The State of Marriage and Divorce
By Our Anonymous Man On The Fence
In wake of the recent Arnold and Maria saga, now would be a good time to talk about marriage and divorce. I was speaking to my mother last week, who explained that back in the day, she was actually the first of her peer group to get divorced. As was not considered the norm then, theirs was a nasty divorce. Five years of fighting, senseless amounts of money given to lawyers, and an ever lasting blemish in the memories of my childhood as well as my siblings. As for my grandparents, it was sacrilegious to get divorced and they very much frowned upon it.
Most often, the modern excuse today for staying in an unhappy marriage is “for the sake of the kids. “ I am living proof, that that logic is absolutely absurd. I can attest to this fact from my parents’ divorce and of course my own. You ought to stay married because you continue to love and care for one another, albeit in an ever evolving and growing way.
Over these last years I have witnessed countless friends and family around me seek a divorce for what many would consider to be frivolous reasons. People are throwing in the towel because their marriages are lacking passion (tell me which marriage doesn’t lose passion over the years) and they have stopped focusing on improving their marriage. But I can tell you from experience, just like you work to improve yourself at your job, as a parent, as a friend, in your hobbies, in your own personal growth, marriage too requires constant attention. Letting up for one moment can lead to a quick downward spiral, with accidental results.
Let me show it to you this way… If we were all given courses in school on tackling some of the issues modern day marriages face, many of us would be better equipped to face these challenges. Some of the issues in no particular order that ought to be taught are; fidelity, money matters, mental stability, how to deal with illness, child rearing, familial relationships, division of responsibilities. If we were taught the tools, and therefore had a good handle on potential challenges we may face in marriage, we could pre-determine a good course of action. As an example, if your spouse has substance abuse issues, or you have a child born with a disability, speaking of a framework in advance to get the right support, would help your marriage when it needs it most. What do you think? I am just throwing the idea out there.
The truth is, there are no perfect formulas for a great marriage, however some of the basic rules of are a sure beginning to success– being faithful, kind, respectful, thoughtful, selfless and genuinely demonstrating your continued effort to invest in your marriage are keys to a happy marriage. Marriage requires WORK, and I think so many have forgotten that.
My great grand parents had an enviable marriage– she was always kindly hollering and he was most accepting of it. But they truly loved one another. I tend to think that with less in life to worry about, they only had one another and their kids to care for and to focus their efforts on, and it was a simplistic life built on love and admiration. Nothing fancy. No pressure of “keeping up with the Jonses.” Nothing complicated. A union of love and respect.
In my circles of peers who have divorced, I see a trend emerging. In almost each scenario of divorce, I hear of the life distractions that have impeded on their ability to keep their marriage strong. Examples of this are; infidelity, needing the fancy car, pressure to buy a bigger home, more lavish vacations, personal trainers to stay fit, expensive designer clothing, cosmetic surgery, trips, getting one’s hair and nails done all the time and more. These trappings have made for men and women who no longer take pride in their marriage, rearing their children or even cooking and having a great family meal together. Dinner time is often now relegated to how fast we can order food, sit, eat and leave!
Marriage has suffered in recent times (1 in every 2 marriages end in divorce), as its value has been diminished. It is up to our generation and that of our children to re-establish the true meaning of a successful marriage. Marriage should not be something we accept casually or take lightly. We must be aware that constant diligence is needed to make it all work. Marriage is no self cleaning oven. But on the flip side, I also believe it certainly should not be preserved for the sake of the kids. Every person on this earth is entitled to live a happy existence. Every person is entitled to live a fulfilling existence.
~Man On The Fence
What do you think? Do you agree with our Man On The Fence? Do you think couples are throwing in the towel too quickly on marriage today? Would you stay in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the kids? I’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you a passionate weekend of rekindled love with your partner.