Although he found inspiration for helping the divorced in his parents' split, Stillwell has found inspiration in the workshops for keeping his own marriage healthy. And he's proof that children of divorced couples can have meaningful relationships as adults.
Stillwell and his wife, Vivian, will celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary in December. Stillwell also will lead the church's marriage retreat in October.
"The most significant anniversary to me personally was when we reached our 23rd anniversary," he said. "I breathed a big sigh of relief when I realized it was possible to stay married longer than did my parents, who divorced after 23 years. I reminded myself that we have a lot of strength, a lot of resources, that my parents did not have."
He admits that his own marriage has had "some tough times" and that they turned to others for support.
"There really are two kinds of people in relationships -- those who admit that they go through cycles of tough times and people who are not telling the truth," he said. "We hope we can model for others the truthfulness of making marriage work by applying the principles I teach with others."
Monday, September 24, 2007
I was listening to the latest Harry Potter book on CD on my drive to Ohio,and it hit me -- there's more than one way in which Harry Potter's world is magical. There's no divorce. In the wizarding world, there's death and evil, but no divorce, at least that I can remember. Interesting, huh?
Very interesting, indeed. Can we wave a wand and make it disappear in our world now?
Monday, September 17, 2007
"I was trying to think of a way to introduce the idea of a deep division in the country, and realized that I could use divorce as a metaphor to reflect [in Julie's own family] what was happening on a larger scale in the country. By portraying Julie as being from a divorced family, the division in her family reflects the division in the country and Julie becomes central as the character who is trying to heal her family from the pain and struggle of divorce." [emphasis mine]
That's a tall order for a 9 year old, even if she is an American doll fictional character.
In one house we drank coffee, went to bed at eight sharp and always had clean socks; at the other we drank tea, put ourselves to bed when we felt like it and had bare feet. In one house the bed was always made, in the other it was a mass of rumpled sheets with sand at the bottom. Capital radio was forbidden in one house, Elvis was compulsory in the other....and how it has affected her:
The circumstances of my childhood have made me adaptable, resourceful and emotionally intelligent, true, but I am also needy, insecure and unable to set boundaries. I have been clinically depressed.She goes on to state that the biggest drop in divorce rates in the U.K. is in the generation that grew up as children of divorce.
However, the one thing I am not is divorced, because I know what divorce means. And the latest statistics suggest that I am not alone in this awareness.
Having been through one divorce, the children of broken homes have no desire to go through another. They realise, because their parents didn’t, that in Margaret Atwood’s words, “a divorce is like an amputation, you survive but there’s less of you”.
I predict a little media buzz over Julie the child of divorce doll. I also predict some tasteless jokes. (Does Julie come with two sets of accessories, one for dad’s house and one for mom’s? Does she have a miniature housekey slung around her neck? If you buy Julie does she stay at your house only half the time?...)
Here are some other great ideas for toymakers:
1. Remember playing "store" as a kid, especially if you had the little cash register? Well, now you can play "Wal-Mart comes to town and all the local businesses go bye-bye!"
2. Instead of "office," why not play a rousing game of "layoffs"?
And while we're at it, let's just pretend everything will be okay if you give little Suzy a doll who understands exactly what she's going through.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Children of Divorce (Skilsmissens Børn)Wednesday, November 7, 6:30 pm & Saturday, November 10, 3 pmDirected by Benjamin Christensen (1939). Marking director Benjamin Christensen’s career comeback (after an unsuccessful stint in Hollywood) and his first venture into sound film, Skilsmissens børn depicts the changing relationships between parents and their children in modern society. Wildly popular at the time of its release in 1939, this melodrama makes use of the bold lighting and unorthodox camera angles that distinguished Christensen’s earlier hits like Hemmelighedsfulde X (The Mysterious X) and Häxan (The Witches) as the work of an adventurous visual stylist.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
As "For Better or For Worse" moved into "hybrid" mode this week with a look back at how Elly and John Patterson met, few readers of Lynn Johnston's partly autobiographical comic knew that her real-life husband left her this April.
I had noticed the change in the comic strip and wasn't a fan, to be honest. Actually, I've never been a huge fan of this strip. It's too often preachy or soap-operish, like Johnston is trying to write for the op-ed pages or publish a novel instead of entertain us for 5 seconds while we scan our way to the crossword puzzle. Isn't the whole point of the comics page that we need to laugh for a couple of minutes after reading all the morbid and depressing stuff in the rest of the paper? But Elly and John are one of the classic cartoon couples, like Dagwood and Blondie or Hagar and Helga, so I'm glad to hear that the break-up of Johnston's marriage will not mean the demise of John and Elly's cartoon marriage.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
THE breakup of the marriage brought Ina Chadwick heartache, guilt and financial hardship. The divorce, she said, tore away from her everything in her “Cinderella dream.”
But the divorce she so ruefully speaks about was her daughter’s, not her own.