This is Life, Based on a True Story  

Separation is sweet sorrow

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seem more people are getting separated and divorced now than ever before.

Why do I think this? Well for one, I’m part of that crowd. But then there are the facts and the stories we likely all hear about: yet another couple splits up … and there seems to be a lot.

This whole topic has been fodder for conversation between me and some of my friends. Not in a judgmental way – just more of a pondering as to why this seems to be happening more often than in the past.

I know so many people who have experienced this, are experiencing it or are about to experience it. So I did what I do best: I talked to them. I asked them what their thoughts are about separation and divorce, specifically their own.

First, I just want to note that everyone I chatted with has kids. Their kids are all self-sufficient and no longer require full-time, hands-on parenting that a young child or toddler does. The fact that all these people have kids this age is an important player in this.

There seems to be a disconnect that happens among couples once their kids are of a certain age. One person said you put so much time and energy into raising these little people to become good humans that you actually change who you are.

Meaning that values or morals you once held dear may no longer apply when it comes to rearing your own offspring. Or on the opposite end are values or morals that you never put much stock into pre-children, now become the guides for how you want to raise your kids.

These are big things that will affect your inner you and who you evolve into. The disconnect among the couple happens when the other person doesn’t change to match their partner’s evolution, when they don’t agree with their partner, or when they just don’t care.

One person said that prior to having children, she and her ex-spouse discussed whether church would play a big role in raising a family. When they were young and starry-eyed, neither felt much affinity to a church.

After they had kids, she realized she did want to raise the kids the way she was raised by her parents – “in the church.”

Her ex didn’t have a problem with it; he just didn’t care.

He never participated in the outings her and their kids would go to if it involved the church. She started to feel more loyalty toward her church friends because they shared the same values.

That’s when the breakdown in her marriage started. They no longer shared the same ideals when it came to raising a family. They tried mediation and counselling and fought for two years to get their marriage back on track, but they couldn’t overcome their differences.

They are now divorced and, much to her chagrin, her kids don’t have a lot to do with their dad as they prefer to be with her because their friends and other influences in their lives come from the church and environment they were raised in.

Raising children is hard. No one disputes that.

One guy I spoke to said that it becomes so apparent how much your relationship changes as kids are growing up. Between both parents working full-time just to barely make ends meet, then not sitting down at the end of the day for a family dinner.

As the kids get older, they want to spend more time with their friends, less time with the parents and so the family unit starts to disintegrate. 

One day, you look up, and you realize you don’t even know the person on the other couch. Despite attempts to reconnect, it feels like too much time and life has passed to be able to find common ground.

In some cases, you realize you don’t even really like the person sitting across from you. They’re different now and so are you.

After all the time you put into raising the kids and building a life for them, you now want to explore your own needs and dreams again. The ones you put on hold or forgot about so you could focus on family.

You rationalize the kids are old enough now and you’re not getting younger, so its now or never. Some attempts are made to resurrect the marriage, but there always seems to be one half of the couple who has already moved on in their mind and so you decide to end it.

Is it right? No. But it’s easy to do unfortunately. This guy goes on to say that he has three friends living this exact situation right now. And like him, they will soon be divorced.

Another couple is contemplating the separation thing right now. One wants to end things, the other doesn’t. When one of them questions the other about how long do they continue like this, the response was forever. They have to continue because they’re married and they have to figure things out.

I admire that commitment. It's what marriage is about. For their sake, I really hope they can work things out and hope they beat the rising divorce statistics.

Despite being one of the statistics, I’m pro-marriage. It is a lot of work, and hindsight shows you so much more. It’s sad that divorce is so easy to do nowadays and perhaps that plays a role in the number of divorces going up so rapidly.

Whatever a couple’s reason for divorce, it’s their life. I’m hopeful that if anything good comes out of this, it’s that my divorce-savvy generation can teach the upcoming generations the value of putting in the effort to make a relationship successful.

Thanks for reading.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More This is Life, Based on a True Story articles

About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories