These wise words were spoken yesterday by a senior family law judge in the UK, who has presided over hundreds of divorces. UK divorce statistics are similar to those in the US and Sir Paul Coleridge’s comments merit repeating over here.
He urges couples to be very slow to “recycle your partner” because in many, many cases “soon you will find that the new partner is as flawed as the last.”
Most of us have experienced a “grass is always greener moment.”
You’re wiped out from work, exhausted by the kids and notice that, yet again, your husband has left a banana peel on the floor, failed to empty the trash, fed the kids McDonalds, and is looking at you with that goofy expression that precedes his idea of foreplay. For a moment you think of Dr. Dave, your kids’ handsome pediatrician. Newly divorced. Nice suits. He might just be the sensitive guy who won’t pressure you to have sex and can whip up a delicious Lobster Newburgh at the drop of a hat.
If there are times when hopping on that D-Train seems like an option, stop a minute to think about where it’s headed. It’s a train that runs straight for Vegas. Or as Sir Paul Coleridge puts it,
“It is like a hydra: you cut off one head and get rid of a partner but inherit 26 new problems, your new partner’s children, family and so on.”
The bottom line is that if you know you are married to a fundamentally decent human being, stick it out through the rough days, and the overflowing trash cans, and the fast food dinners and pathetic efforts at romance and do everything you can to make your marriage and your family life wonderful, because the odds are everything you need and want is right there in front of you. And thinking about the “what ifs” and the “if onlys” is a recipe for unhappiness (and possibly a terrifying multi-headed monster).