Doing the right thing during divorce is difficult. But life is so much simpler if we just make up our mind to do the right thing always. The right things include being kind, good, honest, trustworthy, compassionate and loving. I know being those things in the middle of divorce to someone who has hurt us and still may be hurting us is a real challenge.
As difficult as doing right is before, during and after divorce, it’s still the best course. Those times that I just stand back a minute and objectively make up my mind to act honorably, I always feel better regardless of what anyone else is doing. It gives me a sense of control. I don’t feel as if someone else is driving my life … I am making my own choices.
In the book Making the Corps (the Marine Corps), author Tomas Ricks says, “Before I teach my instructors anything, I teach them the honor code — which is to do the right thing always.” This year in my traditional first day of school letters to each of my grandchildren, I encouraged him or her to adopt this as our motto for this year. It makes decisions so much easier. That’s true for all of us, too.
When we stay on the high road, it makes our ex-spouse look even worse, even more foolish, even more pathetic and selfish. Our children will see the difference. Our friends will see the difference. Our extended family will see the difference. Don’t let yourself be drawn down to their level. Don’t replace their bad behavior with bad behavior of your own. The rewards may not come immediately, but they will. And the committed decision to always do what is honorable makes life so much simpler. We don’t have to wrestle with every single alligator. We just do right … do good … period.
“But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good …” 2 Peter 1: 5a (The Living Bible)