Dr. Dena Churchill
Divorce is just a word, the feelings and emotions placed upon this word and process have their roots based in the very constitution of our heritage. Laws of government , corporations, and many religious doctrines define marriage as the event that makes two separate units into one societal entity. The benefits to this "sacrament", as the Christian church refers, range from sharing of pension benefits and insurance to significant tax savings . If Christianity considers marriage a sacrament, then how is it that they define divorce?
Throughout our recent history, the flux of opinion around divorce no doubt reflects the magnitude of personal emotion; changes in the status of family, friends and finances. It challenges our societal definition of family. In many countries divorce was even illegal for a significant period of time! It wasn't
until the 1960 did Canada legalize divorce. Previously the only option in Canada to get a marriage dissolved was by an Act of Parliament with an
investigation by a special committee of the Canadian Senate! To later follow their Canadian neighbours, the USA instituted no-fault divorces that were easily obtainable in 1970's. Ireland's transformation is even more recent. On February 27, 1997 the country of Ireland joined the rest of Europe in making divorce legal when it passed an amendment ending the country's constitutional divorce ban. Until the legalization, couples had to find creative ways to secure annulments.
If the religious doctrines forbade divorce and the government deemed it illegal could this not contribute to the feelings of guilt, shame and blame around the whole process? What if ,as in any universal balance, half will stay married and half will not? Imagine divorce rates in a perfect world to be 50%. It may be that some stay when they would love to leave and vice versa but the theoretical balance would be about half. Perhaps the resistances to this natural flow
with the suppression of divorce for years is paradoxically pushing the pendulum in the other direction. We could theorize this suppression and recent liberty gives fuel to the rise in current divorce rates.
The ancient Athenians liberally allowed divorce. The person requesting the divorce approached the magistrate who deemed the reasons were sufficient and it was granted. The Roman empires civil law embraced the maxim, "matrimonia debent esse libera" ("marriages ought to be free"), and either husband or wife could renounce the marriage at will. It wasn't until the fall of the Roman empire that familial life was regulated more by the ecclesiastical authority than its civil counterpart.
By the ninth or tenth century, the divorce rate had been greatly reduced under the influence of the Christian Church, which considered marriage a sacrament by God and Christ and Divorce was not. From my research, the countries that have the least Christian influence appear to have the highest divorce rates, even today.
Evaluating your history and understanding the unconscious motives gives you insight into why you are here. I wrote a book to answer the question of where you go next. I titled the book Divinity in Divorce to juxtapose our ideas of what our society considers a sacrament. Courageous, truth seekers have found it useful to understand a broader perspective seeking unbound solutions with love and grace. To understand the problem we must rise above the current paradigm and dig below to the unconscious motives to escape the paradox in which they exist.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. ~ Einstein
You can never awaken using the same system that put you to sleep in the first place. ~ Gurdjieff
The emotional pain in my own divorce sparked my inspiration to seek love and gratitude in the process. The diamond of a marriage may be in a jewellery box but the diamond of divorce is buried within our own heart. Once your mind opens to see the blessing, your heart opens to love and grace for what is present. It is about reaching new levels of consciousness and recognizing the perfection within each moment.
"Want" is a lower vibration than "Love". Do what you love and trust others are doing the same. Wanting a square peg to fit in your round hole doesn't work well. Only the partner you truly love, communicating within their values, loves you back.
Sacred union does not comprehend the word capture (marriage) or release(divorce). The commitment is to each other's spiritual growth; to enhance the gifts they each bring to the world and to assist in uncovering our authentic selves. Being with each other in physical life beautifully reflects each other's spiritual consciousness. The concepts of marriage and divorce are simply a way to put this union on legal paper but in or out of a marriage, true love is eternal.