Divorce is always on my mind because I got a divorce four years ago. Not that I wanted to. In fact, when I thought we were going to a couples therapist we were actually going to a divorce mediator. And then, when it was clear that we were going to have to get a divorce, and I had all the money to fund it, my lawyer finally said to me, “If you drag your feet any longer, you’re going to have to get a new lawyer because I’m retiring.”

So we got a divorce. I hated it. (And of course, I blogged about it the whole time.) Subsequently I have become a vocal critic of divorce. I think it’s an incredibly lame and selfish route to take. Here are five reasons why:

1. Divorce is a cliche among people in denial. 
I see divorce in every story. For example, as soon as I heard about the school shootings in Chardon, OH, I got stuck on the fact that the kid’s parents had just gotten a divorce and left him with his grandparents. I blame the parents.

Heather Armstrong is a great blogger who I have followed for years. But I’m really stuck on the news that she just announced a separation from her husband.

Armstrong supports her family with her blog, dooce.com, which is about herself, so of course, I watch her really closely. In her post announcing that she had asked her husband to leave, she said the two common, and delusional things we hear from divorced parents all the time:

“I can’t be a good parent if I’m not happy and I’ll never be happy in this marriage.”


“The kids are doing so well. Kids are really resilient.”

I’ve heard those things so many times. From parents who are getting a divorce who are full of shit.

The dad who tells everyone he got a divorce because his wife is crazy and then leaves his kids with the mom. Newsflash: if your wife is really crazy, then you are crazy for leaving your kids alone with her. In fact, you are not crazy, you’re willfully negligent. And if your wife is not really crazy then get your butt back to the house and raise your kids like an adult.

The mom who says the kids are fine. What does that mean? Do you know that if you ask kids who are living with a crack addict mom if they are fine, they’ll say yes. They’ll say they want to stay. Because kids are trying to survive.

2. Divorce is nearly always terrible for kids. Your case is not the exception.
Kids do not break down during a divorce because they see their parents breaking down. The kids see that one parent just abandoned them. Of course the kid is not going to have a compete fit and push another parent away in anger. Read The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, which is Judith Wallerstein’s 25-year study of children of divorce. It’s the only study that covers such a long period of time, and she concludes that divorce is absolutely terrible for kids over the long-term. And a wide range of studies have concurred.

It’s completely obvious how Wallerstein gets to her conclusion. Think of it this way: Two parents decide they don’t like living together and they want to start over. They can’t meet their needs by simply living together and making the best of it. They want a new chance, in a new household.

Where does this leave the kids? They don’t get a new chance until they grow up. So now they have to shuttle back and forth between two homes so that their parents can get another chance. Meanwhile, the kids don’t get a second chance at their childhood. And the most damaging thing about divorce is that the kids don’t have a home; to say a kid has two homes is the same as saying the kid has no home. Because a home is your basecamp. If you have two basecamps you don’t have a home.

And anyway, if having two homes really worked, then the parents who are so upset about living together can each have a different home during the day, while the kids are at school, and then come back to their other home. But no one would do that, right? Because having two homes sucks.

3. Divorce is for dumb people.
In case you are thinking that divorce is normal among smart, educated parents, you would be wrong. The divorce rate is plummeting among educated women. For example, among Asian women with a college degree the divorce rate is one percent. Divorce is for people who can’t think ahead enough to realize that the cost to the kids is so high that it’s not worth the benefits the parents get.

4. Divorce reflects mental illness.
I have been reading tons of books about borderline personality disorder and parenting, and I’m surprised that no one has pointed out that the decision to divorce is similar to the decision making process that you get with borderline personality disorder.

For example, a parent with BPD is often unable to separate their own wellbeing from their child’s. The person with BPD is afraid of not being loved and makes all their decisions based on that fear.

So, the person decides they are not receiving proper love in their marriage and then decides that the children would be better off if the marriage were over. The marriage being over is not good for the children. But that is not the issue.

Why do we treat people with BPD as mentally ill and people getting a divorce as adults making adult decisions?

5. Divorce is often a career issue. I can help with that.
So many times I have been coaching someone who thought they need a divorce, but really, the marriage has a career issue. So, look, when there are no kids, I don’t think there’s a lot of collateral damage when two people want a divorce. But maybe I can save a few children’s childhoods by telling you some common problems and how to solve them:

The woman is pissed that her husband hasn’t gotten a good paying job in years.
This type of woman feels overly responsible for taking care of the family. And she feels taken advantage of by the guy because she thinks he could get a job if he wanted to. (This is probably where Heather is coming from since her husband, who has been working on her blog for years, announced he is looking for a job.)

The problem, though, is that the woman married a guy who doesn’t want to have a big career. She knew this before they got married, but she chose to ignore it. There was probably something she liked about him, something she needed from him, that he provided. Now she wants something different.

The solution is to stop being angry at the guy for not getting a job. Remember that the kids love him and remind yourself the reasons you loved him when you married him. Those things are still there. If you get a divorce you are not going to be able to miraculously stop working. So bite the bullet and accept where you are and finish raising the kids.

Bonus: If you start loving your husband again you will probably love your job again because you’ll feel good that the job allows you to create a happy family.

The guy who thinks his wife is holding back his career.
Oh, god, I hear this so many times. The guy is not where he wants to be in his career. He has so many ideas, so many dreams, and he is really unhappy where his is.

The answer here is: tough shit. You had kids before you fulfilled all your career dreams. Unless you are independently wealthy, you have to scale back your dreams when you have kids because you can’t take wild financial risks with your family’s wellbeing.

So you have kids and a wife, and you have to get a reality check that you are not going to be Mark Zuckerberg. It’s okay. Just focus on being a good father and a good husband and stay with your wife and kids.

It is incredibly selfish and immature to decide your kids should have to shuttle between two families so you can take another swing at a home run. It’s time for you to be a good dad. That’s your job now. You owe it to your kids.

Bonus: Once you start taking pride in being a good parent and a good husband, you will have better self-esteem and your career will get better as a result of that.

