This most famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence which established the United States in 1776 still shines as a beacon of hope down the years. Life, yes everyone deserves to live. Liberty (now referred to as freedom) not universally available but highly desireable.
The pursuit of happiness
Happiness now that's the one. The founders of the United States did not assert that everyone should have the right to be happy or that everyone deserved to be happy but rather that there was a right to try to be happy, to pursue happiness.
Translated to our lives today worry and concern about our own happiness is a major preoccupation for most of us. It is also a major reason for divorce. There are five legal reasons for divorce but the big sixth is "I was just so unhappy."
Are you very happy, happy or slightly unhappy
Unlike Life when you are either alive or you are not, Happiness is a matter of degree. Most people oscillate over a small part of the total spectrum between bliss at one end and despair at the other. Life's a bit up and down but it's OK.
In a marriage when you spend too much time towards the wrong end of the spectrum then divorce is often seen as the ‘solve it all and be happy again' answer. Most divorce advice explains the mechanics of the process little about the true consequences of doing it. When does the degree of unhappiness take you passed counselling leaving divorce as the only option? Clearly there are many marriages where it just isn't going to work however much you both try so the uncertainties of life after divorce will have to be taken as they come.
A leap into the unknown
Divorce is a bit like jumping from a cliff into the sea, tombstoning as it is known to the nation's youth. There are three things you need to know before you do this. Is the sea deep enough; are there hidden rocks under the water? Is there anybody in the water that I could land on top of? What would be the impact of hitting the water at a bad angle?
Clearly anyone but a fool would ask these questions however the number of tombstoning accidents around our coasts shows that they often don't get the right answers. It's not called tombstoning for nothing.
Life after divorce is like that. You don't know all the answers until you get there and then it's too late. Mending a relationship can often bring happiness and the sense of achievement of making what was good once, good again. You both need to really want to try and see if you can do it before walking to the edge. If you do jump may you be safe and find happiness.
Never give up upon happiness
So divorce just like tombstoning is a risky business with uncertain outcomes. The expectation of a happy life after divorce may not be fulfilled any more than it was in your marriage. However, never give up on the pursuit of happiness it's a fine and noble goal which can be achieved in so many different ways, including divorce.