My perspective about marriage and divorce is deeply personal. When my wife and I got married, we had no family in our lives because of the devastation that occurred during the multiple divorces in our own upbringings. My wife’s parents had five divorces between them, all of which brought new children to the mix. My parents’ divorce when I was 7 and complicated remarriages led to numerous broken relationships as well. Even I divorced once, in my 20’s, although thankfully I had no kids. And my sister? Well she and I got split up when our parents divorced. And then she divorced twice. There was so much divorce around us that my only sibling and I were never able to build a bond. As if all that wasn’t enough, my wife had one divorce behind her when we got married, too. That split and the ongoing legal and other battles with her ex-husband took its toll on her son as well as on us.
This is the legacy my wife and I both inherited And so we took our time — seven years in fact — before having children of our own. We talked extensively about our backgrounds over the course of those early years together. I needed to be certain our marriage would be a lifelong commitment so that our children would never experience divorce. Nor did I want to relive my horrible childhood either. And so we vowed to break the chain and never let our children live our pasts.
I was 40 when we had the first of our two daughters. Seven years later our best friends, who were our children’s godparents and the closest thing we had to family, divorced. Two years after that, after 15 years together, history repeated itself when my wife filed an action for divorce. My two children and I have no say in the dissolution of our family and they and their descendants will pay the greatest price.
With four decades of divorce-induced broken relationships in my rear view mirror, my own divorce has been incredibly difficult. I’ve lost my lifelong dream to experience what it means to have a lasting family. The pain I feel for what my daughters are going through, and the family they will never have, is much worse. And it breaks my heart. Each day brings another agonizing reminder of the beautiful memories of our wonderful family too. Divorce, my kryptonite, has struck again.
I founded Kids Against Divorce because there’s no place children deserve a voice more than in their parents’ marriage. After all, they’re the ones who suffer the most if it ends. Founding K.A.D. is one way I’m honoring the promise I made to my daughters. Each leaf on their family tree contains stories of pain and suffering caused by divorce. To rephrase Joni Mitchell, I’ve seen divorce from all sides now. While I can’t prevent my own divorce, through Kids Against Divorce, however, I’ve pledged to help break that chain to create a chorus of children’s voices across America, and a healthy family tree for every American so that when my daughters have children of their own; a culture of happy, healthy marriages will surround them on the family tree of the world in which they live.
Please consider working with us to create a chorus of children’s voices across America, and a healthy family tree for every American.
Founder, Kids Against Divorce