The person who is bored and wants out.
So many people get divorced because they are bored. This blows my mind. Your kids are not bored with your marriage. Your kids need boring at home in order to have the necessary foundation to fly outside the home. If your kids are focused on creating their own stability bouncing between two parents then the kids can’t focus on figuring out who they are while they grow up. They have to spend their time figuring out who their family is. And that’s not fair to your kids.

A job absolutely 100% cannot make you happy. A happy family can make you happy and it’s possible that nothing else really even comes close to making a person happy.

So instead of messing up your family in order to make yourself happy, keep your family together and use your job to address your boredom problem. A fun job can make your life more interesting. Your spouse is not in your life to make you feel interesting. Your spouse is there to love you and raise your kids with you. Don’t ask for anything else.

If you want to feel more interesting then go do something more interesting. And come home for dinner.

The person who says they are a victim of violence.
Two-thirds of divorces take place in low-conflict homes, and in those cases, the kids are much better off if the parent just stick it out.

So let’s look at high-conflict homes: It takes two people to fight. And there’s great research to show that if you picked an asshole the first time, you’ll pick the same type of asshole the second time. (Which is why divorce rates for second marriages are so much higher than first marriages.) So instead of getting rid of your kids’ parent, figure out why you picked a person like this, and then get good at drawing boundaries.

Really, good boundaries can save even the worse marriages. Taking care of your own contribution to the mess can single-handedly stop the mess.

This is especially true of violence. At this point in the history, where women have so much earning power, women are equally as responsible for men for the violence in a household. In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control reports that most domestic violence today is a 50/50 thing. Both parties are responsible. Which means that even if you have one of the worst marriages, you have the power to fix it.

And if you don’t use that power—if you don’t fundamentally change how you are in the marriage in order to stop the craziness, then you will not only recreate it in your next relationship, but you will continue to model it for your kids.

So look, I don’t see any reason left that makes divorce ok when there are kids. Personal responsibility always trumps running away. And yes, here are the links to my own marital violence and my decison to stay and fix it. I’m practicing what I preach. I’m working really hard at keeping my own marriage together. It’s a cold, lonely place to be in life. But it’s better than the alternative.

Because divorce is the ultimate example of just running away. And, while your kids probably will not pull out a gun in the school cafeteria, long-term sadness and a lingering inability to connect to other people is an irrefutable result of divorce. It’s something that you can prevent.

725 replies
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  1. Emily Reese
    Emily Reese says:

    P, do you even read your comments before you approve of them? Just curious, because you seem to be getting some absolutely amazing advice from some really knowledgeable people about how to “get your man back.” I mean, really? I love voodoo dolls, but only to make reference to them in a funny way…

    Just thought I’d leave a quick note about this before I “unsubscribe” to this string of comments. I keep getting updates when someone posts something, but the last few are so ridiculously stupid (regarding spell casters etc.) that I don’t want anymore updates.

    Penelope, I hope you do read and digest the comments people leave here before you approve of them. I think you really need to read (and maybe even respond) to some valid points that have been made.

    Peace to you, either way.


  2. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    I was online searching about getting a divorce as I found out my husband has been cheating on me for 7 months, grouped in with his drinking and gambling problems that I’ve previously decided to live with but put all together I just can’t. We do have 2 children.

    While I absolutely respect your situation of not wanting to get a divorce and feel it was practically forced on you and your belief in marriage and the sanctity of it, did you ever consider that people that also feel the same way still get divorced?

    Your article comes of extremely bitter. I can almost see the spit coming out as you spout your reasons against divorce because of all of the anger. I feel bad because obviously you were prepared to work on your marriage and the promises/vows made were betrayed by divorce. And not even by you. That doesn’t mean divorce is for stupid, uneducated, poor, bored people who think they’re job is more important than marriage. None of that applies to me. And to anyone I know that has gone through a divorce. Okay, one. I forgot about her.

    And as for my children? I was raised by a single mother. While I am not perfect, I don’t think anyone is. I do have problems stemmed from my absent father. However it isn’t debilitating and people who did have both parents have problems too.

    Every individual is different and makes their own choices. No, they are not all good choices or the right ones for them, but again, it doesn’t make them the people that you assume they are.

    Do I want a divorce? No, but this is the second time he’s cheated on me, I’m hurt beyond words and I can’t imagine continuing my life with him. I also can’t imagine leaving him. I’m leaning towards divorce, but I’m open to discussion, while so far he is not.

    Even though you are divorced, does that make you stupid? To not have figured out you were speaking to a lawyer? It just sounds like denial to me because you were convinced talking things out would work it out. That does not make you stupid. You wanted to try and you felt you were tricked into doing something you really didn’t want.

    I’m sorry for your loss, and I’ll be sorry for mine if it goes that way.

    This article was written several months ago, so I hope you are on a good path now.

  3. Trace
    Trace says:

    My Name is Mrs Trace, I was married to my husband for 8years and we were both bless with three children, living together as one love, until 2010 when things was no longer the way the was [when he lost his job]. But when he later gets a new job 6 months after, he stated sleeping outside our matrimonial home. Only for me to find out that he was having an affair with the lady that gave him the job. since that day, when i called him, he don’t longer pick up my calls and nothing since to come out good. Yet my husbands just still keep on seeing the new girl friend till Dr.Magbu cast a spell for me,now is with me and me only.And i am happy with my family if you need his help contact on via email,Reunitingexspell@gmail.com

  4. Rita
    Rita says:

    Rita ·
    True Love Attraction Love Spell.
    My mom was always the person I turned to when I needed something. It was her advice I counted on, and her that I talked to about my most needful things. She died 18 months ago, and at first I was so lost without her I did not think I could function. But then I found DR TEMI. He has filled that empty hole in my heart from the loss of my mother. I can turn to him for guidance and spiritual advice. He is always available and he always cares. It is not about money for him. Even better, I finally asked him to perform a love spell on me, and it worked! I met with a man who had also experienced a great loss and we were able to become close friends and provide support to each other. We fell in love and got married. we are living happily with our kids. Thank you, DR, TEMI, for helping me through the worst times of my life, for being such a great spell caster, and for giving me a love spell that has brought me so much joy. If you doubt his ability, trust me. You should take a chance. It pay off in ways you could never even imagine.Email him (munaspelltemple@gmail.com)

  5. nomar
    nomar says:

    two weeks ago i and my boyfriend had a conflict, so with that he broke up with me saying he no longer wanted to associate with me anymore, i never knew he was interested in working out his marriage with another girl, i was helpless because i loved him so much morethan myself, after begging and pleading with him I realized it was out of my hands, he really was leaving me, i could not stay without him, i tried to figure things out with him but he is not listening me, he told me that he is no longer interested that i should look for someone else, i tried all my best but things were not working out, so i had no choice than to look around for help, i went into search of spell caster to help me bring him back to me with the help of spell and after searching i actually finalize to work with prophetharry@ymail.com in regards of my lover. after 3 days as he told that my lover will return. my lover returned in surprising way, i was chocked and was so happy I can’t say how much I’m grateful, My lover not only came back to me, but has left his other girl and now has engaged me, we are getting married next month, I don’t know what I would have done without this spell caster.

