In America, one divorce happens approximately every 36 seconds.
If one does the math, that means there are nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces per year. The divorce rate has tripled since our grandparents time and now in this day and age, there are more divorced people than married people. This is a sad statistic and yet some people celebrate the end of their marriage by throwing divorce parties.
Hollywood further attempts to glamorize divorce by creating TV shows, such as "Splitting Up Together," which portrays divorce as okay. How about a TV show that celebrates people doing the really hard work and staying together because they are truly in love? For the most part, no matter how one dices it, divorce is not attractive and very rarely do you hear someone say they "loved getting a divorce."
While there are instances that a divorce is necessary, most couples today seem to cite "irreconcilable differences" as the main reason for their divorce. I fully acknowledge that since I have never experienced a divorce myself, or have been a child of divorced parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents, that I do not know the full story/effect it can have on someone and their family.
On the other hand, I have continuously witnessed divorce through the eyes of someone who has been through it, or who has been a child of divorce as well.
I grew up thinking that once you got married, you were committed and in love with that person for life no matter what.
I believed the fairy tales growing up, believing that I'd someday meet my soulmate and that I'd live happily ever after. The first time I learned that fairytale endings weren't always the case when a former good friend's parents announced they were getting divorced.
To me, it seemed like nothing was wrong with their marriage. Whenever I was around her family, they always seemed happy, so the divorce was a surprise to me. My friend called me crying and I cried with them and their family after they told me their news. My friend felt like it was their fault and that they would never have a normal life again.
This statement from my friend showed that no matter how much we try to normalize divorce, it still has a painful and difficult effect on those going through it. After the divorce happened, my friend was really never the same. She had a lot of issues trusting people and used her parents as an excuse for their over-the-top behavior.
So many people have told me that I just don't "get it" because my parents aren't divorced, but to be honest, I don't want to "get it."
I get that life isn't easy and that people make mistakes. I am in no way trying to generalize what people go through or what causes them to lead up to a divorce, but what I do not understand is why is it that divorce seems to be people's first idea when going through a hard time with their spouse?
My parents are not perfect, but they have gone through many highs and lows together. While I am sure the low times are challenging for them, they always come out on the other side together. It doesn't happen immediately sometimes, but even when they do have disagreements, I know they will work it out eventually. They know that marriage is work and they make that "work" a priority.
They know that their love is stronger than anything that is thrown at them and they never try to purposefully hurt each other. To me, this gives me hope that there are people that will stick with you, even when the going gets tough. There are people who will love you, despite being upset with you, and will work to get it resolved. Marriage is about sacrifice and overcoming challenges as a team.
This is why two become one and you vow to love each other through sickness, health, rich or poor because as long as you love each other, you can overcome anything.
I don't want to have a second husband, I don't want my potential kids to have to feel like they need to pick sides between mom or dad and I don't want to give up on something if there is first a potential to fix it. This is why I am picky when it comes to who I choose to date. I want to make sure anyone I would potentially marry would value our marriage and would fight for me and our love, even when it seems impossible. I want them to choose us even when the going gets tough. I believe that people should not settle and that we should really get to know our partner before we commit to marriage.
Marriage should not be taken lightly and if entered carelessly and obliviously, it can and does lead to a potential divorce. Marriage is not a fairytale like the movies make it seem like. Marriage is supposed to be a commitment and is full of hard work, so make sure you find the one your soul can spend eternity with and you'd fight for your love, no matter what is thrown at you. Exhaust every single avenue first before giving in. From my limited observation, the grass rarely appears greener on the other side.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for never giving up on each other, for loving each other through the bad times, for making me believe that true love is still out here and for showing me that the key to a successful marriage is communication and endless love. I am blessed to witness a love so strong when I look at you both. I hope one day I find what you two have.