Changing the Divorce Statistic

It is a sad fact that divorce rates are quite high around the world (though my research indicates that the divorce rate is happily rising less steadily than I had previously thought!). Marriage is no longer "until death do us part" but for only as long as the spousal relationship is convenient to both parties. I wonder if one day I will be telling my grandchildren about the "good old days" when the nuclear family still existed and where the family could live together in peaceful harmony.

Before I continue on to discuss ways that we can begin to unify as families and therefore change the divorce statistic, I would like to address one of the primary reasons that the divorce rate is as high as it is:

It is easy to get a divorce. When it came time for my husband to divorce his second wife, it was a simple matter of filing paperwork with the clerk that stated that the couple had been separated for the period of one year and that the marriage could not be saved. There were no questions asked and the couple never went before a judge. All it took was a piece of paper, three signatures and a notary and the awful deed was done. Blessedly, there were no children of the marriage.

I firmly believe that if divorce wasn't so easy we would see less of it. The honest truth is that in our current society and culture women in particular are given very little reason to work on their marriages. Judges favor mothers in custody battles and in many areas men are ordered to pay alimony and child support. The unfortunate fact is that women are rewarded for divorcing their husbands!

A Disclaimer

I am aware that my opinions on the subject of marriage and divorce may be unpopular. I am notably a Christian woman who has chosen a particular traditional path within my marriage. I believe with all sincerity that the traditional model for marriage works. If it didn't work, it wouldn't be called traditional marriage.

So for those of you who are about to be offended, I wish to apologize in advance. I may lose some popularity, but I will not lose my integrity.

Reasons a Marriage Ends

There are several reasons why a marriage might come to an end, and I intend to spread the responsibility equally between both the husband and the wife. My list is short: I feel that the reasons I have listed are the roots that sometimes branch out into other factors that might affect the marriage.

Breakdown of Communication is a Common Cause of Divorce

Contrary to popular belief, men and women are essentially different from one another. I am biologically, psychologically and emotionally different from my husband. No matter how hard I press, he is never going to be a woman with a woman's response to every problem, and however much he might like me to, I will never think like a man.

I like the way that Emerson Eggerichs talks about how women see through pink glasses and hear with pink hearing aids and men see through blue glasses and hear through blue hearing aids. We each take our own experiences and our own understandings into every discussion we have with our spouse. And sometimes this can lead to miscommunication, anger and resentment.

A breakdown of communication can cause a host of satellite problems within a marriage, including a husband who spends too much time out of the house or a wife who focuses all of her energy on the children.

His Lack of Love Leads Her to Withdraw

Women have an essential need for love. When they feel that their husband doesn't love them, women react in several negative ways, not the least of which is withdrawing their respect and affections from their husband. Most women don't realize that they are contributing to the "crazy cycle" (see the Amazon link above) in so doing. This withdrawal contributes to the breakdown of communication and can be very injurious to the health of the marriage.

Her Lack of Respect Leads Him to Stray

Just as a woman needs love, respect is essential to a man's feeling of well-being within his inter-personal relationships. Many women are surprised to discover that for men, love and respect are interchangeable. Women in general don't understand that a man will not feel loved if he doesn't feel respected: it is the same to him.

Men will seek out people and situations that make him feel good about himself. This is one of the most significant reasons why men are unfaithful to their wives.

The Couple has Nothing in Common (Any More)

People change. I have heard it said time and time again that it is impossible for people to change, but just in the past five years that I have spent with my husband we have discovered new interests together and have learned that there are some things we simply cannot share. He does not, for example, understand my love of dollhouses and hiking, while I strive to get involved in his golf activities even though I also lack interest.

This is one area where marriage takes a serious effort. If a couple isn't willing to make some sacrifices and work together in order to reach some common ground, the marriage may fail.

One Person...

One person can save a marriage. The reason for this is the "Crazy Cycle" that Eggerich's describes in his book Love and Respect. When a woman feels unloved by her husband, she is likely to respond to him with a lack of respect. When a man feels disrespected by his wife, he is likely to respond to her in an unloving manner. In this case, both individuals are wrong. But it only takes one of them to stop the cycle!

