What is an Amicable Divorce?

Is there such a thing as an amicable divorce? And by ‘amicable’ I mean painful, heartbreaking, and stressful. I have friends and colleagues whose divorces were much, much worse. So yes, my divorce was totally amicable.

It’s been six years so I have had some time to look back on what lead to that ‘amicable’ time in my life. I don’t blame my ex-husband; marriage is not a one-player game. Once you get to the point in the relationship where splitting up seems to be the best option, many, MANY, things have happened, by both, that can’t always be repaired.

The Cost of Divorce

Of course, divorce comes at a price. And the price is higher when there are kids involved. I’m not talking about child support, although I could…I could definitely talk about that. What is even more expensive (and more important) than child support or alimony is the price of your kids’ trust in you.

Trust is what they lose when you up-end their lives and everything they’ve come to know about a family. Adding to that is the idea that they are stressed about who they’re going to live with and/or which parents’ time will be decreased.

What’s worse is that when you decide to divorce you KNOW all of this. You know you’re about to do this to your children and yet you still feel like it’s better than staying in a relationship that isn’t working. You weigh the cost of divorce against your children witnessing a broken relationship. Which will hurt them the least?

I made the decision that I would rather divorce than have my kids think that marriage was supposed to be uncommunicative and distant. And it sucked. It sucked for everyone involved, but my heart broke harder for my children than anyone else.

Looking Back

As time passed, my kids have said that they saw a difference in both their parents once they were happy. That does bring some comfort. We truly tried to keep the really ugly and hard things away from them during the process. Ultimately, I hope that my children know the difference between a healthy relationship and one that is not working.

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4 Responses to What is an Amicable Divorce?

  1. Casey Olson May 7, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    Nice discussion of a shitty topic.

    • Jen
      Jen May 8, 2017 at 10:19 am #

      Thanks, Casey. Not all the thoughts I have on divorce are that nice – there’s definitely still some bitterness that I’m trying to work through – even after all this time.

  2. Niki May 15, 2017 at 1:29 am #

    Jen, a really good post. I am the kid of divorced parents and treading lightly for the sake of your kids is so important. Well done!

    • Jen
      Jen May 17, 2017 at 9:41 am #

      Thanks, Niki! XOXO