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July 25, 2006

Comments

Liesl

Only you, Hugo, can get away with a phrase like "my third ex-wife." And you ard not even 40!

Your current wife must be a very understanding woman. I think you are an amazing man and a great teacher but I could not be anyone's #4 wife. Ever!

Mr. Bad

Congrats Hugo! Is this your first publication since your dissertation?

Hugo

No, I've had little articles here and there... I've got something coming out in "Mutuality" later this summer (the journal of Christians for Biblical Equality). But it's the first time someone has asked to publish something without my having submitted it to them first!

And Liesl, my wife is an amazing and understanding woman who loves me and challenges me in countless ways.

Liesl

Hugo I also think your wife is lucky. She must never be bored with you.

Allison

Congratulations! Wow, published in paper and ink...what a rush that must be.

I admire the route you and ex #3 took -- that takes two extraordinary people to recognize that even though the marriage is terminal, they still want the best for each other. And then, to help each other get there? Stunning.

I agree with Liesl that your wife's a lucky gal; it sounds like you're really well matched.

djw

Congratulations. I must have missed that post the first time around, but it was a very nicely written and thought-provoking piece, and I'm delighted to learn it'll soon have more readers, and you'll have have some renumeration for it.

Hugo

Thanks, DJW. It was one of my favorite pieces I wrote last year, and I thought about revising it for publication but didn't get around to it. Whoever found it and gave to the publishers, blessings on you!

Sean_H

Congratulations.

Only in (post-modern) America

Hugo

Sean, I'm very interested in a conservative response to my post about the good divorce... feel free, if you can do so with charity.

D Hamilton

From a conservative:

A good divorce = a celebration of failure. Somewhere one or both of the parties failed to keep their word, their commitment, or their honor. To couch it in terms of "growth" and "experience" is to make the indigestible pass and, I guess, to retain sanity and self-respect.

If the marriage does not work for the three A’s – abuse, adultery, or addiction then it was not of God and not meant to be. However, if the divorce is contemplated because “it just isn’t any fun anymore”, or “this is boring and want to do something else” or “I’ve grown and you haven’t”, then it is a failure of character and is not to be celebrated.

Prayers to you as you approach your first anniversary; give us an annual update, and I hope in 2055, you have a great big party

D

Hugo

However, if the divorce is contemplated because “it just isn’t any fun anymore”, or “this is boring and want to do something else” or “I’ve grown and you haven’t”, then it is a failure of character and is not to be celebrated.

D, thanks for this, but I disagree. The third reason "I've grown and you haven't" is monumentally different from the first two. I'm with you on the first two, but this third strikes me as perhaps the best of all possible reasons to divorce. I promise a full-fledged post on this!

Your kind wishes are much appreciated.

Sean H

Hugo,

I am glad your divorce was amicable. But I will make two points.

The first is that my comment is aimed at the idea that only in America do we so regularly glorify failure in marriage. Almost everyone I know who has gone to a marriage counselor has found that the counselor has been divorced at least once. I love to hear the complaint that a Catholic priest can't counsel a married couple because of his lack of experience in marriage, but some one who has failed once or twice is an expert. For every 10 "sage" observations printed about marriage from the perspective of a divorced person, I doubt you'd find one written by someone married for, say 20 years. It's nuts.

Second, divorce is in and of itself a social evil - perhaps necessary, but still bad. Yours may be happy, but next month I am helping a dear friend move from her home into a shabby duplex with her teenage son because her husband of 19 years needed to "be happy" - of course with a new girlfriend. Her life, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and financially is a wreck. That, in my experience is the face of divorce.

I hope the best for you and your new bride, but were I a betting man I wouldn't lay odds on a long life together - sorry, but those are the stats.

Celebrating a happy divorce is like bragging about the weight you lost in chemotherapy.

Vacula

ha! I had a frightening roommate who used to do that, usually comparing her body to someone else's... "I used to be a size 10... before I had chemotherapy..." was her response to another roommate's purchase of some cute pants.

Far more disturbing than Hugo, I assure you.

Hugo

I hope the best for you and your new bride, but were I a betting man I wouldn't lay odds on a long life together - sorry, but those are the stats.

Thank you for your hopes, Sean. Blessedly, grace trumps stats.

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Denise Schmigelski

I agree with Shaun whole-heartedly,
It is easy to be pro-divorce when your father Hugo, married a nice woman. For me some thirty years have gone by and I feel like I don't fit into my fathers new family and no longer want to try. The myth of a happy family was forced upon us when we were introduced to it and now as an adult I have no desire to continue living that myth.
Shaun says that divorce is bad, sometimes necessary but bad. I would not care to be the one to judge my parents decision when divorcing. They did what they felt appropriate at that time and I have no tools to make a judgement but their divorce however necessary was a BAD THING.
I hurt over it from age five to age 18 when I moved out. I hurt over it again as I made my way towards the alter. Their divorce affects me at every family event. I hurt over it when my daughter graduated and only one grandparent was there because we moved so far from the other parent. I hurt over it when I can not enjoy my fathers company without the mythological family he created. It lingers indefinitely, I only hope that my grandchildren are not affected by my parents divorce.
Hugo, tell me where it ends. Tell me when comes the time that my parents divorce is not a negative part of my life. It may have been necessary but it was and still is a BAD THING.

P.S.
My real parents have a very cordial relationship.
Shaun if you have a blog for discussion I would love to read it.

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