Friday, 26 February 2016

Judging the Judged - Is Divorce Really the "Scourge of Society?"

So I wanted to write about an opportunity I had a couple of weeks ago of joining (in the Green Room and then on a BBC studio sofa) an esteemed and honoured gentleman of ex legal profession and spearheading an organisation in support of marriage...

I have found myself pondering the ever so judgemental "Divorce is the scourge of society" line this gentleman has adopted... and decided I needed to put fingers to the keys so to speak ....So here are my thoughts as a letter to the said Gentleman...

Dear Sir

Thank you for being the face of an institution supporting marriage and helping me to feel so much better about the 16 years or so that I was married. I feel better for knowing I have been in the good, the well behaved and responsible collective and realise my existence there for so long especially in this time of 'divorceness' does indeed merit recognition. 

Happily and with a healthy degree of self preservation I would like you to be aware that I ticked the "good girl" box, by working hard at my marriage, attending many sessions of marriage counselling, read lots of positive “You Can Do It” books on marriage and made huge life changes to absorb and calm the potential divorce storm on the horizon.  As well in support of my continued belief to be kind, adult and helpful throughout my divorce I have written a heartfelt blog sharing my experiences and thoughts to help others, their children, families and "society". I made a deliberate intention to not let those influential in the divorce world guide me down the path of pain and messy family fallout, but to seek supportive legal advice and mediation thus avoiding a court case. 

So where am I going with this ....  I listened to your words that seemed to come so easily to you. You of all people having overseen so much pain, distress and anger over the years as a judge in a family court?  The divorcing "scourge" being down there apparently with tobacco, alcohol and goodness knows what else of societal grubbiness and disorder that the good financial tax payers of the UK are shoring up....Did you think the analogy of taxable "unhealthy" substances would be truly helpful when applied to the "appalling problem" of divorce in our society?  I feel a right VAT'ing on my head in the next budget .... 

This brings me on to definitions of the word "scourge"....Are we as divorcees, a section of society, now regrouped to embody those that cause 'great trouble'? Or as scourge was quoted elsewhere, as being 'devastation similarly to war'? 

Do you not think that we, our children and families have not had enough taste of destruction in our lives and marriages before we even are shown through to the well-used "appalling problem" Room 101? 

I would suggest that sadly as divorce is a steadily growing state of affairs, perhaps instead of throwing an unhelpful gauntlet into such a well-attended battlefield, building a more constructive divorce acknowledgement office would be better suited. One with even more supportive and forgiving measures to really prevent further divorce battle crises developing. Rather than standing in your safe foundational place lobbing in the judgemental grenades to really ramp up the guilt and shame...

What I do know Sir, is that marriage is a good institution for so many, whilst it works. As with all good things they can indeed frequently come to an end in life. Why marriages fail is not always about the lack of fortitude of the couples who are separating. It can be due to life pressures such as a lonelier society, modern financial 'strappings' and working commitments that our fragile and precious lives are interspersed with - as you may appreciate.

I would like to add that none of us are infallible to what life throws up and we do not consciously set out to be a source of any such expensive and sad problem.  We are humans, just finding our way for the most part of our lives with a one size fits all guide book. We are all responsible for our actions and divorce never ever leaves you, whether you return to a marriage with the same person as was shown by the lovely lady on the sofa with us.... or not.

With kindness...

Natasha x

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