  6. TD
    TD says:

    I have read this post a number of times in the past few weeks.
    The more I times I read it, the more I find myself agreeing with what you wrote.
    Penelope, I wish you would write a post discussing how our perception of career goals affect marriage and divorce.

  7. steve
    steve says:

    It is amusing that this blog post is even taken seriously – It is posted by a person who says they clearly didn’t want a divorce – She is simply reliving her regret, and angry that her husband wanted a divorce. Talk about denial – Penelope says she didn’t want a divorce, and it is clear that her husband did. Why? It is impossible to say, and it was beyond her control. My question is this: Is it possible that “selfishness” is not always a bad thing? Should her ex-husband have stayed and been unhappy? Isn’t it only fair that Penelope be married to someone who is happy to be with her?

    There was a comment earlier that is quite true: Divorce is always blamed for kids having problems, never the bad marriage from beforehand – Its a universal catch all for everything bad – its used over and over again – War in the middle east? Oh it must be those terrible muslim extremists, but forget about the oil companies. Guy shoots people in the movie theater? It has to be the guns, but forget about the prescription anti-depressants or anti-psychotics he was taking. You have no money, and no job, then it must be because you’re an atheist, or lazy, or your mean, but forget about the government spending all your money on wars, other people, and regulations, and also printing more money (therefore making every dollar you have in the bank buy less stuff).

    The point I am making is people who blame something unfairly tend to ignore other, more plausible explanations.

    This subject is not a simple one, and stating a universal “don’t divorce” stance is a big RED FLAG that the person has a point to prove, or more specifically is very biased. This entire country has this problem, and the media, the psychiatric profession, (and this blog) bow to the pressure of religious people and social convenience to make the statistics about divorce as grisly and damning as possible, when there are other legitimate ways of looking at the data. Penelope sounds just like my grandmother, who never forgave my grandfather for their divorce, and my Dad turned out just fine: He has healthy children, a wife he’s been married to for over 20 years, and now lots of grandchildren. The difficulties of growing up with divorced parents may be because everyone just blames it on divorce as if there is nothing that can be done to fix things. OP = Non-Sequitur.

  8. Switch
    Switch says:

    My parents went through a very messy divorce when I was twelve. It really affected me badly, still does. My Mum divorced my Dad because he was raping my sister.

    Would my life have been better and less fucked up if my sister had never told, or my Mum had refused to leave him? Yup, definitely, I was the favourite son, the golden child, I lived a charmed life.

    But I’m actually pretty fine that although my life was badly affected by the divorce, my sister didn’t have to go through absolute hell for a moment longer than she did.

  9. Lee
    Lee says:

    I’m not sure I agree with what you say about domestic violence — that, and genuine addiction, are the two instances where I believe leaving may be the better part of both love and valor. But I agree with 99% of the rest of what you say, and am so happy someone has finally had the guts to say it. I was left after nearly 20 years by a partner who was having what I believe was little more than a midlife crisis. There was no violence in the relationship, but she managed to convince herself that every argument was “verbal abuse.” I disagree, but then why not commit to getting to the heart of what’s causing the disagreements and work it through? But instead she did the easy thing and left. Except it hasn’t been easy for me, and now she’s wondering why our daughter — then 8, now 16 — is withdrawn and moody. She totally ignored all the research on the long-term impact on kids, choosing to acknowledge only the literature that talked about kids’ resilience and ability to survive (not flourish) in spite of divorce. But our daughter, who was not very verbal in the first place, was disconsolate at the time the separation was announced, began struggling in school, was temporarily moved away from her closest friends, and is now dealing with the back-and-forth of joint custody — I’d be astonished if she weren’t withdrawn and moody. She’s overweight and my ex carts her around to every specialist she can find to ferret out why she can’t lose the weight. Any moron could see that she “can’t” lose the weight because she is stuffing herself with comfort foods, which strongly suggests that there is some “discomfort” going on. But my ex is in the “kids are fine” mode, even though there is plainly ongoing suffering going on for this particular kid. The question, though, is given we’re in a society that not only permits, but seems to encourage “no fault” divorce, how do we make it better for our kids when we find ourselves on the south end of a divorce not of our choosing?

  10. Jon
    Jon says:

    Thank you Penelope, sincerely, for this blog entry. Before the dam bursts and I write more than I should. I just want to say that you have been a voice I respect and have casually followed for a few years now every time I need to connect with someone who gets “it”.

    I reside on the spectrum, a fact only made clear a few years ago. Through reflection I have taken inventory of my life’s broken china obliviously strewn at my feet as a result of my previous bullish history. This particular entry synthesizes much for me, and I again just want to say thanks and that you have, and are, making a difference.

  11. bethany
    bethany says:

    Wow. You know how to read statiistics and report your findings while interjecting your opinions.
    Clearly you have never been involved with:
    a narcissist
    a verbal, emotional or physical abuser.
    Set boundaries???? Yes that clearly works, that’s why some women and children aren’t here to read your misguided and misinformed tirade. Maybe they should have set better boundaries.
    thank you for the demonstration in ignorance.

  12. EMSM
    EMSM says:

    this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard and although I thought some of your posts were actually interesting I think I will now stop reading your blog now…
    are you sure it’s not you that have some kind of personality disorder?

