As I sit here writing this I am trying to think of all the people I know who have gone through a divorce, and I realize that it’s much easier to count the ones who haven’t. My parents, my uncle, my sister…the list is pretty short. It seems I have been surrounded by the inevitable break-up my entire life. Both my grandparents were divorced before I was born. My father’s mother was on her third husband by the time I was four. My mother had two brothers and one sister, all three divorced. My sister, my friends, there really are not many that have made it through the long haul.
So I have to wonder what it is that makes us put ourselves through such pain voluntarily. It can’t be love, love doesn’t make you pack your bags and bail out a window while your spouse is out getting milk. Love doesn’t make you hate every little noise that emerges from someone’s mouth. The hair in the sink, the clothes on the floor, the dishes on the counter. Every step you take is like walking barefoot on shards of glass. But millions of people do it every day. They walk down that aisle and pretend like it’s the happiest day of their lives when in reality they would much rather be throwing back beers back from a plastic cup at some college frat party.
I think we fall in love with the idea of being taken care of. We see marriage as a safety net. It’s comfortable. There is always someone there to lean on, to fall back on. There is always someone there to share in the hardships and help you though rough times. It’s the security of knowing you don’t have to do it alone. It’s the love of an idea, seldom the love of another human being. People have a tendency to grow and change. I never could never understand whoever said that “People never change”, because the way I see it, they constantly change. The problem is that rarely do two people change in the same direction.
I remember when I was in my early twenties I knew guys that would only hit on married women. If we were out at a bar or a club they would always look for the wedding ring. Married women were always easy marks. They played no games, knew what they were there for and wanted absolutely nothing afterwards but to be left alone. I am sure married men are the same way, only married men tend to hit on single women for other reasons. Probably because sleeping with a married woman hits too close to home for most of them. Who knows the rationality of their actions.
Some marriages last longer than others. Some don’t even make it out of the honeymoon. I suppose kids have a big impact on the time frame. Most couples go through the motions and play it safe for the children and then jump ship the day the last one leaves the nest. But once the couple first realizes that it’s over, that there is nothing left so save what so ever. It’s just a matter of time. The problem is that couples let it get to that point. They stop caring for one another, they stop talking and completely give up. Marriage has to be an equal partnership if it’s to stand any chance of survival. The two people have to have the same general goals. Without those things it’s not a matter of if it will fail, but when.
I don’t think people take the time to get to know each other. They jump into romance like the store is about to close and there are only three cans of beans left on the shelf. Someone looks at you in a certain way, they touch you, they talk to you softly. You think it’s love. Then two years into the marriage they don’t look at you the same anymore, they don’t touch you at all and the soft words become harsh screams. You stop building foundations and start building escape hatches. You stop doing all the things that you know bring joy to the other person. Even if it brings joy to you. Every word and every breath become nine-inch nails pounded into your hands and feet. You find yourself crucified and bleeding crying out. “Why have you forsaken me!”
But still millions and millions of people hop the broom every single day. They step on wine glasses, smash plates, walk down the aisle, vow to love honor and cherish. Til divorce do we part. Because if they don’t part with divorce the marriage will surely kill them. I look back at my parents who were married young and their entire lives until my father’s death. I think they started out happy and made it work for a while. My dad never made over minimum wage, my mother never worked. She would take little jobs here and there, selling Avon, scooping ice cream, nothing that ever brought in any real money. But she did her part by keeping the house clean and taking care of us kids. Whoever may parents were before they married I will never know, those people quickly disappeared. The kids came along and the stress wore on them like heavy wool blankets. My mother’s mental state of ability weakened and her mind wandered. My father’s physical health was aged beyond his years. My mother was remarried almost instantly after my fathers passing. That marriage too would fail horribly. The children disbanded one by one until they were all but strangers to one another. So what on earth was it all for? They would have been so much happier outside the confines of marriage.
This past year I have seen seven friends divorce. I have four family members currently going through it and I have been inside the fish bowl looking out myself. It seems to be the logical ending to a ridiculous tradition. We put all our marbles in one bag and hope that it doesn’t break. But they always seem to break. You walk down the sidewalk and have to watch every step so not to slip on the millions of marbles rolling around. We have to ask at what point does an intelligent, advanced society finally put an end to this out dated ritual. You meet someone, you co-habituate with them for a while, you move on. If there are children involved, well then things become a little more complicated. But the fact that it has turned into this huge legal battle and enormous debate of who can and can not marry and what the bible says about what and doing the right thing and blah blah blah. It just seems to be a man-made concept of everlasting bonding that has never worked.
If two people want to profess their love in the eyes of God, well than that’s okay. Bringing government and law into it is not okay. If two people decide to have kids, that’s okay. There should be laid out financial burdens set in place by the time the baby arrives. But to continue this ritualistic, tribal dance as a government ran institution is idiotic. It’s a system that almost always fails. Divorce is inevitable. It’s time to move the human race into the next level of existence and leave such childish things behind. The era of Barbie and Ken is over, they have been replaced with Brats and students at Monster High. We are already teaching our kids that young and single is far better than tied down to the walls of a dream house. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara have become Bella and Edward and Jacob. Where “Teams” fight over the affections of one emotionally detached girl.
Delusional society in a self-destructive reality.
Love without restrictions. Connections without demands. Be human for God’s sake. Freedom without exception. The failing heart is a human condition. The lack of ability to see it is nothing short of blinding ignorance. Going into a marriage means the odds are against you. What you think is bliss nine times out of ten will result in you running for your life. Your just waiting for the next stop sign to appear so you can open the door and escape. Feeling unloved in a world of dishonor with nothing left to cherish.
I do, but only for as long as it lasts. Bring back the 60’s please. I thought all you long-haired hippies were suppose to change the world. What happened to that plan? I guess they all had kids who got married.
Just love, and stop all this nonsense already.