And I didn't even know it.
According to an article by Dr. David Wygant on Huffington Post, divorce can be as preventable as the common cold, and Dr. Wygant, relationship therapist and dating expert, has the "cure."
Well, having been in a 12 year long marriage, I can relate to Dr. Wygant's basic theory that couples can get into a "You-don't-do-anything-for-me-so-I-won't-do-anything-for-you" downward spiral. I myself was the queen of it. In fact, I reigned supreme. But I believe his theory over-simplifies the complexities involved in the decision to divorce.
His basic hypothesis suggests that if two people can come together, they can stay together. But what he doesn't examine is whether or not they should stay together.
His article presumes that all people come together because they are mature, emotionally sound and ready to take "the plunge" (I'm sorry...I'm trying not to laugh...).
But what if two people come together for the wrong reasons?
I just can't abide by the notion that everybody chooses the right life partner from the start. How can we assume that 100% of married people made a sound and healthy choice in a life partner? I don't think we could ever get 100% of any group to even agree on what to order for lunch.
The very idea that each and every married person made the perfect connection with the perfect person (for them) and they are guaranteed to grow and evolve (together) forever is quite simply just not feasible. Certainly, not to me.
A similar suggestion might be to say that everybody who enters a particular field should never change careers. People change. People make mistakes. It's a fact of life. To deny us our basic rights as human beings to discover ourselves, note our blunders, and find our own paths over the course of our entire life is to deny ourselves the basic right to happiness.
Marriage is a monumental decision and in our 20's and 30's we are still so young. What we think we want can be very far from what we truly need in order to become happy people...and parents.
The suggestion that divorce can be "cured" by maintaining a status quo suggests that once you're in the marriage, you should never change. That if you could only remember why you chose that angry, critical, neglectful partner who is the mirror image of your mother/father (this is hypothetical, of course...), then you too could avoid divorce. Yay! You need only continue to endure the comfortable pain. Oh... I don't know about you, but to me the "illness" sounds way healthier than the remedy.
Nobody wants to live with the drama of divorce (Okay, some people love to live with drama...), but for those who simply seek happiness and peace, sometimes divorce is the only choice.
The most frustrating comment I endure when people hear I am divorced is "Oh, I'm sorry...marriage is such hard work." The thinly veiled implication being that I didn't work hard to save my marriage - or worse, that it didn't even occur to me to even try at all!
I have actually responded, "WHAT? Marriage is hard?! Oh my God! I had no idea!! Excuse me, I'm going to go home right now and fix my marriage! You're a savior."
People can be stupid.
Divorce wasn't the choice to give up. It was the choice to recognize that what brought my ex-husband and me together originally was unhealthy - for me. For him. For our children.
And I could cure that.
My point is that both decisions, to marry and to divorce, are not as simple as Dr. Wygant suggests.
Being in a healthy relationship that fuels both partners is wonderful. It's a gift. And it's very hard work to maintain. I would have loved the opportunity to work hard for something like that. And maybe one day, I will get it.
But for some people, the plain truth is that marriage is the ailment. And divorce is the cure.
Sarah Maizes is an L.A. based writer and the author of the humor book "Got Milf? The Modern Mom's Guide to Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great and Rocking a Minivan" (Berkley/Penguin). She has appeared on The Today Show, KTLA and ABC News Now's Moms Get Real with JuJu Chang. Her work has been featured in Los Angeles Magazine, TodayMoms.com, CBS/LosAngeles.com, and HybridMom.com.