  13. geordiesue
    geordiesue says:

    I disagree with much of this article. It does a great disservice to those of us who attempted all avenues to fix a broken marriage. When one spouse has decided that abuse of any kind is unacceptable and the abusive spouse refuses to change, there is no marriage any longer. Abuse will always affect the children, directly or indirectly for the worse.

  14. WBOTB
    WBOTB says:

    Dumbest article of all time. You’re saying that a woman should stay with a violent husband? You’re the one who’s crazy! Children need to see a LOVING relationship between their parents. Kids are better off watching their parents divorce that watching their parents treat each other badly. Staying together is not the solution. The solution is a harmonious environment for the children and if divorce provides that then that’s what needs to happen.

  15. kourtn25
    kourtn25 says:

    I agree with all this you are very smart blogger because it’s the truth, lawyers are always goin to tell u to get a divorce so they can make money.So i love the blog

  16. Erik
    Erik says:

    I’m stuck in a loveless marriage. My anti-depressants take some of the edge off, but I’m deeply lacking in the love I need to function, never mind reach my full potential. I am profoundly undesired and there is no more physical contact. I’m not getting a divorce yet, but I’m trying to determine when that time is. This article came up in my search results and I read it. While I don’t want to hurt my kids, I am crushed by the possibility of living this way for the next 16 years (when the youngest leaves the house). We’ve been in marriage counseling twice now, for over a year total time, so we clearly want to make this work. From my perspective, this article takes a simple, powerful idea, and takes to the nth degree. It can’t be this simple.

    • Ariella deSouza
      Ariella deSouza says:

      it is that simple… your fighting… you non physical contact if your having issues how do you expect there to be any?!?! get that right first.. hell get the kids right first… THEN you two sex will come… children are far more important than your individual selfish feelings… we as people make it complicated it is this simple

  17. Ariella deSouza
    Ariella deSouza says:

    Hello :)

    I just really wanted to say THANK YOU I am a child with divorce extending in every direction… dating back over 50 years there has been drug abuse, alcohol addiction, physical abuse and some absolute bs reasons for some divorces in my family (extended cousins, great great grandparents, my own parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles EVERYONE) It is such a hard thing to deal with I’m now a single parent myself… had my daughter at 18… with divorce all around me in my situation I never learned how to be happy and let things be… I love this blog entry and some comments… if your mother had no money shes a weak b&*^% GO OUT AND MAKE IT… the man should never control every dollar always have a “mad” account for you/kids… sit there and yes your mate has this issue that issue SO WHAT it’s called commitment… doesn’t it mean something to anyone in 2012??? Wait until your life/career is together and your absoloutly sure thats the road you want… PRAY together and yes 100% fighting is a choice… turning another sheet in the newspaper is a choice! You can do court ordered forced rehab for people addicted to drugs but if its physical abuse or an addiction sometime sleaving for the children is the best… BUT divorce is like abortion when its allowed/legal and not COMPLETELY frowned upon people do it left/right… when your kids are over 18… and out of the house how much do you really HAVE to interact with each other?? all of those things that are wrong are with YOU… divorce is so damn casual!!! It’s immature and ridiculous… the woman who barely ever accomplished crap in their lives ring the man out to dry just b/c they have the kids = / but they have almost as much custody as each other and the woman sits on her high horse not doing anything… woman we fought for our rights to do something w/ them!!! work… save…. invest… trust funds… college…. DO IT DO IT DO IT!!! Stop blabbing to all your friends about your business… seek god when in doubt and never be so selfish to think things cannot be fixed… be willing to work on things… im disgusted w/ my family and the divorce rates among people… be on the same page or DO NOT get married… be together for better/worse and get tht right first…

  18. purplegirl888
    purplegirl888 says:

    sometimes divorces are necessary especially if there is lack of trust, love and respect. Sometimes all parties are better off especially the kids. So this article is very one sided and not objective.

  19. lexi REID
    lexi REID says:

    I and my boy friend as been separated for a long period, I cam across different spell caster and they were all unable to bring my lover back. I was so sad and almost gave up on him when i met a spell man Dr upesa that helped me get my lover back. Ever since then i have been so happy and couldn’t believe it would happen. He also helped me with success spell, I have been living happily with my lover now and will be getting married soon. Here is his contact if you need his help upesasepelltemple@yahoo.com

  20. CJ
    CJ says:

    I didn’t see the author judging people for leaving abusive scenarios. I saw her write a sobering, mature view of how spoiled people are and get divorced for ridiculous, immature reasons. And if you’re a child of a divorced mom and dad, and you feel as though it was a ‘good’ thing, then it is likely that some form of abuse was taking place. “not being happy” is not abuse.

  21. janej
    janej says:

    I had to write back and say what an amazing experience I had with Dr Ekaka. I was desperate for a kind and gentle man to enter my life when I ran into your Email: ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com doing some surfing. I had a phone consultation with ekaka and I found him to be so helpful, gentle and reassuring. Within a couple of weeks, I met a guy in a dance club who really swept me off my feet. I’ve been with him for several months now and we seem to be the perfect couple. All it took was one visit to Ekaka and my life is as good as it has ever been. I need to thank ekaka for caring about me enough to send me such a wonderful and powerful spell.

  22. Binks
    Binks says:

    I spent my childhood praying that my parents would divorce. I would have rather felt “abandoned” by my father than to grow up with him around. In fact, I often used to wish that CPS would come and take my siblings and me away from my family.