I am personally inclined to believe that it is easier for the woman to jump off the spinning hamster wheel. Men are often surprisingly easy to please once you have learned which buttons to push (and I am not talking about manipulating him, either!). Reaching out to your husband with a respectful attitude can work real magic on him.

I highly recommend taking a look at the book For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. While I began to understand eight or nine months ago the importance of respect to my husband, I didn't truly understand how I could show respect to him until I discovered this wonderful little book!

Men are Accountable, Too!

I find that the power a woman has in her marriage is oft-discussed, while a man's responsibility is overlooked. It is possible that this treatment is due to the fact that most authors on the subject are male and assume that females don't understand the male sex while men of course understand their women. Because of this, some of the best possible information is overlooked and lost in translation.

Don't worry, Shaunti's husband, Jeff, has come to help you with For Men Only.

Loving your wife can completely change your life, and Jeff Feldhahn shows you how in very specific terms. I have also written some hubs on the topic that might help you to better understand some of your wife's language.

What I wish to stress here is that any discord or discomfort within your household may be caused by your wife's unhappiness. It is always worthwhile to examine why she is unhappy, and keep in mind that women are very relational creatures. We want to talk about our problems, rather than think about them. And remember, don't try to fix her! She isn't broken!

You Aren't Stupid

And I know that you aren't. Ladies and gentlemen, I understand that you know that marriage is a challenge and that there are going to be times when it is difficult. I know that if you genuinely wish to save your marriage you will seek marriage counseling. I also know that you are aware that the decision whether or not to divorce is a choice that you make, not something you are forced to do.

I'm not coming to you from a judgmental point of view. My husband is twice divorced and I have been divorced once. We have both been the victims of affairs and we have both forgiven our former spouses. We have both been on the receiving end of the divorce papers. And we both know that sometimes there are simply unresolvable differences between spouses, and the marriage ends.

I know that you don't want to add to the statistics, and will very likely do everything you can to save your marriage.

If you are looking for more information on how to improve your relationship with your spouse, please watch my profile for new hubs on the subject. Marriage is one of my favorite subjects! I have included below a list of links to my previous hubs on the topic as well as a list of recommended reading.

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Comments 29 comments

GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

Ahh, gender conflicts.

Its sad marriage has become such a waste of clerk paperwork, but I suppose its a good business for counties.

Personally, I'll never understand men and women who go "But boys/girls are different!"

Yeah, sure.You're only lead to believe this if you don't make good attempts at empathy. ;)

G|M


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Oh, we're different! Once I realized how much so I was much more able to show my husband the respect that he needed and likewise to feel more loved by him. It worked out for us in the end but there was a time where it almost didn't.


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

I suppose my view is a bit askew, then. =P

But then again, I've always been a gender queer.

I don't like limiting myself to all the fun that can be had. ;)

Besides, dresses are awesome on a hot day. ;P

Sincerely,

G|M


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Nothing wrong with that! I went through that stage of my life, too. Doesn't mean I understood my then-husband at all. I wish I had. We wouldn't still be married, regardless (he cheated on me) but I would have been a better woman for it!


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

Yeah... -=\ evil cheating bastards.

It's safe to say I understand women. Says so multiple doctor visits, tests, and the likes. Men, actually, I have a bit of a hard time identifying with moreso than women. Go fig.

I think part of the illusion of "we're different" is that its so much more fun to feel like we need to be completed. =P But thats my opinion, and everyone has one...just like something else.

G|M


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

I'm the same way with identifying with women. I behave like one and have everything in common with a "normal" woman and yet I just identify better with men and prefer their company. I guess it's also significant that my good friends are all gay!


