How Church Divorce Recovery Groups and The Law May Differ

Yesterday, a friend going through divorce told me the Pastor at his church running the Divorce Recovery Program has been telling the current group they must “always be trying to reconcile.”

While there is certainly a time for reconciliation, once the parties have retained attorneys, a divorce has been filed and is proceeding through the court system you will actually be hurting your legal case by seeking reconciliation with your soon to be X-spouse.

I told my friend to “kindly” ask the Pastor “Are you giving me legal advice Pastor? Because if you are my attorney has told me in no uncertain terms this will actually hurt me legally!”

That being said, it is also important to think about the timing of things:

  1. You tried or didn’t to reconcile BEFORE filing for or your spouse filed for divorce
  2. If reconciliation FAILED then you either sit in separation anxiety sometimes in the same home or you proceed with a divorce
  3. Depending on whether you’re a member of a religious faith you will have certain views about finalizing a divorce and what that means for your life and your soul. If you’re not involved with a faith or denomination, then you should proceed with a divorce because you are legally married with all the consequences of debt, assets, etc. until you’re not married
  4. Even if you are involved in a faith / denomination there comes a point where there is no more hope for reconciliation. A dear friend of mine who is older actually saw his Rabbi on my behalf and the Rabbi advised correctly in my case to get divorced as quickly as possible. See the final paragraph here to understand why that was good advice
  5. Depending on what STAGE you’re in, your faith and your lawyer you will either proceed with the divorce or reconcile

Confused? Go to many different support groups, talk to people at all these different stages, talk to your lawyer if you have one and make a decision.

The only thing I would say you should NOT do is nothing. Like having a medical condition that is progressive your marriage either works and you stay together to make it work or you sit in dysfunction. See posts on this blog from Michelle Weiner-Davis the divorce buster in Boulder, Colorado who I very much admire. If your marriage doesn’t work you or your spouse might begin going out with others while you’re still married (never a good idea even with “no fault” divorce states of which are the majority. See posts to that effect on this blog. Or you lead lives of quiet separate desperation leading to anxiety disorders and depression (also not a great idea).

DO SOMETHING… Don’t just sit in it. If you can reconcile DO IT. In my case my lovely wife of 18 years was actively involved in an affair with a married man in another state and not only was there no chance of reconciliation (I tried and was laughed at), but my now x wife was un- repetent, arrogant and dismissive and actually told me, her family and our daughters there was nothing wrong with her affair because “she filed for divorce.” Really?! And if that wasn’t crazy enough she also told me “we can always get re-married.”

NO THANK YOU!!!

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