Recently, I found out that a good friend of mine had gotten a divorce. My first response was, “I loved hanging out with that couple. This is going to suck for me.” All selfishness aside, it does sincerely effect me when I see a good family not work out.
The next chance I got, I spoke with my friend to see if he wanted to talk about it. He was surprisingly up beat and optimistic. He told me that even though they were divorced, it wasn’t an ugly divorce. He and his wife still had the same goals of supporting and raising their kids, and they were both committed to help each other do that.
I know that everyone who gets divorced says that they are going to get along for the kid’s sake, but this couple really means it. In fact, he told me that he and his ex-wife both moved out and got their own small place. They didn’t think it was fair that because they couldn’t get along the kids should be punished and have their lives turned upside down. It wouldn’t be fair for the kids to have to moved from home to home every few days to be with a different parent. Rather, the kids keep their house, and the parents were the ones to come and go when it was their turn to visit.
One thing that I could say about this friend is that he is an all around good guy, an old fashion guy. He is the kind of guy where a deal with a handshake means something. If he gave you his word, you knew that he would stand by it no matter what.
Because of this, it wasn’t a surprise to learn that it bothered him that he took wedding vows and later on broke them by getting a divorce. He took “till death do us part” seriously. He knows that a divorce was in the best interest of everyone involved, but still, he felt like he went back on his word.
So he decided that he would update his vows. He changed them from wedding vows to divorce vows, a new commitment he was making to his ex-wife.
When I heard about his divorce vows, it made me think about all the ugly divorces I hear about. All the times there is spite and effort to get back at the person you once loved. It made me wonder why so many end up that way. Why is it that someone can give so much of their self to you, being willing to risk so much to marry you, and just because things don’t work out you make it your mission to hurt them, and take what you can from them? It all seems silly when you say it like that.
I asked if I could share his divorce vows…
My Divorce Vows
I am grateful for the time that I was able to share with you. You gave me your hand in marriage for 11 years. You gave me my 3 children. For this I will always be in your debt. I will always respect you as the mother of my children.
I promise to be mindful of you, and the sacrifices you have made and will continue to make for our children.
I promise to work with you to raise our kids the best way we know how. They will never hear me talk ill of you. They will not hear me complain about you. I will not talk down about you to them or anyone else.
When I married you I committed to provide for our family, and for me, that role hasn’t changed. Don’t feel like you have to fight for what you need. Don’t waste your family’s money on lawyers. Don’t feel like you have to go after me for child support. I am happy to provide all that is required of me and more. You can keep your car, and above that, I will always make sure that you have the transportation you need to be an effective mom. Like I said, you gave me 11 years, and my children, it is the least I can do.
I married you because I saw greatness in you. And I want you to know that the greatness is still there. I know you better than anyone else. I believe in you and will continue to support you as one of your best friends. Because I know that you will accomplish great things. You will find happiness in other relationships and contribute much to those around you.
Thanks for 11 years.