Recently a young girl, 15 or so, came up to me after I had spoken at an event and asked if she could give me a hug. I said sure, but then I asked her what I had done to deserve this honor. With tears glistening in the corners of her eyes, she said, “Winning At Home saved my family.” She went on to explain that her parents were headed to divorce court, but through meeting with counselors at Winning At Home, they decided to work it out.
I can’t tell you what it meant for me to hear that story. It’s probably similar to what a maestro feels after conducting the perfect symphony or a quarterback when he connects with a receiver for an unbelievable touchdown. It’s the moment when you say to yourself, “This is why we do what we do.” I can’t even take any direct credit for this situation, because I know that it takes an entire team to make it happen.
It’s difficult to specifically measure sometimes what we do here at Winning At Home but we know through comments, letters, and hugs that we are making a difference. Although there could be hundreds or thousands of marriages being saved every week through our efforts, I know that it’s more realistic to just work at creating harmony just one home at a time.
What amazed me even more about this particular story is that it wasn’t the parents who approached me to say thank you, but it was this teenage girl. Today, so many people scoff at the effects of divorce and believe that kids are resilient enough to handle it. Kids may act like they are okay when they are in the presence of their parents, but I think behind the smiles there is chaos and unrest. It’s obvious that this young gal was ecstatic about having her family together instead of looking towards a future of trading homes on weekends and seeing parents only when it’s their turn.
There are statistics to back up what I’m saying. Studies have shown that children who have gone through the divorce of their parents have dealt with a decrease in their academic performance, and an increase in their vulnerability. They have experienced physical ailments, developed aggressive behavior, and many have battled with depression and suicide. I’m not saying that every child of divorce will go through these behavioral changes, because some might not at all, but the risk is high for it to occur. My point is please don’t ever accept divorce as a normal way of life! When we start thinking like that, which some already do, we lose the battle without ever getting a chance to fight.
This is the mindset that we have to change. Just because a lot of people go through a divorce, doesn’t mean that it’s an okay thing. No matter what job you have or what task you perform, everybody likes to see positive outcomes as the result of their effort. This young lady gave me hope that what we do matters and that we need to keep trying to come up with ways to encourage couples to stay married for life.
One important thing you should note. The people who will cheer me on and write notes about this article are the ones who have gone through a divorce they didn’t want. They know—they see it. I’m thankful for all the hope they give our society.