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

Haha, as a theater queen, you most certainly must be a faghag. ;)

For me, its slowly becoming less and less of a truth. When I was younger boys got rough, fought, etc..I just didn't jive with what they did and how. Now that I'm an adult, and most people around me are adults, these are no longer issues. But there's always room on my plate to help makeover someone. ;P

G|M


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

LOL! My best GIRL friend is also gay :P


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

Makes sense. I've a lot of friends too that are gay, regardless of sex. ;P I'm guessing she's not a lipstick wearing kind. =P

Ah, I really should shut up before I get myself in trouble. Hey, this reminds me..I've a poem on gender...I'm gonna have to dig it out at some point..

G|M

P.S.

Here it is..hope you don't mind me posting it..

<!-- @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } -->

"Baby Steps"

You're all stuck in a hand-me-down biview:

How ironic the digital has always been upon us!

You wanna ride it fast and hard, school yard sprung-

Into the next dementia,

And the waves of full understanding are deadened by being.

Well I don't think you understood it;

When they said "We're happy that you're here,"

Then it was time to get your ass in the gender line.

They assigned you what you looked to be,

And once bar coded you begin the life long program.

Don't worry baby,

There's no chance to fuck this up.

So take a step forward,

And walk on through the hallway of blue.

Now how does that sandbox fit you?

Do you like the world around?

No, no, don't go looking for Malibu Barbie-

Keep GI Joe waring with the Cobra Commander!

One might consider this sickening,

Another can say its true.

The more you live this, the more they hope it'll be you.

Don't worry baby,

There's no chance to fuck this up.

So take a step forward,

And walk on through the hallway of pink.

Hey pretty pretty princess,

Does that makeup bore you?

Go play with some dollies,

Or cook in your PlaySkool Kitchen.

Get learned for life, get learned for life.

Get learned for life, get learned for life!

It's too bad you can't escape this,

And if you knew any better perhaps you'd regret it?

I don't know if you know,

But there's something buried deep inside me,

And thats why they profess my guilt.

So unless you want to be demonized for association,

Keep both your heads to the light and walk down the halls of gender.

One might consider this sickening,

Another can say its true.

The more you live this, the more they hope it'll be you.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Gender identity is an interesting thing. I dealt with a period of time where I felt more male than I did female. I've just had some general confusion that seems to stem from not being "straight." It's even harder when you aren't "gay" either!


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Very nice! Maybe you should do a hub about gender identity and some of the issues covered in the poem?

Very well written.

My step-son loves Barbies. Our only complaint is that it's Barbie, not that it's a doll. We don't like our daughters playing with Barbie either!


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

A lot of people make the mistake of confusing gender identity with sexuality. Honestly, I'm not one for sex. At least, not at this point. But I love exploring gender. =) And I feel more comfortable in a feminine role than a masculine, but I've given up my dreams of transitioning--I may do it at some point, but I really don't want to spend much of my life chasing after it. I'd rather work on my art. So, by this logic, I'm probably not the best canidate for it. I used to be, sure, but now I'm happy to make do with what I am today. Sincerely, G|M

P.S.

Thanks for the idea on the hub..I think I will write it today...later, though. =)

And link back to this article..

Barbie is a poor role model in so many ways, but its a charicature of what people asociate with as your atypical american woman. That, I think, is the biggest tragedy.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

I deleted the second copy. No worries. Part of why I have comments moderated. I can catch them before they clutter.

I think that sexuality can effect gender identity but that it doesn't always. I also find that bisexuals appear to be more likely to have some form of gender identity issue than straights or gays do.

When we first moved to Indiana we lived with another couple. He was a lesbian and she was bisexual. She wanted to take the leap and he didn't (he's Catholic). I've honestly never seen two transgenders in a relationship with one another, though!

It's strange, I think I'm an oddity as a Christian. I've had old friends tell me since the conversion that they are afraid to talk to me because they don't want me to prostheletize (I generally don't!) since they are still pagan. Only my two best friends have trusted me through the transition. They're both gay.

I just figure that it isn't up to me to judge them. But you and I have been over that, too. People need to do what they feel is right and no amount of lecturing is going to change them. I also tend to think that God doesn't make mistakes and I have known true transgenders in the past.

