Who’s To Judge?

guilty! guilty! guilty!
By Jennifer Safian
Divorce and Family Mediator, Private practice, www.SafianMediation.com

Why do some who have never experienced divorce look down on those who have, as if they are lesser human beings?
Why do some family members reject their own when they are going through divorce?
Why do some of those we thought were our better friends, let us down when we are going through divorce?
Why do some of our children feel embarrassed telling their schoolmates that their parents are getting divorced?
Divorce, despite the fact that it affects about 50% of first marriages and 60% of second marriages, continues to carry a negative stigma. And in doing so, it makes those going through it feel even worse than they do already. When going through divorce, one does not need additional finger pointing, blaming and rejection:

You did not try hard enough;
You should have compromised;
You were too demanding; or
Maybe just too selfish.
Some may have faulted, acted without thinking, caused pain to their spouse and children. Does that necessarily make them bad people? And guilty? No. They are just in terrible pain and often temporarily lose perspective. Who are we to make judgments, especially when we have not experienced such trauma? Supporting . . . Let’s be more understanding of those whom we may think are guilty. Before we point our fingers at them, let’s stop and ask ourselves, do we really know what happened behind their closed doors, who did what, when, and why? Why don’t we begin to recognize that people going through a divorce, whether:

Family or Friends
Acquaintances or Strangers
need our support, understanding and affection. We may still be in our own marriage, happy, working as best we can through life’s challenges. Other times we may not be so happy but we hold on for our own variety of reasons. Divorcing people are like each of us, dealing with their problems and trying to make the best of their lives. Let’s allow those who make different choices, do what feels right to them. Let’s offer them a shoulder to cry on, ears to listen without judgement, and arms to embrace them when they need comfort.

Have you ever been too quick to judge a divorcing person as guilty?

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