Guilt, shame and a sense of failure are common reactions to the divorce process and generally accepted as a normal human response.  An interesting Ted Talk raises some contemplative thoughts about how to look differently at the emotional cost of divorce and tackle these damaging perceptions. The authors of a book, Sacred Cows, acknowledge that divorce is “intrinsically hard, but our attitudes make it harder than it needs to be.”  

The Ted Talk and the book propose the theory that these self-damaging feelings are derived from cultural beliefs of others that should be challenged.  The authors suggest that we have all been unconsciously absorbing and accepting society’s message that divorce represents failure and shame, but if we challenge those beliefs, it can lead us to support those seeking divorce as the couple’s best chance at future love and happiness.  

Deeply Ingrained Ideas

To wake us up to the cultural beliefs holding us hostage to the failure and shame dialogue, the book examines the following 7 different types of “sacred cows” they define as deeply ingrained ideas that affect our thinking about marriage and divorce.  The authors suggest that once you know these stereotypes, you won’t stop noticing them all around you. 

  1. The Holy Cow: Believes divorce is a personal failure.

  2. The Expert Cow: Believes that all marriages can be saved by counseling.

  3. The Innocent Victim Cow: Believes all marriages need to stay together for the sake of the children. 

  4. The Selfish Cow: Believes that those who choose divorce are acting selfishly. 

  5. The Defective Cow: Believes you are defective for being in an unhappy marriage.

  6. The One True Cow:  Believes that true love is an illusion after marriage.

  7. The Other Cow: Believes it’s always wrong to leave a marriage for another person. 

Bellevue Divorce Lawyers Here To Help

Judging by the reviews and comments of this book, these ideas have raised some controversy, but certainly, give us food for thought.  When you are ready to face the tough decision to end your marriage, the Washington divorce lawyers at Molly B. Kenny, LLC, are ready to help you through the process with empathy and support.  

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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