Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why did I turn on that damn television last night?

I was channel-surfing yesterday evening and came across some TV show called Ex-Wife's Club, or something like that. I watched it for several minutes and had to turn it off in disgust. I don't know what the rest of the show was about, but the snippet I saw featured the idea of revenge or 'getting even' as part of the transition from being married to going on with your life after a divorce.

What the hell is wrong with people? Just because someone is mean and vindictive to us, does that mean that we should be as unprincipled and childish in response? Do we have to sink to the same level as those who have no moral fibre or who don't adhere to even the most minimal principles of acceptable behaviour?

I have long found it alarming that this sort of thing is increasingly considered normal and even laudable. Divorces often bring out the worst in people. While the exes are taking shots at each other, their lawyers get rich because of all the bickering and acrimony. And what about the kids? They, naturally, pay the biggest price of all. They see mom and dad playing each other. They see the hate, the blood-lust, the pettiness of it all. They live through the resultant stress and disharmony. They suffer because the grown-ups in their lives, the very people who should be setting a shining example for them, can't get over their snits and act rationally.

My friend Karen Selick, a Canadian lawyer and columnist, has obviously given this all some thought. She is founder and past president of the Quinte Collaborative Law Association. If you have ever been through a divorce, or know someone who is about to divorce, you should read this page. It might steer the way to more responsible behaviour and to fruitful solutions for both parties to any breakup. And the kids will benefit too.

Good going, Karen. You have always been a thinker of note and I like what you're doing!

For anyone interested, Karen has written numerous published articles on matters of human interaction and they are well worth reading. Find them here:


  1. Sounds like a very wise woman. I've never been through a divorce but I've been involved in the fallout:


    Unfortunately, it was one of the lessons I had to learn the hard way.

  2. We got rid of our TV a year ago and haven't looked back. I hate sitting down, flipping through 50 channels, and finding nothing interesting on. My interest is very limited, mind you, but I like to watch at least semi-intelligent programming.

    When I go somewhere that has a TV, I like to channel surf just to confirm the fact that there's really nothing on, or if there is, it won't last long.

    Instead of watching an hour of TV, I recommend everyone to pull out your favorite board game (if you need suggestions, I have lots of good ones) and have some social interaction with your family (whether it be 2 people or 6).

    Social Interaction? But... this is the 2000's!! ;o)

  3. I read that post, Freddie, and it was really touching. Step-anything is tough for everyone concerned, but it can work. I hope everything turns out fine for you and your husband with your step-daughter.

    Trooper: I agree that social intereaction with family is important. And TV can be completely useless. I need to get my family into board games again, it has been quite a while since we played anything. My wife and I used to play scrabble and my son and I played chess, but we haven't done any of that for too long.

  4. I saw the commercial for it. It amazed me that people feel that getting even makes them feel better. Very sad...

    As for games, we are big into games. One of our favorite is Imaginiff...
    Lately we've been playing Settlers of Catan.
    The game was given to us by one of the Japanese exchange student that stayed with us last year. Apparently it was very popular with the students at the University she was attending. I'm not a very logical person or a thinker (my Knight is) but I really enjoyed playing it. I think it's probably because I'm very competitive. :o)

    Scrabble, Parcheesi, Chinese Checkers, Hangman (or hang phrase), Scene it (Disney & 007) & Monopoly are big on our list of favorites. Oh and cards games too, you can never go wrong with a card game. :o)

  5. I understand your sentiment, and am thankful that I've never had to live through the nightmare of divorce personally.
    Although I've had a number of friends who tell truly horrific stories about how the divorce courts are so biased toward the women - especially when it comes to child custody - that the guys don't even get to be heard on custody and visitation issues.
    Had a woman who worked for me once who used to brag about how she bankrupted her husband in her divorce. She actually laughed about how she blind-sided him and took off with all his money and assets before he even understood what was going on.
    Her reason for divorcing him? He was "boring".
    I wanted to fire her just on principle, and I never even met her ex.

  6. lady g~ Thanks for the tips. I used to love those old games like Parcheesi, Snakes 'n Ladders, checkers. Chinese checkers, etc., when I was a kid.

    Dan: I know two men who were attacked by their spouses with lies and vitriol to the extent that they were nearly bankrupted and had very little access to their kids. Can you imagine the hurt and frustration that must engender? It's sickening. In fairness, some women get treated unfairly too. It's time that everyone just got a grip and behaved honorably.

  7. In that regard, I am thankful for my ex. We sat down, divided stuff up and went on our ways. The idea of getting into revenge never occurred to either of us.

    I can't imagine what you're describing either. It's just self-indulgence.


  8. It is not often that people can be reasoned and mature about these things, Chani. It is nice to hear that it still happens, even if infrequently.

  9. After seeing M. Night Shayamalan's The Village, I couldn't help but wonder if there might exist some Galt's Gulch-like place, with a tribe composed of individuals who had mutually agreed to live in a positive and mutually beneficial way - even if it was somewhere other than America.
    I think a lot of the problems in families start with individuals who either never grew up, or once they did, some empty-headed-emotionalism laden FOOLosophy like feminism encouraged them to regress into shriking, federal-case-of-everything making human refuse.

  10. Galt - you are right as usual. I think that everything that happens to us and our surroundings these days, or is ever likely to happen, or might possibly happen whenever all planets in our solar system are lined up in a row, is blamed on someone or something else. That means that we all have an excuse: if it is deemed someone else's fault, we don't have to perceive ourselves as weak and foolish. Communists blame individualists and capitalists. Socialists do too, but they know enough to let them operate so they can tax the life out of them. The far right blames who-knows-whom, I can't seem to keep track. The greens blame SUV drivers and meat eaters for everything. We all have to stop blaming other people and other ideologies and simply take responsibility for ourselves.