Funny how when you bring God into the equation it gets confusing and complicated, isn't it? Religion. Bah. That's why I'm not religious. God can judge me when the time comes.

What would lead you to have the operation done? A desire to be, physically? Or a feeling of physical "wrongness?"

Gender is definitely something that fascinates me, too. At least when I get going about it!

P.S. It is the "poor role model" thing that we're trying to avoid.

 


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

"What would lead you to have the operation done? A desire to be, physically? Or a feeling of physical "wrongness?""

Yes, a physical wrongness indeed. Since day one. This is one of the biggest reasons, most likely, that I'm not a sexual creature. It's hard to explain....it's like...my body knows it's there, but my brain can't comprehend it.

I could probably be satisfied with taking hormones and changing out my wardrobe, which I might do at some point...but I've tried this before on several occasions and it wears on me because I live in Orange County Cali where a giant WASP nest called Saddleback Valley Church is only miles away from me.

Like I said, I just feel more comfortable in the feminine. It's not a sexual thing, it's more of "hey, this is why I've had so many questions over the years regarding who I am" thing.

And I'm down with your view on Religion, as you know...it's just a form of control. I highly doubt there's some being waiting for us on the otherside looking to judge us on anything we've done to be happy, but moreso to judge us on things we've done to make our world around us unhappy.

Sincerely,

G|M


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

I do believe in God and judgment. I also believe in forgiveness. I'm not better than anyone else because of my beliefs and I'm not going to stsand at the pulpit and tell anyone that they are going to hell. That isn't for me to decide anyway.

While I can't relate to the feeling of "wrongness" with one's own body, I can identify with feeling out of place and disconnected from something. In my case that relates to having been adopted. So family. For others it's gender or sexuality.

I hurt for those who cannot identify as themselves, whoever they may be. I cannot imagine the intolerable suffering that must cause, and then furthermore to not be able to express yourself due to the fears that someone is looking over your shoulder preparing to judge you based on their idea of what is righteous.... It has me shaking my head in confusion and concern.


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

very nice hub. I think money plays important role.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

It does sometimes, Lgali. It's different for every couple. We're united about money but conflicted about child rearing, for example.


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

I think if both are working and busy less chance of conflict


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

That is true, but it also leaves more time to stray from one another as well.

My husband and I have individual interests as well as things that we share and we try to give one another plenty of space while still romancing one another. We have a weekly date :)


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

I hear you...we're all on this dust ball together, and it's only a mere billions of years before our sun goes from tanning booth to easy bake oven. ;P

I have a friend who was adopted as well, and I can only imagine what you must think about at times...

...as for the whole expressing myself...I get away with it in my creativity anymore. =) I had a lot of it beaten out of me when I was a kid, and I made a conscience effort throughout my teen years to banish these thoughts, until my parents found out when I was about 16.

They told me they loved me, they were going to help me...but in the end, they decided not to do much because they didn't want me to go do something and then hate them for it if I didn't like it.

Which is BS, but hey, I guess people have a right to believe one thing or another. Regardless of who I am and what I wear and how I act...I'm still me, anyway. =P

I feel anymore that I exist in paralell through many different mediums. I'm more interested in helping others than helping myself, and this, too, is probably why I tried so many years to hide my gender issues.

I used to say "I wish I was born a girl.." but, you know what? I'm glad I've had these hardships to overcome. They've strengthened my soul, my heart, and my mind. I wouldn't change a thing.

G|M


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

It is *so* easy to say that, G|M and much harder to feel it. If you genuinely have no regrets, then good for you! And even if you do, good for you! We all have issues that we need to overcome, just for some of us they are bigger and more all consuming.

I look at it this way: something that is small to me might be huge to someone else. Something that is small to someone else might be huge to me. It is our individual perception of our own issues that matters, not what others have to say about it!


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

You and I are both in agreeance on that---some people get a paper cut and they cry as all get out, others will get shot and not say much.

I truly don't have regrets anymore. I find them useless and nothing but harmful--I have no intention in wasting my life on what could have been...it's just not productive.