  23. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    My Sarah from United State of America and my ex-boyfriend dumped me 0ne week ago after I accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don’t know what to do, so I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimony of how a spell caster help them to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 3days that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my ex came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Rama spell. You are truly talented and gifted. Email: ramasolutiontemple@gmail.com. He is the only answer. He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man and he can also help you to solve any problem…Lol I am very happy…..,,,,

  24. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    My Sarah from United State of America and my ex-boyfriend dumped me 0ne week ago after I accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don’t know what to do, so I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimony of how a spell caster help them to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 3days that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my ex came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Rama spell. You are truly talented and gifted. Email: ramasolutiontemple@gmail.com, He is the only answer. He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man and he can also help you to solve any problem…Lol I am very happy…..,,,,

  25. Wallace
    Wallace says:

    You say divorce when children are not involved does not cause collateral damage – I disagree. Divorce whether children are involved or not (unless there is of course mental/physical abuse) is always a selfish, cowardly and thoughtless option.
    It breaks my heart that so many are not strong enough to work things through, to see the bigger picture, to understand that the likelihood is that in 5, 10 years time they will be in exactly the same place just with somebody else. Hold on to each other people, you made a vow, a promise remember? Not just to your spouse but to yourself. How weak and fickle we are. If I hear one more ‘I love you but am not in love with you’ ‘We are more like brother and Sister/best friends’ ‘ we get along so well and I care for you so much but there just is no spark’ lines I think I will scream. Isn’t that what marriage bloody is! A friendship, supporting, caring, nurturing, growing, sharing dreams, chores, daily life?’ What did you think you were signing up for when you got married?

    Yes, my husband is currently choosing to divorce me. Call me crazy but I don’t think it is the right thing and the damage I know will be irreparable.

  26. Ms. Spin
    Ms. Spin says:

    I take marriage very seriously because of my personal and spiritual convictions. That is exactly why I have been very selective with people I dated. This is because I want to set myself up to not only marry and have a family, but to have a marriage that is based on respect and friendship, along with having similar spiritual beliefs. But, it is unfortunate that with the way dating is constructed and how it is done in a socially isolating context, it is very difficult to really get to know someone until you build your own family and then all of the good and bad stuff from families of origin play into the marriage and if you really just got hitched because you were attracted to each other and didn’t really build a friendship, then you could end up in a very difficult and stressful situation when tough times hit.

    I am in my 30s and I am seeing many friends get married left and right. In conservative religions, such as mine, that forbid premarital sex, it is very common for people, especially if they are older, to just take the plunge and have a whirlwind courtship. But quite frankly, I’d rather wait for the right situation and build a marriage out of respect and friendship.

  27. Quinzarene De Ruiter
    Quinzarene De Ruiter says:

    My life is full of so much happiness because i now expecting a child that will call me mother. My name is Quinzarene De Ruiter, i am from South Africa. I got married six years ago and i have no child of my own. I became a laughing stock, the worst part of it all my husband parent call me a thing that dose not produce, my husband who love became so wicked and behaves strange. I cried all days, i visited a doctor and the doctor told me that i cannot give birth to a child again, everything was now becoming very critical. I was seriously thinking of hanging myself and just die because i have no choice. My husband started going out with his secretary at work and these left me with no option than to leave his house because he don’t allow me to sleep in our matrimonial bed. I went to leave with a college old friend in Cape town. During September when i was a train to see my parent, an old woman told me about the good work of the temple of permanent healing and how he helped his son. I taught of it for 4 days so i decided to contact him through email and phone calls. He told me that the secretary of my husband was using a spell on my husband and my womb. He destroyed the spell and told me that my husband will come back to me within 5 days. it surprises me when Andrew came to meet me Cape town and beg for my return. I came home during the ending of September. The doctor confirmed on the 13th day of November that i am pregnant. I have never seen a man as strong as this priest and i know that so many people have similar problems like mine. It is advisable for anyone to contact the good priest through templeofpermanenthealing@gmail.com

  28. Jackie
    Jackie says:

    What about cheating husbands what do you do then? He even has another woman pregnant and was not planning on telling me. His daughter from a different woman was the one that told me.

  29. ItIsWhatItIs
    ItIsWhatItIs says:

    When there’s kids I think everyone should be screened like corporate audit type shit and the guilty one or one who wants to leave only leaves with their personal belongings and nothing else. No I’m taking half with me bull, u wanna go then go!… My parents divorced when I was 15, (mother wanted to do what she wanted to do)my mother got 70% (by waiting til the last day to sign the papers or nobody gets shit deadline)of what the house was worth that my dad fully built himself on my great grandfathers land and he couldn’t keep up with payments and stress and became a alcholic and I had to hustle to feed me and my sister that was 12, nobody hires a 15 year old from endless jobs applied to. Lol… Long story short we lose the only home we know with family houses the whole way up and down the street, slept in a car here n there bouncin place to place, sister is now stripping and I finally got a job and living in an apartment I despise cuz I like/used to being outdoors and not restricted to a window, my dad has his own apartment and my mother lives happily in a new house with a drop-top camaro! WTF:/… What a starting hand of cards but not the worst I guess. Lol… Me and my sister chose to stay with our father in the only home we knew and shit happens… Really this is just another personal experience but where’s some peoples responsibility and respect they used to have for each other way back when… I think a lot of crap boils down to respect like even theives, they don’t respect your shit so they steal it… I can’t see myself ever getting married to lose half of whatever I own over the next persons mind change. Lol

  30. MJ
    MJ says:

    I cried over this like it was an intimate counseling session. I’m disturbed that many of the commenters are shockingly rude >:( Arguing over these things doesn’t interest me, but as a 26-year-old child of a divorce which happened 20 years ago… This brought the beginning of much-needed relief in understanding what I thought was such an elusive source of things I’ve been struggling with for many years: chronic clinical depression, anxiety, feelings of homelessness, confusion about why I didn’t seem to learn “who I am” at an appropriate age…

    And I seem to be one of the “lucky” ones! There was never any abuse or violence, my parents communicated in a civil manner afterwards, still lived in the same state, thought my new step-siblings were fun playmates, etc.

    I have only recently begun considering that the divorce may have affected me in a deep way. As a kid I strived to be the strong one that didn’t think it was any big deal.. So I didn’t open up about or even acknowledge any of this for a long time.

