New Leaf Family Blog


Maybe There Should Be a New Word for ‘Divorce’

Posted by Penn A. Dodson | Jul 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

The word “divorce” has so much baggage, doesn't it? For many, when you hear the word it brings up images of fighting and nastiness and sadness and all kinds of other things. For others, it might bring feelings of shame or guilt.  

 What if we rethink that? 

In terms of etymology, the word divorce comes from a Latin word meaning to turn aside, which is fairly innocuous. But words carry history, and sometimes need to be updated to meet modern understandings of things. 

 The ending of a marriage is also a start of something else. What if we could come up with a word that emphasizes this new phase? What if we came up with a word that doesn't connote nastiness, but instead suggests empowerment through this period of transition? What if we thought of something that connotes images similar to how you might feel about the word ‘graduation'? 

 Have you been to a graduation ceremony recently, or can you remember one? There is so much mixed emotion. Parents sniffing tears back seeing their babies all grown up. The kids sad because of leaving friends to go in different directions. Joy at being free of high school math class or certain teachers. Some kids really do not want to leave and if they had it their way would have stayed in that school forever. Others are more than ready to move on.  

 Isn't that what the transition between being married and not is like, in a lot of ways? 

 What word do you think we should use instead? 

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