To me, this looks like too many people got married for the wrong reasons, took the easy way out, gave up, didn't believe, aren't religious, or, in the worst case, were in abusive relationships. To me, this looks like our country doesn't value marriage.
I would like to see that number down near 10 percent of marriages ending in divorce, and I will not make that a zero because I realize that sometimes people change, for the worse, or that some people are manipulative and hide their true selves until they think they have someone "stuck." This has been the case in some of the divorces in my family: two of my aunts were married to abusive men (not necessarily physical, there are other forms of abuse). This is the only reason for divorce I support, and the Catholic Church supports this as well.
Divorce is not a do-over. You cannot make a vow to commit your life and yourself to someone and break it because "it isn't working" or "you don't love your spouse anymore." These things need to be worked out before you say "I do." I think that's part of the reason I'm turning 29 in two months, and I'm not married. I'm not even engaged, and the weightiness of marriage has something to do with that, on both sides of my relationship. I want to walk down the aisle without a doubt in my mind, because once I get up there and take my man's hand in marriage, it is forever -- 'til death do us part.
I have had a great example of marriage set for me by my parents. My parents have been through thick and thin together. They love each other completely and unconditionally. They support each other, listen to each other and help each other. They have always taught me that divorce is not an option.
I think it was Dr. Phil who wrote that most problems in a relationship have to do with the person perceiving the problem. Meaning, even if you ditch the relationship, the problem will follow you into your relationship with the next person. I had never thought about this perspective before, but it makes sense if you really think about it. Relationships are not one-sided. Problems are shared, and therefore, you are as much of the cause as you are the solution. This has helped me think about my own relationship differently. It is a cause and effect; if I don't like something my partner does, I should look at what I'm doing; chances are, I'm influencing my partner's negative behavior in some way. (Again, this does not apply to an abusive relationship. I am in no way saying that someone in an abusive relationship should bear the blame.)
People have asked me about pre-nuptial agreements. At first, I thought this was something only the rich and famous did before tying the knot, but now I realize that many more people do, and I think this vastly affects the percentage at the beginning of this post. A pre-nup offers a way out, without sacrifice. This is not what marriage is or should be. I refuse to go into marriage with a pre-nup because, to me, that action creates the mindset that divorce is an option, and for me, it isn't. Again, I'm not going into a marriage already considering its demise. Where is the love and romance in that?
I'm sure many people will disagree with this post, so please comment, but do so respectfully. I certainly respect both sides of the argument, but after years of thinking about this and witnessing divorce first-hand, I've formed my opinion, which I will note has a lot to do with my religious background and my romantic ideals.
This post was inspired by:
Prompt #2: Divorce Dreams…a tempting alternative? A disaster to be avoided? Ever an option? Advice? What’s your take?