Post # 1
At the risk of working up a storm around here… I’m going to start up by saying that I write this with only the best intentions in mind.
I was reading an article about how difficult it is to raise children as a single mother. And then I put it together with everything I have read on my own (my passion is personal development).
My personal belief is that many divorces happen because people don’t realize that marriages take a lot of work. You get married hoping that the person next to you will always fulfill your ideals, and you will mostly have a jolly good relationship. Yet, every single person I’ve talked to who has been married for a lifetime told me that there were very hard times, and the only thing that kept them together was commitment, commitment, and commitment. Lots of hard work. But, in the end, they learned to accept and love the person they married *just the way they are* without holding on to initial ideals.
People change over time, and it’s difficult to change in unison. Acceptance and unconditional love, as well as the effort to respect differences and changes, are what makes a marriage last. Finding the right person to do this with is an important first step, but unless there is abuse in a marriage I believe too many people divorce because it’s just easier to get out than it is to keep working at it. In the process, we have so many failed 2nd and 3rd marriages, because people don’t realize that it’s their attitude that needs to change, not the person next to them. Along the way kids get hurt (because divorce hurts kids more than anything else except for abuse), and families get broken.
I’m not saying this for all of the people who divorced because their marriage was truly unsalvageable or there was abuse, and who may now be very happily married for the second time. I’m just venting my opinion on a topic that has been on my mind for a long time. As I’m thinking about engagement as well, we’ve been talking about these things to make sure we’re both ready to face the difficulties that are ahead.
Post # 4
I agree. I think many people divorce because they “fall out of love”, not realizing that love takes work.
Post # 5
I think this is one of those topics that no matter how well intentioned, has the potemtail to blow up.
but unless there is abuse in a marriage I believe too many people divorce because it’s just easier to get out than it is to keep working at it
I think there are many valid reasons to divorce other than abuse, or maybe it depends on how you define abuse.
Is screwing around with anyone who will have you, abuse?
Is drinking yourself into oblivion and not working and helping to support the family, abuse?
Is using drugs and committing crimes to support your habit, abuse?
I think one of the best lessons we can all learn is “Judge not lest ye also be judged”.
Post # 6
I would say living together takes a heck of a lot of compromise and patience and a lot of people (including myself at one time) have no idea what all a marriage truly involves. TO many people think marriage is a symbol of love; well that a good start but only a start at best it takes a great deal more most of us are not or never ready for. After my first marriage it took me almost 15 years to be mentally, willing, and totally ready to marry again. I am 38 married at 21 divorced at 23 (he started doing drugs and we had a baby at that time my life was my child comes first) I have a almost 17 year old son I raised as a single mother and getting married again in a month. We lived together for 7 years and in that 7 years there were a lot of back and forth with are we really ready for all that a marriage is and it’s definitely not just loving each other, being able to living together, an compromise, for me this time it took me having know I unconditionally love this man, I mean totally, no matter what if things get bad, he changes, one of us 5-10 years from now cheats for any reason WILL I leave or do I unconditionally love him and never want to live without him no matter what? (Messed up to some I know) but a conditions. It took almost 8 years and 7 of those living together, buying a home, ups and down for me to realize I truly do unconditinaly love this man and see him as my family and family you don’t quite they are family no matter what… OK NOW I am ready for marriage. J
Post # 7
@julies1949: 100% agree
You have no idea what is going on in a relatonship and why they have decided to get a divorce. They could have been in counseling for 10 years for all you know.
Post # 8
I’m not judging anyone in particular. I’m just saying that way too many people don’t go into counseling and try hard before getting divorced. I’m also friends with a lot of marriage counselors and they tell me about how many people pretend to try but don’t really try hard enough, and how many of the people that actually do try hard enough manage to salvage their marriages and enter a level of love they had never reached before.
@julies1949: All of those are topics that could be considered “abuse” at some point or another, and it all depends on the willingness of that person to change.
I was addressing less relationships where really bad things happened (like julie mentioned) and more relationships where people simply grow estranged to one another over time and feel like it’s not good enough anymore. This happens a lot more often than we think. It’s just that the extreme cases grab our attention more.
Post # 9
I think it is pretty easy as people who aren’t married or married a short time to be all wise about how to make marriage work. I think it is great to be positive about how much you are willing to work on your love and relationship but honestly, no one knows what the future holds.
Post # 10
@squeak: Yes, but you are judging. How do you know what people have done to save their marriage? Or that they aren’t trying hard enough? Most couples I know don’t walk around wearing a sign saying “We are in couseling”.
Post # 11
I think there is definitely some truth to what squeak is saying. It can be easier to walk away than to face the problem, but it would be next to impossible to paint every situation with the same brush – circumstances are just too variable.
SO was previously married. He married young, almost immediately knew it wasn’t the right decision, but went through with it anyway. He tried his hardest to make it work, and ended up a shell of his actual self by the end. It was a mistake and luckily there were no kids involved, but it was still incredibly painful and not something he took lightly.
I don’t really agree with divorce being used as an easy out, but sometimes, it really is the best decision for those involved.
Post # 13
RubyBacon, I agree with what you’re saying. What I said in that post made people feel like I was saying “everyone is doing this”. I’m not. Everyone’s situation is different. But there are too many people taking the easy way out through divorce when their marriage could have lasted if they kept working on it and could have even flourished. This is *all* I’m saying.
And I do know that many people don’t work on it enough because I’m friends with many therapists who work with couples.
Post # 14
I do think some of this is true but at the same time divorce (to me) is not such an evil and awful thing. At some point, two people need to admit that their relationship is not working for whatever reason. I think unhappy marriages can hurt children just as much as divorce. Trying to make it work and fix it for an extended period of time does not make for a happy living situation for anyone.
Post # 15
@squeak: But there are too many people taking the easy way out through divorce when their marriage could have lasted if they kept working on it and could have even flourished. This is *all* I’m saying.
How do you know it could have flourished? Being friends with marriage counselors does not give you the inner working of others relationships.
With that aside, even if they do get a divorce, why do you care? Why does it matter to you if other couples dont work hard enough at their marriage?
Post # 16
I think each of us can only speak for ourselves, because I agree that we’ll never know anyone else’s situation.
FI and I are Catholic and “don’t believe” in divorce for ourselves. We’re doing a bunch of premarital counseling, have been friends for a decade, and are absolutely honest and frank with one another about everything. We’re trying to set ourselves up, as best we can, to be married until death do us part. We are very fortunate and I’m so grateful to have him.
That said, I “do believe” in divorce for other couples or people of different faiths or walks of life or whatever who are unable to reconcile their differences. I certainly hope no one ever has to divorce, but I would never judge someone else’s choices and relationships based on my life experiences because they’re just not going to match up.