divorce…

this is something that i don’t really understand. i mean, i get how it works and all, but it doesn’t make sense to me.

let me set this up just a little bit. a few weeks ago, i found out that someone i know is getting a divorce from his wife of 30 years. 30 YEARS!! and heard that someone else of 25 years is splitting up. and yesterday on the radio i heard that al and tipper gore, together 40 YEARS are calling it quits. not that i care about al and tipper, but you know what i mean, right?

i don’t understand how you can share SO much of your life with someone and then just walk away. HOW DO YOU JUST WALK AWAY FROM 25, 30, 40 YEARS?!?!

obviously i don’t know the ins and outs of these stories, i don’t know what life is like at home, i don’t know a lot of things about their lives, their marriages, whatever. it just seems so weird to me that people can do that. they can decide that after all those years, it would be better to not be with the person that they pledged their lives to. trying to imagine my mom and dad walking away from each other right now (this year is 25 for them and no, there’s no party because i’m a terrible daughter). i can’t even imagine it. i can’t even PICTURE them walking away.

what makes a marriage not worth it anymore?

i have had quite a few friends get married in the past few years and i have been invited to 6 this season as well. we’ll make it to 4, so not bad. but of all those people, there ARE in fact a few who i wonder ‘will they make it?’. with these people, i know what will kill their marriage if it does. selfishness. plain and simple. and it breaks me heart to think that they’re going through all of this stuff and yet i wonder (and i’m not the only one) if they’ll make it 5 years. i WANT to believe in them, i WANT to believe in their marriage. i just don’t know how.

of course, and you knew this was coming eventually, it makes me think about mine. how do i KNOW that we’re going to make it? how do i KNOW that 10, 15, 30 years from now we’ll still love each other? that we’ll still find our marriage to be worth it? obviously i DON’T know and i realize that marriage is a string of choices. choosing to stay with that person, choosing to love them, all that stuff, but it’s still kinda scary. i’ve been married for like, 35 DAYS and everything is going just fine and we still like each other and all that jazz. it just makes me wonder what the future brings. can we handle it? will we make it? or will we end up as a divorce statistic?

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5 thoughts on “divorce…

  1. your sister says:

    you have to work your butt off to not end up a statistic. I can’t believe that I am divorced after such a short marriage let alone decades. It doesn’t make sense. I guess at some point people quit trying.

  2. James says:

    I just want to comment on the part about our marriage and knowing whether or not it will make it. The fact of the matter is that NOBODY knows if ANYTHING will last. Every small decision we make every day of our lives factors into the success of our marriage. That is not to say that our marriage is fragile, in fact I think marriages are incredibly resilient in general. The key is how long they are. Those many many many decisions we make every day add up over time and build up. (A really great song that comes to mind for this is Slow Fade) I am not worried about our marriage for a few reasons that I will list:

    1. We have outstanding communication. We will talk about things when they come up and that should really do a lot to prevent the ‘build up’
    2. We are not selfish. Obviously every human on the planet has some selfishness, but for the most part we are very thoughtful about each other and we are not “what’s in it for me” type people.
    3. God. Our foundation. We have and continue to build a relationship with God and are really trying hard to build our marriage upon Him. He is the one who can keep us through the hard times. He is the one that makes our tie more than an legal contract. He is the one that we can reach to when we are hurt by each other. He is everything and we are doing the right thing in making our marriage not just about us, but about God and the way our marriage reflects on Him.

    Those three factors are only a few that I can think of right now, but are MORE than enough to keep our marriage healthy and strong. The key is sticking with it. We MUST remember to honor, respect, care for, and love each other with everything we have. We must always remember to bend rather than break. Our ability to be flexible is also a key factor in this whole thing.

    Anyways, I gotta get some more work done! I love you, and hope the truth in my words will bring a smile to your face. 🙂

    -James

  3. Maaaaaam says:

    Ahhhh – marriage. I find it hard to believe that it has been 25 years for Mark and I. As I think back over those years – it’s been great (especially those first years when everything is fresh and new)…..then we hit some really tough years……….and now we’re getting back to great again…..are back to great again. For some people, they focus so hard on their children while they’re home……and once the children leave….they no longer have anything in common. They FORGOT about their marriage while raising their kids. Easy to do. It’s busy and messy and frustrating and fun. And easy to put the kids in front of the spouse. Communication is another key. They quit talking to each other……because they “know each other so well”. But not talking ends up with 2 people walking 2 different paths. We took a brief turn down that road – scary!! Don’t want to go there again. And as you stated – selfishness. They believe the culture’s messages. Just do it, Look out for #1, My way or the highway. These do not bring people together, it just tears them apart – it keeps them looking at themselves and not the other person. It’s hard to live out the love that the other person is more important than you. We fail probably more often than we succeed. BUT we keep trying and we won’t give up. I can’t imagine my life without Mark and I hope that he can’t imagine his life without me. It all boils down to a choice – made daily – very consciously. And it also boils down to making the choice to give up being offended. Yes, you will be offended – decide what you’re going to do about it. Either let it go and never say anything (there are times you can do that……think toilet paper and how it rolls) or you choose to talk about it – clear the air – and then LET IT GO. Offense will tear apart EVERY relationship. We nned to quit listening to the culture and start listening to God – who tells us to turn the other cheek and forgive – forgive – and forgive again.

  4. Tabitha says:

    I love James’s response — it really does show what you two have that a lot of couples don’t have. So, no, you don’t know what will happen in the future, what sorts of circumstances will arise to threaten the comfort and love within your marriage. But you can always control your own choices, and I think that’s the most important thing. CHOOSE to commit, no matter what, and make the effort. My grandparents were married for 56 years (technically, they’re still married and their 57th anniversary is coming up this month), and one day my grandpa just decided it wasn’t worth it anymore. It broke my heart, but it also made me think about the observations I’ve made of their interactions for the last 25 years, and I know exactly the sorts of things Joe and I are doing differently that will help us NOT to become another statistic. 🙂

  5. Renee says:

    Twenty-five, 30 and 40 years ago, there was a major stigma attached to getting divorced. So people who didn’t want to be married to each other stuck it out to avoid the “shame” of divorce. That stigma is gone and they can get out now. Al doesn’t need the “happy home” of a politician now that he isn’t one anymore. I see a lot of this these days.

    I think it really comes down to making sure you’re making the right choice in your life partner BEFORE you get married instead of hoping it will work out after, as many people do.

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