I will, however, continue to wonder what could be in the future. ;)


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

Sigh, you know, I'm working on thought bubbles "of Gender," but I don't think it will be ready for awhile. I tend not to begin posting a Hub until I've 90% of it finished.

However, I have written a character--and most importantly--a chapter about this sort of thing in The Greatest Con. Have you read chapter six? I don't mean to be an arse, or to spout my name...but here we go:

http://hubpages.com/literature/tcg6

Love,

G|M


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

I ran out of time with today going back and forth with you! No, I haven't read it yet but I will head over there tomorrow. About to eat dinner and then we have to go to the store (then bed).


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

Have fun. =) It's all good...I wear people out easily, or so I've been told. =P

G|M


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

You aren't! I'm just seriously going to bed now... It's only 10 (which is early for me) but my eyes are tired. Allergies!


pgrundy 7 years ago

Wow, this is a really interesting and insightful hub, and the conversation between you and GM is as interesting as the hub itself.

If I read you correctly, your husband is on his 3rd marriage (this time to you?) Is that right? I think marriage is very hard, and I'm not sure divorce is due simply to the fact that it is 'easy' to get divorced. I've been divorced three times, and believe me, it was not easy, not a bit. The last time I literally lost everything. I didn't even have a set of silverware. I moved into this crappy apartment at 48 with my clothes, my car, and a 15 year old MacIntosh computer. Ouch.

I live with a great guy now, going on 5 years. We may or may not get married. We're old, both thrice divorced, so you know, we're not rushing into anything.

That said, I thought your comments on what keeps marriages healthy were insightful and mature, and I also enjoyed reading your gender conversation. I remember at 11 being mistaken frequently for a boy. I didn't feel like a boy OR a girl, and I still have a hard time identifying with 'girl things', if that makes any sense. I don't form friendships with women very easily, and I have trouble understanding why most of the women I know are interested in the things they are. Many men have told me I'm more like a man, not in my looks so much as how I act and think.

I don't know why this is. But I think it's a fascinating topic. Gender in some ways is such a straightjacket. But then in other ways, I mean, I see people run with it, and it works for them.

Thanks. Fascinating hub.


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

As a woman who, in spite of coming across as "very feminine", does not think the way "the books" say women think; I think people need to be very careful about generalizing about genders. I think the same is true with regard to divorce. Sometimes people marry too young (a large percentage of the divorce rate involves people in their twenties). Sometimes women put their kids ahead of the marriage, and not all husbands are very gracious about that. People also marry and think they're marrying the right person, only to have some of the more subtle things about a person show up once "real life" starts to bring some of those things out.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Lisa,

I believe that divorce is wrong. I've been burned by it on both sides -- having been divorced and being the second (third) wife of my husband. There are so many reasons *not* to get divorced and so many ways to prevent it. Of course one of the ways that it can be prevented is by avoiding young marriage. I agree with you, though I read a Dear Abby column recently where several couples disputed this claim with the reality that they had been married at fifteen and were married fifty years later. Good for them! But we aren't living in the same times, either, and fifteen year-olds are no longer considered adults.

In my opinion, a lot of it comes down to the way our children are taught as they are growing up. I believe that those who are taught that the odds can be beaten are more likely to succeed. Those who are taught that women can be beaten are more likely to fail. Unfortunately I was one of the latter (there was no physical violence in my house, but emotional abuse was prevelant).

Personally, I believe that traditional gender roles work. The more feminine I make myself, the happier I am.

And here's the really tough part: NONE of us can speak on a very emotionally charged issue (or rather one that isn't, as I once said to Darkside, pedantic) without relating to our own personal experiences and those of the women to whom we are close. I can relate to men in terms of those men to whom I am close (and I see a vast variation there, as well, including in both husbands).

I do believe that marriage can usually be saved and that it usually only takes one person to save the marriage. Despite my conversation with G|M, gender roles has less to do with it than actual effort put into the restoration of the marriage. It's work. It's always going to be work. Sometimes one partner works harder than the other. That, unfortunately, is life.

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