Friday, November 4, 2011

Divorce: "We're still friends"

"We're still friends. In fact, we're better friends now than when we were married."

Have any of your recently divorced friends uttered that line? I've heard it many times. The first few times, I debated it -- behind the person's back, of course.

I'm pretty cynical of male-female friendships, especially when exes are involved. I think "friend" is often a term used to hide ulterior motives, at least from one of the parties involved.

But now, some people are suggesting divorces have genuinely become more amicable. Do you believe it? And if so, how do you explain it?

One writer outlines some theories, and I'm most on board with this one:

I think that growing up in the age of divorce has destigmatized it. One reason that couples tear at each other during a divorce is that they feel deep shame about divorcing, and that incentivises blaming the other person for the marriage's failure.

If you see no real shame in divorcing, it's a lot easier to say, "Hey, it didn't work out, but we're not bad people and we can get through this with the minimum of emotional bloodshed."

Then again, I'm not entirely sure divorces have become less hostile. Maybe we're just better at masking our real feelings. Or, maybe we just rely less on our human relationships.