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The Cost Of Divorce Culture

A reader writes:

First, I applaud the Nashville Statement. But, I want to echo what Deep Blue Washington said above – divorce is one of the biggest problems facing America today, and Christians aren’t excluded. I know this from personal experience in my own family.

A few years ago, my son left his wife of 18 years for another woman. He told my daughter-in-law that he was moving over 1000 miles away to be with his girlfriend, but that he was “willing” to help move my daughter-in-law and their kids with him, so the kids can still be near their father. He told us that he did that because he “wanted to handle this the right way.” (Yeah – he actually thought he was being a good guy.) Of course, what he was really doing was giving his wife an ultimatum to move with him or be abandoned with 3 kids. He justified this by saying that he had “a right to be happy.” The woman that he moving in with was, at the same time, leaving her husband and family to be with my son. That’s two families, six children and 2 spouses whose lives were ripped apart because of their “right to be happy.”

My wife and I only found out about it 6 months after it happened. We lived across the country and they kept it hidden from us. We knew that they had moved, but we didn’t know why. So, it was a done deal when we found out. We were livid. But, we were assured by our son and all concerned that they had worked everything out and everybody was happy. We were highly skeptical, but things seemed okay during our visits.

Last December, we retired and moved to be closer to them. That’s when we found out the truth – that it was all a lie. The two oldest grandchildren are emotional wrecks. I’m not exaggerating and it really scares my wife and I. The youngest of the two suffers from depression, sees a therapist, and takes medication. She is a social outcast and suffers thru wild mood swings. The oldest keeps most of her emotions bottled up because she thinks she needs to be strong for her siblings. She worries about them to the point of exhaustion. They have no loving relationship with their father, and the relationship they do have is based on manipulation. Both want nothing to do with him. The oldest will stop seeing him once she turns 18, the other one (who is 16) wants to stop seeing him now, but state law prevents that. When they visit us alone, the conversation always ends up in tears because of how miserable they are. They talk about how their Mom cried for months over my son leaving her, how she struggles to support them on just her income, how she was afraid to tell us because she thought we would blame her. They are not happy people – they are people trying to piece their lives together after they were thoughtlessly smashed to bits. They will always carry those emotional scars. Always.

My son once attended Church and claimed to be a Christian. I don’t know what he is anymore except a narcissistic monster. He lies constantly and thinks he gets away with it because we have given up trying to confront him. He tries to manipulate everyone. He trashes his ex-wife all of the time. He told my16 granddaughter that her Mom wanted to abort her. It’s a lie – he’s the one who suggested it, my daughter-in-law was the one who told him absolutely not. But here is the kicker – he honestly thinks he is a good father.

The divorce problem needs to be addressed. I am cautiously optimistic that for statements could address topics like this. But, I have to wonder if self-righteous progressives like Jen Hatmaker ever think about stuff like this? If she is so concerned about suicides and broken people, she needs to step up and denounce the divorce culture NOW. The divorce rate in this country is over 50% and is creating millions of broken people.

That’s harsh. I would like to hear stories from you readers about what no-fault divorce did to your life, or your family’s life. Was your church (synagogue, mosque) a help?

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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