Mike's thoughts on divorce (For REAL LIFE with J. Lee 9/13)

Divorce. It might as well be a curse word in some circles. In others, it's almost a rite of passage (looking right at you cougars of Reston). Our culture seems to have a split feeling about it. In some circumstances, you are looked at as a failure if your relationship eventually falls apart where as some view it as an inevitability. The question really becomes what is more important to you?

As a child of divorce, I got to witness it first hand as my parents marriage fell apart. I was heading into high school when I found out that my parents were dissolving their marriage. It was a crushing blow. Some people prefer their mothers over their fathers. Not me. Dad was my favorite. Especially when I got into middle school. I was playing sports all the time, he was always at my games rooting me on. We started becoming friends. He was so much cooler than my mom! And then this bitch...she wants a divorce and kicks him out of the house. How dare she take away my dad! God, I was mad at her. At this point I was 14, I should have been able to cope with something like that, but it was rough. High school, an already difficult transition, was made that much more difficult. It made a lasting impact on my life and I probably didn't get over it fully until I was in my 20s. It effects everything; your relationships with friends, your school life, your interactions with the opposite sex and God help you if you're not lucky enough to have someone to talk to about it. As much as I give my mom a hard time, there was never a time when we didn't have proper health care, both physical and psychological. 

As an adult, after running into issues with my Dad over various things (nothing serious), I would confide in my Mom. She nearly cried. She said "now you finally see why I had to divorce him. Imagine that sort of thing for 20 years of marriage." You gain a great deal of perspective as you age and you finally see your parents as just people. They were no longer just Mom and Dad, they were Sue and Mike; flawed people just like everyone else and divorce is never a one way street. They both contributed to the erosion of their relationship. 

I would also like to point out that with adulthood, comes more perspective: I am lucky as shit. I hear horror stories of physically or sexually abusive parents, domestic violence and all sorts of other horrible situations. Both of my parents made a decent living, we never had to struggle to survive off of a single parent's income. I know many others had it much worse. The only abuse I dealt with is good ol' fashioned verbal and psychological abuse. Nothing some therapy sessions can't fix. Coming from a divorced home taught me how to fend for myself. I learned how to cook at a young age. You learn how to deal with people in hostile situations (dealing with your parents sniping each other and having to be the go-between). You also learn how to accept change. You get new siblings, new parents, new houses, new addresses, and so forth. Hell, you even can get 2 Thanksgivings & 2 Christmases (which is fucking awesome by the way). If your parents live close to each other and one of them is bugging you, you can go stay with the other one for a while. I got out lucky. 

I also think that when women's lib really hit its stride in the 70s and 80s, divorce was no longer this stigmatized thing. People didn't get divorced back then. It was unheard of. Now, the 80s and 90s are here! You got a lazy sack of shit husband? You don't have to stay with him "for the kids." You got a drunk wife who can't stop spending all your money? Kick her ass to the curb. If your high school sweetheart and you have drifted apart and are now different people than when you were teenagers? You can work out a schedule to split the kids. Happy parents, whether together or apart are more important to the healthy development of children than two miserable assholes living under the same roof. Trust and believe me on that one. 

There will be so much more to talk about on the subject come Wednesday night when your host Jeremy Lee will lead our discussion on divorce. Make sure you subscribe to our ROCKDEEP ROGUE RADIO podcasts on iTunes or Stitcher to hear all of our awesome content.