BREAKING UP, WITH CARE
Bob Thompson's "Is This Any Way to Run a Divorce?" [November 24] has the power to make a real difference in the lives of divorced parents and their children. The gift of love Eli and Debra Nadel are giving their children is immeasurable. As a community, we can support divorced families by moving beyond the stereotype that divorce equals hate. More often, two good people are right, but not for each other. In those cases, a positive parenting partnership can affect everyone.
There's no such thing as a "good divorce." No matter how many holidays Eli and Debra Nadel celebrate together or how well they get along, the reality is that they broke up their family and irreparably damaged their children's lives. Perhaps if they had put as much effort into their marriage as they did their divorce, they'd still be together. The Nadels broke up because they weren't "friends"? Oh, please.
Bob Thompson's cover story presents an overly rosy and inaccurate picture of divorce. Kids are always hurt when their parents divorce, no matter how friendly the parents are with each other. Further, the damage children suffer follows them into adulthood, since they lack role models of stable relationships because of the shattered template of their parents' marriage.
Children need to be taught that love is a decision, not a feeling, and that divorce is not the best solution for unhappy or disappointing marriages.
Family Research Council
The parents in this article are truly heroes of the day. What often is not acknowledged are the difficulties that children have when their parents do not divorce when there is tremendous conflict in the marriage. It can take incredible courage and strength for parents to be willing to acknowledge that a marriage is not working and to responsibly consider alternatives.
Yes, there has been much pain caused from divorce. But just because parents stay married is no guarantee that both parents will be loving, actively involved, and able to separate themselves and their relationship from the welfare of their children.
Please address letters to: 20071, The
Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Address e-mail to: email@example.com.