    But this post embraced me like a deeply understanding friend. I needed that so much. Thank you <3

  31. mary snoop
    mary snoop says:

    My name is mary snoop I live in USA, . My husband and I have been living a very happy and lovely life. So as time went on, I began to notice this strange attitude that he was possessing. He was now having another girl friend called jane, to the extent that he was no longer picking up my calls, and he was not even sleeping in my house anymore because of this new girl friend. I became confused and didn’t know what to do . So i became worried and stranded, , because I have never experienced a thing like this before in my life.
    So I decided to visit a spell caster online, to see if he can help me out. So immediately I went to the internet, where I saw an amazing testimony of a spell caster who brought someone’s ex lover back,odudumoyoyo@gmail.com so I email him immediately and I explained to him all my problems and immediately he reply to me that it will be very easy for him to solve, i have been helping people a situation like the one i have. And he also gave me some proof to be really sure of his work, and he assured me that my husband will come back to me immediately he is through with the spell casting. And also he told me to put all my trust in him, and I really believe him.
    So it was 9:00 am on the next morning, when I was about going to work, when i received my husband’s call, and he told me that he was coming back home , and he apologized to me, and told me that he is very sorry for the pain that he has cost me. And after some minutes later, he really came back home, and that was how we continued our marriage with lots of love and happiness again, and our love was now stronger than how it were before.
    And he also told me that once my heart desire has been granted unto me that i should go and testify of his work right here on the internet. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth today as I am writing this testimony, and I want to really thank ” Dr odudumoyoyo” for bringing back my husband, and for bringing joy and love to my life.
    my advice for you out there who your husband or your wife is acting strange or behaving the same way like this, or you have any problem with your relationship or anything related to do with spell casting, is for you to go and visit this odudumoyoyo@gmail.com, and i assure you that he will be of help to you, and I am 90% sure that he will solve it out.
    Thank Dr odudumoyoyo

  32. Abby V
    Abby V says:

    I have to disagree with you my parents together makes my life a living hell! My siblings are actually fine since your generalization about crack head mothers is not true! And both of my parents are a better person without each other they actually think about us for once! Oh and your most definitely not right about children breaking down during a divorce because they see their parents breaking down! Our house was full of the breaking down and I did get angry for a while and push a parent away. I’m sure I’m not the only one like this.

  33. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I’ll just go ahead and quote something you said that I read in your sidebar: “There’s a lot to be said for quitters. Those people who are extremely good at one thing got that way by quitting almost everything else.”

    Now apply this to divorce. Sometimes, people make mistakes. They then have the right (and the duty!) to correct those mistakes and move on. Life is about learning from mistakes. Marriage is no exception. I think that your article is very small-minded, poorly thought-out, and frankly, misogynist. But if you’re afraid of feminism, consider my father’s situation.

    My father married at 18 because his girlfriend told him she was pregnant. She wasn’t. She was manipulative and mentally ill. She physically abused him and continually made his life a living hell. When she began living with someone else, he decided to get a divorce. It had only been a year. He then met and married my mother, and they have been together for almost 40 years. What do you think about that divorce story? Immature and selfish? Now take it and reverse the gender roles. The fact that you could think that a woman escaping a physically abusive relationship is “immature and selfish” is demonstrative of how stupid (read: willfully ignorant) you really sound to others.

    I IMPLORE you to open your mind and eyes. Try to understand the situation of others. Be compassionate and do not exercise judgement with every breath. It is ideas like the ones in this article that keep abusers safe and the abused in danger.

    • Jacob
      Jacob says:

      I don’t think anyone should stay in a manipulative and abusive relationship, even more if they have children. Because the children will learn from that. They will believe that being abused is a normal relationship and they cannot help themselves or learn to be strong. Children know a lot more than adults think they know. Children actually do understand when there parents are not happy and stressed. It’s not the actual break up that causes children to have depression and stuff. They feed off the emotions of their parents and if the parents are not happy then so are the children.

      • Steve
        Steve says:


        You must a be a counselor or a professional? In my marriage, there were some hard times…children cannot have a happy life all the time. What the hell are they going to do when they are confronted with a frustrating situation while growing up happy all of the time? Not realistic. Parents who are stressed out or going through a tough time also learn how to rear their children and the outcome of learning from tough times also teaches children how to deal with tough times as well.

  34. Maria
    Maria says:

    and staying in an abusive marriage is so altuistic and beneficial to humanity? Give me a break. Penelope, you are a complete idiot!

  35. Maria
    Maria says:

    Being divorced doesn’t make you dumb, it’s staying in a shitty marriage that kills your soul that is dumb.

  36. Jacob
    Jacob says:

    This article is a load of bullshit. I hope nobody takes this “personal opinion” seriously. This person obviously has mommy and daddy issues, on top of that “attention disorder”. As a kid myself with parents who did not get a divorce, they make me sick to my stomach. Having two people in the same room who clearly hate each other does not and never will make good parents. You can have 1 parent and still live in a happy home. Yes, I said it ONE parent. Not only that but having two houses is sweet. It’s the same as having a vacation house on the side. With experience in this feild I have to say I would rather my parents get a divorce and actually be happy with themselves than ME being a needy selfish spoiled child who only cares about myself and not the needs of my parents. Thank you for listening to what I had to say.

  37. joe
    joe says:

    unbelievable…I am joe from the U.S,I met a girl that meant a lot to me ..we shared a lot before finally getting to settle down after we discovered we cant do without ourselves..we have been married for a couple of years now and blessed with a kid..i love this girl so much and I will never deny that…she suddenly developed a new feelings and she told me she want out..i tried all my best to convince her to stay but she said can’t..A friend introduced me to a spell caster that helped him recently..i don’t believe in this but he convinced me to give it a trial..the spell caster make me realized that my wife has decided to leave cos a spell has been used on her by the other man..he cast a love spell for me and I could not believe my wife came back begging after a very few days…you can contact the spell caster on templeoflove1@gmail.comI am so sure he is gonna help you with spell powers

  38. carol
    carol says:

    Haha, never fails…divorced people get all butthurt and defensive and reply with their particular stories – He was abusive! He was a drug addict! My kids are happier! Et cetera.

    Learn to generalize, people, and don’t take it personallyl.

  39. carol
    carol says:

    Haha, never fails…divorced people get all butthurt and defensive and reply with their particular stories – He was abusive! He was a drug addict! My kids are happier! Et cetera.

    Learn to generalize, people, and don’t take it personally.

