The First Divorce Selfie

Author Tamara Rajakariar
This article first appeared in the FamilyEdge section of MercatorNet, a news site dedicated to reframing modern complexities in a framework of human dignityhere

This divorce selfie might not actually be the first, but at any rate it has happened. And that’s certainly enough to sadden the heart. Here’s what gets me about this photo:

It normalises divorce

Once again, our society is managing to normalise something that shouldn’t be normal. It’s making a huge, life-changing and heartbreaking choice look like an everyday, run-of-the-mill event. Sadly, people already go into marriage with the option of divorce in the back of their head – selfies like this are only going to fuel that attitude.

It makes divorce look pain-free

As happy as they might look in this selfie, divorce is not a happy business. Couples might convince themselves that everything has ended in a peaceful and amicable manner, and yet there are layers of hurt underneath. You can’t just commit your life to a person and then let it go with a smile and a happy snap. Let’s also not forget that this photo manages to ignore the confusion and sadness that would have been faced by the families and any children involved.

It almost makes divorce look like an accomplishment

Certificate in hand, massive grin on faces– looks kind of like a graduation photo! Congratulations, because it’s just made divorce look like an accomplishment and degraded the value of marriage all in one go. Divorce shouldn’t be something that people start to expect, as the natural next step after marriage.

It encourages the “no consequences” attitude of our times

“We smile not because it’s over, but because it happened” is part of the caption under this divorce selfie. Just like our society wants casual sex without kids or disease, and to eat to our heart’s content without putting on weight, we now want divorce without sadness. It just doesn’t work that way.

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Tamara Rajakariar

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  1. Claire on October 25, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    You make it sound as though everyone who gets divorced chooses to get divorced and is happy (or pretends to be happy) about it. I never chose to get divorced – I tried for 3 years to get my ex to engage, to go counselling but he froze me out and walked out and always refused to go to counselling with me or try and work things out. Some people never choose it – it is imposed upon them because you can’t remain married it turns out, to someone who doesn’t want to be married to you.

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