is Not The Highest Good In Marriage and Motherhood.

One of the first things I noticed in the aforementioned piece besides the fact that women are once again expected to give up everything to raise children while the role that men play isn’t even mentioned is the absence of dialogue about what is healthy for women in marriage.

I think when we sweep all arguments under the rug of “blessed motherhood” women and children lose. I know many women who stayed in terrible situations for the good of their families and almost lost their will to live.

Decorative image of two hands forming a heart

I believe we can do better as a society than to shame a woman for wanting to be a full person who has a life outside of raising children just as her husband is allowed to live.

This isn’t a feminist argument or even an equal rights argument. It is a stand for the mental and emotional health of women and children. Everyone deserves to be treated in a way that allows them to be a complete human being.

You may have a different life after divorce but it will be full of personal growth and healing which is a good thing. The hard times will pass as you build a new life that you want to live.

Decorative image of a candle burning

Marriage Is About More Than Just A Great Relationship

Marriage is a partnership, a living of life together. You marry someone that you think will be a good partner to you, who will care about you as a complete person, and who wants you to fulfill your calling in life.

If you plan to have children you want someone who will be a good parent and also support you in your role as a parent.

Things break down when an abusive partner sees you as an object. Depending on the level of abuse you have experienced you may have been left feeling like a sex worker, a childcare provider, a maid, and a trophy to display when needed.

An abusive partner will do what they can to cut off your support and isolate you from the world. This is the ultimate form of control. They hold your life and the lives of your children in their hands. If you experienced this you will have to work hard to break free from from isolation and find new friends.

Decorative image of a woman holding her crossed hands over her heart.

Two-Parent Families Are Not Always the Healthiest Option For Childhood

When children grow up with absent fathers, even if their parents are married, it shows them they aren’t valued by their fathers. If dad is not a major part of their daily life they will not learn to trust him or build a complete relationship with him.

If children grow up watching one parent being abused by the other they can be damaged in more ways than an intact family benefits them.

I propose that children who live with one parent in a peaceful and loving home are better off than with two parents while they live in a state of fear and anxiety.

Single moms can be great mothers with a relentless commitment to their children. Children raised by a parent who loves them and keeps them safe are better off than children raised in a home with an abusive parent.

Decorative image of writing in the sand that states I love me

A Woman’s Purpose Is Not to Sacrifice Herself to an Abusive Person

Women are not material objects to be used by others. They should not be used in marriage, by their partners, or even by their children.

Abusive relationships leave women feeling like slaves to everyone in the family. The abusive partner even teaches the children to disrespect her. What looks from the outside like a healthy home is one where the children feel insecure and are pitted against each other to weaken their family bonds.

When the parents separate the healthy parent can begin to rebuild the sibling bonds of her children and give them back the gift of belonging and relationship they will carry throughout their lives.

One of the first steps towards freedom and healing is adopting a new mindset. You have to reach for the hope of the future to do the difficult work of changing your life.

Decorative image of a paper airplane that says I love me

Divorce Truly Can Be An Act of Radical Self-Love

Divorce can be radical self-love. I think this is a true statement. When women aren’t treated with love and respect in marriage they may have to divorce to save themselves. The will to live is more than self-love, it is survival.

Raising children in a new love-filled home will teach them that love doesn’t hurt and will help them make better choices for their relationships and future families and that is a positive effect of divorce.

Divorce can break the chains of generational trauma. A lot of credit needs to be given to those who go up against the fear of change and make a radical commitment to healing themselves so their children can live better lives.

Choosing to live in freedom and peace even if it means you have to divorce an abusive partner is a valid way divorce can be a radical act of self-love.

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