  40. Molly
    Molly says:

    This is one of the most blindingly stupid, illogical, poorly researched, cherry picked articles I have read on this topic. Shame on you Penelope. I suppose the consensus that the three survivors groups I have been through in the long road to recovery would certainly not count. They have …you know…first hand experience…and aren’t huckster hacks with apparently no understanding of logic (it does actually seem like basic logic [formal and informal] is currently beyond your grasp – based on the non-sequiters, picked cherries, and straw men alone; not to mention that apparently you slept through every one of the science, psychology, or critical thinking classes when the fundamental principle “correlation is not causation” was taught [but hey we can have fun with this…how about the MANY studies over many years consistently showing conservatism strongly correlates to lower intelligence…a simple world is needed for simple minds to understand, and apparently it is no different with the complexities of a sexual/romantic relationships]).

    IF my assertion is true, THEN it constitutes a serious problem with your inane ranting – bonus if you actually understand this part;)

    Getting back to the largely idiotic bull@#*& which the institution of traditional marriage represents in the first place, it is difficult to imagine how I could have done without walking in on my father cheating after he had given my mother a nice big shiner and locked her in the barn. Totally awesome! The thing was my mother (with your apparent full approval) could not leave because my father brought her …oops I should say “bought” her back from eastern Europe…and there is that small matter of immigration. In accordance with your observation, my mother did not run away (illegally- though it was an option) so as not to abandon us, even though she was beaten black, bloody & blue all the time (I have seen my mother’s face actually resemble a bruised, rotting pumpkin after she told my dad what she thought about his drinking and cheating).

    Have you ever had to take your own Mom to the emergency room because your Dad broke her jaw?

    Does breaking your wife’s jaw also count as “selfish”?

    A more colorful memory is hearing my dad yell out at 3 a.m. that if he could not get anal sex from her, he would quote, “fucking kill this commie bitch”. My young sister and I were in the next room.

    However, despite your utterly moronic observations (seriously, the “logic” of your argument is just laughable), divorce finally happened! Eureka! My mom – the strongest, awesomest, women in the world healed! And guess what…us kids got a whole lot better! Grades improved drastically, longstanding psychological problems began to clear (paranoia and anxiety), eating disorders stopped, plans for the future were made, and we began to be like a normal family! WTF and OMG!

    After the divorce which is necessary to legally remarry (in case you did not realize), my mother did just that. I don’t believe in karma, but if I did I would say that the universe sent her someone meant to make up for the years of violence and abuse. I now actually have pictures of my mother smiling, genuinely happy, and active with her new partner. He supported her through a LOT of intensive psychological counseling, and my siblings and I have come to love him just like he was our father. Holidays are wonderful now, we eat good food, laugh, sing songs, and generally do all the silly things a family making up for lost time does in this kind of situation.

    My sister brought your article to my attention, and we did actually consider getting our Mom’s opinion – but ultimately you are a sad, bitter, pathetic little shrew, angry that your failed marriage was not a fairy tale. Instead of actually “taking responsibility” you spew useless, idiotic garbage – so we decided to hold off on showing Mom.

    I simply cannot resist quoting a student here; guided by your article and what we can reasonably surmise about your personality based on said writing:

    “Like DUH…no f**king wonder” your husband left you!

    Since you seem to enjoy making your private life public, all 4 of us kids have decided to start a betting pool on how long your current marriage will last. I’m betting on 5 years at the very most.

    You are going to be a repeat offender and it’s obvious.

    Happy New Year!

  41. E
    E says:

    This post made me very angry. I aman educated, thoughtful, abused mother of two and feel my decision to divorce is courageous and fair to all involved. Shame on you for doling out such dangerous, simplistic advice on a complex issue with no regard for the wellbeing of those who read your blog.

  42. Brian
    Brian says:

    Wow! Brilliant insight. I’m a 49 year old Dad w/ 3 beautiful young children. My wife and I have been married for 12 years. We’ve had our ups and downs. We have 2 boys, 7 & 9, and a little 4 year old girl. To get straight to the point, my wife feels like I married her just to have kids (not true). She acknowledges that I’m a great father, but not a good husband to her. I have accepted responsibility for the fact that I really did neglect her during the kids’ early days. Our sex life tailed off to almost non-existant and yes, I probably did focus too much on the kids at her expense. I’m sure part of that comes from the fact that I came from divorced parents…and my Dad was completely uninvolved in my childhood. He never attended one little league game or took me on one camping trip, etc. Nothing.
    My wife and I have been to counseling several times but have never really stuck with it. Both our faults. To furhter complicate matters, I got laid off from my job a year ago and have been unsuccessful in finding work so far. I’m an upper level sales executive and prospects have been bleak (but improving). Anyway, she has now decided that I “must move out” and that it’s time to go our separate ways. I have tried in ernest over the past year to make things better. She has refused to go to counseling. She has refused to take a weeknd trip together without the kids. She won’t even agree to have a glass of wine together and talk after the kids go to bed. She “wants something more.”
    I’m at wits end and truly don’t know what to do. After reading your blog, I believe she may have BPD. The profile you describe fits her to a tee.
    I found your blog by accident, but really appreciate the eloquent manner in which you presented the case against divorce. I will keep fighting for my kids and my family…and I’ll continue to check in on your blog!

  43. ale
    ale says:

    guys wake up divorce is allowed when somebody cheats, even god allows that, what she sais is divorce with no sever reasons,
    for me divorce is a must if a)cheated b)abuse, any other reason is selfish as the article states

  44. Steve
    Steve says:

    Heck, I am going through a divorce with an extremely self centered woman…I no longer call a wife. I call her a child…worse than my own 8 year old daughter of who is smarter and much more grown up than she! I have three beautiful little girls. During our 10 years of marriage, I had lost a good job to the recession in 2009. I landed a few jobs between 2009 and 2012 of which didn’t last. Her parents are wealthy and above all her old man is an ass. A BIG GIANT ass…a man of character…he told me he wrote me off a few years ago. What a child. Anyway, I developed depression from the recession and ended up signing up for intensive outpatient services. I did well in recovering except the piece of garbage wife filed for divorce of which put me in a mental health hospital for a few weeks. I never wanted the divorce and really wanted to take our time in working through our issues via counseling, but after 2 weeks, my piece of shit wife gave up based on several excuses:

    1.) She didn’t like my response to a question
    2.) She doesn’t love me anymore
    3.) I have an emotional boundary
    4.) She wants to travel more in the future
    5.) She doesn’t want to fail at her new business venture…only her marriage

    What a joke this person is. To have married such a emotional misfit as in this person of who depends on her father for emotional and financial support. Very manipulative people and it was very difficult to live under the “regime.” Now I have three beautiful children of who will be emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives because of some dumb ass female and her father. Yes, I heard the same excuse that kids are resilient, but go ahead and tell that to my 5 and 8 year old that see me 4 days per month and want their father back. A father who is a good man of who has no physical abuse, emotional abuse, drug or alcohol addiction…just a man that went through some pretty hard times. Divorce is a sham and especially for people that think they are educated. It is a very shallow and irresponsible way and an easy way out. It is very unfortunate that I was married to such a shallow and extremely selfish individual. I will move on and live a better life no matter. I will most likely leave my kids behind to live in misery with that person.

