Today, I decided to take the long way home, and drive past my old house. The house I had lived in for twenty years.

During those two decades, I watched the trees in the front yard grow and flourish. I wanted once more to catch a glimpse of their beauty.

It is still odd to see a new family living in the place that I used to think would be mine until I was old and gray.

A few years ago, I was driving through the countryside when I realized my route was taking me past three houses that had once been the homes of couples I’d known. It was a stark realization that new families lived in those homes because each of the marriages ended in divorce.

By the time I got to the third house, I was so overcome with emotion that I pulled off the road and cried.

I couldn't imagine the pain that had brought them to the point of making that decision.

I couldn't imagine how anyone could put their children through that.

I couldn't imagine one spouse saying to another, "I'm leaving." Or maybe worse, "You're leaving."

I couldn't imagine anything being so bad that someone would say to the mother or father of their children, "You're no longer welcome here."

I couldn't imagine the agony of that final walk through a house that had once been a happy home.

I couldn't imagine why two seemingly reasonable and intelligent people couldn't make it work if they really wanted to.

I couldn't imagine a couple who was once in love, inflicting so much pain that the very best option was to never be together again.

I couldn't imagine why, even down to the moment the divorce was final, one of them couldn't simply say, "I don't want this. Please, let's work it out,” and the other would agree.

I couldn't imagine the trauma.

I couldn't imagine the burden.

I couldn't imagine the details of what went on behind those closed doors.

Today, when I drove past my old house, I continued along the route I had followed those years ago. Today, I pulled over again.

Today, I cried once more, because now, I don't have to imagine...

Syndicated columnist Ginger Claremohr is an author, motivational speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook, find her on the web:, or contact