I'm starting to wonder if marriage is like sex; you know, the first time isn't very good - but once you get the hang of it then it's pretty amazing.
It seems that EVERYWHERE I look friends and family members are getting divorced. My cousin is calling it quits after a year of prayer, and church based counseling. They've been married 13 years.
Another friend from high school just shared that her husband left her for a freaking 21 year old. I mean really? What in the world does a man in his late 30's have in common with a 21 year old Barista? There was some back and forth, but in the end she's filing for divorce. She's in the early stages where it's mostly just sad and scary. She'll move into angry soon, but I'm not sure that's better. All I could tell her was yes, it is sad and stressful. Yes it is scary. But a year from now it'll all be over, and you'll be moving onto bigger and better things in your life.
Some friends on the outskirts of my social group have divorced and are in a bitter custody battle. They always seemed happy when I saw them at parties and social gatherings.
My former sister in law is a second time divorcee. She's angry, bitter, and resentful. I don't want to end up like her. I'm terrified of ending up being bitter and alone. She just oozes disappointment from every pore, and she wonders why she can't find a man. The problem is she's totally closed off her heart - she claims all she wants is casual sex. No dating, no meeting each others friends or family. While you would think guys would jump at the chance... nope... it's no fun hanging out with someone who so obviously hates her life right now. Plus I think it's just an excuse to avoid getting close to anyone.
Honestly most of the people I know who are married aren't happy. They go through the motions. Or they've just accepted their "fate" and they don't feel like starting over. Or like Fred and Ethel, there's issues there, but there are so many other things on their plate that working on their marriage has to fall to the back burner for now. The problems are still there - they are just simmering under the surface.
The only people I know who are happily married, or happy in their committed relationship are those that are remarried, or dating after divorce. My friends B & C are really committed and happy. They have all sorts of amazing adventures, they are so sweet together, they are considerate and share interests. I want their kind of marriage were I to ever do it again. What they have is special. They work at it. B was divorced and met C online. They had a long distance relationship for about a year before C moved here and they've been together over 11 years now. It's really beautiful to see them together. My parents are going on 34 years this winter. It's my mother's 2nd marriage. BLT's dad and step-mom have this amazingly sweet relationship, and it's a pleasure to watch them together. This is his father's 3rd marriage, and her 2nd marriage.
I guess I just wonder if we set ourselves up for disappointment and failure by marrying too early. It seems that all these people (myself included) got married at 19 or 20, or even in their early 20's. Are we allowing ourselves to be pressured to get married instead of just living together? Do we do ourselves a disservice by not allowing ourselves to mature a little before we decide exactly what we need and want in a life long partner? Do people who stay together do so because they're happy...or simply because they refuse to get divorced for whatever reason? Is it possible to be happy with one person for your whole adult life?
I hope divorce isn't contagious. I hope that I'm just more aware of it now since I've gone through it so recently. I believe in love. I want to think that there is someone out there for everyone. I want to believe that happily ever after is possible.