I have seen this photo, meme, screenshot…whatever the hell it is…on Facebook A LOT lately. And I do mean a lot, so do not think this is directed at any one person whatsoever. This isn’t personal and I can see the appeal of such a statement. Honestly I really, really can and probably have said something similar in my younger days. However, I think it is actually annoyingly unrealistic and perhaps, for some, even offensive.
There are people who simply must divorce. There are people for whom divorce is a means of survival. There are marriages which are more unhealthy than some cancers. There are marriages which should have never happened to begin with. And there are some marriages which simply wear off over time.
I think sending a message that a divorce is some horrendous failure is irresponsible and unthoughtful. The end of a marriage is already one of the most painful experiences a person may endure. Why the need for additional shame?
I just think about that woman who is being hit, that guy who was manipulated into marriage, that daughter who constantly watches her parents fight, that son who will grow up never witnessing mutual love. I think about the couple who sadly just grew apart. Or the husband who has finally addressed his homosexuality.
We are on this planet longer and longer with the aid of medical advancements. ‘To death do us part’ used to mean 20, maybe 30 years. What if not everyone is meant to be with only one person their entire life? What if there is more to know, more people to meet, more experiences to be had? Who are we to tell anyone that divorce is bad or unacceptable or a failure? For some, divorce is just another difficult step on a long, learning journey.
And even if your answer is, “Well I just meant FOR ME. It is how I feel about my (future) marriage.”
Well, the first line is…”When I get married…” And I think that is appropriate because things like this are usually said by someone who isn’t married. Because most of us who have been married for more than a minute realize and accept that we will never know what the future holds. We cannot live life based on non-existent certainties and absolutes. Words like always and never truly have little meaning.
Seriously, people…this is like saying, “When I have a kid I am not going to (fill in the blank).” Most of the time, parents have to back pedal on those statements. So when a person states, “When I get married..lalala” and proceeds to judge those who clearly knew less or didn’t try hard enough…it kinda gets my goat.
And one more thing…people don’t get divorced for the fun of it. Marriages don’t end because of one fight or because someone is “mad”. It is difficult and painful and very, very complicated. So to simplify the decision in the manner stated above is bonkers.
But if it makes you better to say these things…then all the power to ya. Just know that some of us who have been here a while are having a good chuckle.