Mal is right, but nice divorces CAN happen. Unfortunately, it’s the lousy divorces that make the most noise and get the most attention.
Mine didn’t involve kids or a house…we separated for three and 1/2 years. Since he lived out of state, it wasn’t convenient to do all the paperwork until we had time for us both to get together. Since neither one of us was interested in remarrying, there was no hurry for the divorce. I can’t say that we are really friends anymore…but his current girlfriend and I correspond several times a year as friends.
My previous boyfriend also had a very amicable divorce…even with a child. They had decided upon divorce prior to his daughter being born. As a mutual agreement, they decided to continue to live together “until the daughter was out of diapers”, which they did, sometimes bringing their new significant others over for a big family dinner.
Custody was split 50/50 and the daughter adapted very readily to spending weeks 1/2 with mom, 1/2 with dad. Occasional disagreements would come up as to the raising of their child, but that would’ve happened whether or not they were married.
The girl has just graduated high school and has always grown up with a sense of both parents putting her first and being surrounded with a large extended family because of family friends and significant others. She still spends time with a couple of the significant others who are no longer dating her parents but are now more like treasured aunts/uncles.
Also, I am a child of divorce myself. My parents didn’t have an amicable divorce between themselves, however they both took care to keep me well out of it, for which I am grateful. Although they didn’t speak to each other except when absolutely necessary about schedules, both were supportive (sometimes too much) of each other’s parenting, and both were fond of their ex’s new spouses.
35 years away from my parents’ divorce I can honestly say that the divorce itself was far less damaging to my psyche than their marriage was. They were ill-suited for one another and had married far too young. They differed in temperament and lifestyle and I’ve gone through many years of therapy to heal the scars of the chaos of their marriage. (Not blaming them here…they were doing the best they could and what they thought was the best thing.) They brought out the worst in each other.
When they divorced, for the first time in my life, I finally stayed at the same address/school for more than 6 months and regularly had food on the table. There was less conflict and I was treated much better on the whole. I didn’t have to witness screaming or my parents crying anymore. Divorce was the best thing that happened to our family.