  45. Missy
    Missy says:

    Just because your divorce was selfish and short sighted doesn’t mean that is everyone’s story. There are abusive horrible situations that people need to leave. I married a selfish, narcissistic whom was extremely and horribly and severely emotionally abusive. He did not provide for the family, he cheated, he was never home, did drugs, sold drugs, among other things. How dare project your immature selfish guilt on me.

  46. jen_jen_bo
    jen_jen_bo says:


    I’ve spent most of the day on your site. When I first arrived, I realized I’d come across it before a I remember The Farmer.

    I, too, lived through a horrible childhood. I chose to leave at 12 a VERY brief description at—http://memoirsofanagingdiva.blogspot.com/2012/12/have-i-made-any-difference.html — only to find the new situation rife with it’s own type of abuse.

    I was a pretty FU’d female more most of my life. And I made it my mission to understand why I as the way I was as much as possible. There were many unhealthy behaviors I developed as coping mechanisms to live with the psychological damage. Those behaviors are decades behind me now, and I rarely think of them, but when I do—such as when reading some of your posts—I remember the shame and humiliation I felt because of them.

    I have also been through other traumas that have significantly impacted my life, but I’d like to believe I have been better able to handle them because I’ve dealt with those earlier issues.

    As many commenters have said or implied, I suspect you take a black or white position for effect. Fair enough, it keeps people reading.

    As far as this particular post goes, I’ve “done” divorce two ways. The first time was after a very short marriage to a man who put my 18 month old in the hospital by kicking him in the groin and sending him flying across the room. When confronted, he began hitting me. He emotionally tortured my toddler until the day I left him. I was still extremely dysfunctional myself, so when my parents and religious counselor told me to get out of his way and let him be a father, I did. Every second was hell, one voice telling me to grab him and run NOW, the other saying my instincts weren’t to be trusted. I left 18 months after we were married, just weeks after giving birth to another son. My oldest son, now 37, has lived a very troubled life, which I blame on my inability to leave at the first sign of violence.

    My second marriage was four years later and lasted 17 years. It had it’s own set of problems, of course, but violence wasn’t part of them. He provided the stability and safety I needed to begin to really work through my childhood issues. We had two more children together. Eventually, I divorced him. We had a difficult time after the divorce for a couple of years, but for every “I hate you, you ruined my life” from him, I’d reply, “I love you and always will. But I can’t live with you.”

    Since, we’ve shared almost every family holiday, birthday, vacation, etc. We talk frequently, say and mean “I love you,” and either of us would and have dropped everything if the other were in trouble and needed help. We’ve made it very clear to anyone we’ve been involved with from the get-go that neither of us is going anywhere as we are family. Most couldn’t accept that, and moved on. But not all.

    In divorce #1, I stand by that I should have run at the first sign of violence.

    In divorce #2, I’ve often wondered how things might have turned out had I stayed. Perhaps we’d be happy.

    As for the kids, each has their own set of issues. I have decided that no matter what you do or don’t do, you are going to damage your children in some way. It just seems to be part of the human condition.

    Things really are never black and white. But like so many of your followers, I find the way you seem to shoot from the hip with the truth, consequences be damned, refreshing. And it sure gets you lots of attention, the purpose of most blogs, after all.

  47. John
    John says:

    DIVORCE IS NOTHING BUT A STUPID, SELFISH AND CRUEL EXUSE THAT YOU USE WHEN YOU CANNOT HANDLE ANY OF YOUR MARITAL PROBLEMS! 99.999% of all marriages can be saved. Marriages have to be constantly worken on to work. Think about the poor spouse who doesn’t want a divorce!

  48. janet
    janet says:

    You are the very best at what you do. This site has made my deepest desire so simple! This has everything I could possibly need. Antogai thanks for all your love and help. Your love spell brought my love back to me, after 3 years from the moment we broke up. And this evil woman finally disappeared. You chose me even if you can only take two clients a week and I am glad I chose you antogaispelltemple@gmail.com

  49. ItsMeAgain
    ItsMeAgain says:

    I find this blog amazing. In my personal experience, my parents divorced when I was four years old. Shuffling between two homes was awful. Losing homework, not being able to share clothes between houses, and not to mention the fact that the fighting got WORSE after they were divorced. The fact of the matter is, when you have kids and get divorced you are still stuck with each other unless one parent is a complete burn out. You still have to deal with each other on a regular basis because you both have parental responsibilities that cannot be made by just one parent if both parents want to be involved. Splitting medical expenses, lunch money and other expenses when we were in extracirricular activies was always a disaster. Being put in the middle was emotionally devastating for myself and my siblings. One of which is on a daily regiment of an anxiety medication that began from all of this. One of my parents is now in the process of divorce number two. As an adult this is even MORE devasting than it was when I was a child. This brought questions into my mind when I got into my 20’s. Which dad is going to walk me down the isle? How am I supposed to ever get married or have children if my parent can’t be in the same room together? What kind of conflicts will this cause for my children as they grow up going to HOW MANY grandparent’s houses? Divorce is a nasty thing. I believe in fixing things if they are broken.. not throwing them away. Maybe you’re not happy now but if you are a rational person you can fix it. Dont tell me as a 10 year old that I can do anything I put my mind to and then not take your own advice. All I see divorce as is an easy way to run away from problems. Makes you rethink ever wanting to get married in the first place.

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