Considering I am only nineteen years old, I sometimes question whether or not I am justified in writing or even developing a strong opinion on this topic. While it is a situation that has drastically affected my life and the person I am today, it is something I have avoided writing about considering the personal connection I have with it, and the emotional toll it has taken on a large majority of human beings in some form or another.
It is certainly no cut and dry concept, and every situation varies slightly. My opinion comes from the understanding I have developed in the recent years of my lifetime and I am aware that every situation is not like my own.
With that being said, here are my two cents on divorce:
Take it for what it is worth.
When two individuals decide to get married I would like to believe that it is, the majority of the time, for the right reasons. While this is arguable, I do not necessarily believe that newlyweds go into their marriage with the thought that they could get divorced. However, today divorce is not only common but practiced regularly. With my current understanding, I don't believe that this truth comes from faulty 'motives' in getting married so to speak.
However, it is evident that there is a disconnect in relationships that has yet to be identified or acted on.
So where does this disconnect lie? In today's society marriage is viewed as a very public statement. We take part in huge weddings. We romanticize engagement photoshoots. We create trendy hashtags with our partner's last name for the sole purpose of creating a social media presence. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with these fads, but a deeper issue stems from this phenomenon than we may realize.
As soon as kids are able to use social media accounts they are given access to know exactly what everyone else is doing and exactly what they feel like they should be doing, but aren't quite doing yet. In regards to marriage, kids begin to plan out their future wedding. While this may seem harmless and even cute at the time, eventually these kids become teenagers. Then teenagers become adults, and Susie is wide-eyed over Becky's new engagement photos and she starts to worry that maybe she's behind the group when it comes to getting married.
This comparison causes people to act irrationally and rush into marriages with people who are not necessarily someone they want to spend the rest of their lives with just because they subconsciously need to fulfill their desire to 'keep up with the crowd' so to speak.
It's not only destroying romantic relationships but parental relationships as well.
Often times these marriages aren't deemed faulty until a fair share of children are on the way and there is a lot more on the line than a few signatures and sleepless nights. The effects divorce has on families is astronomical and lifelong. For the rest of a child's lifetime holidays will become a question mark surrounding what house to go to.
They won't know what side of the family to invite to their birthday parties and school events. Sporting events are spent bouncing from one end of the bleachers to another in an effort to appease both parental figures. There never seems to be a right way to handle a situation and often times this leads to unneeded drama and stress.
It never goes away, and neither does its consequences.
When divorce occurs while a child is still young, they often are on some sort of visitation schedule that allows them to see both parents regularly. However, as the child gets older they began to develop responsibilities and dividing time between households becomes difficult and sometimes impossible. With that being said, often times parent-child relationships suffer due to this loss and this forever effects the extent of the relationship. However, it does not stop there.
One day, that child will have kids of their own. When they are young, all they will know is they have two sets of grandparents and at first they'll think it is pretty cool. They won't understand why they have to spend Thanksgiving with grandma and Christmas with grandpa, and they'll willingly accept both sets of Birthday gifts and home-cooked meals. However, eventually they will grow up and the responsibilities will come, just like with their parents, and the relationships will once again suffer.
Now, don't get me wrong...
Many times, divorce is the only option, and the consequences of a miserable family staying together outweigh the consequences of a divided family. However, it is so important that people are able to comprehend the true weight that comes with the commitment to a marriage that reaches so much further than a few posts on Instagram or Facebook. Marriage is a lifetime commitment, and it is time we start treating it like one.
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