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The Current Rate of Marriage & Divorce

Updated on September 8, 2012

With the era we live in being characterized by "Wasbands & Wives," I've been asking myself what's changed? What's so different from when my great-grandparents were alive. Married at eighteen and stayed together until the day they died. That's almost unheard of nowadays. What's really changed though?

I highly doubt life is harder now than it was in 1930. Hell, I bet it's quite similar economically. Jobs are scarce, crime is up and there's no end in sight. That definitely does take a toll on people individually and massively. Then and now. Considering trends are cyclical, I'm sure we could make a long list of parallels (don't worry, I'll spare you). To say "Oh, it was just a different time," sounds like bullshit to me. If generations before us were able to stay married through times similar to what we're experiencing now, why can't we?

There is one HUGE difference I think we're all aware of. Public perception. Back then it was considered quite taboo to deviate from the norm of a picket fence, a few kids and a happy marriage. Now, the norm is a backyard, a few kids, and twice divorced. I find it incredibly hard to believe that behind closed doors the issues dealt with were far off from the ones today. People still cheated, drank excessively, disrespected and neglected one another. Today it seems more widely accepted to bail when the going gets tough. Remember that pesky little vow we made? "For better or for worse."

Was it just the threat of social suicide that kept generations before us together? Maybe. However, I highly doubt that many of our grandparents and great grandparents would say they regret that something (whatever that something may be) actually kept them together. Don't get me wrong, there is an exception to every rule. My own parents were divorced and you better believe if I was in my Mom's position, I'd have divorced my Dad too! There are deal breakers.

All relationships consist of ups and downs, ebbs and flows, highs and lows. I truly believe we're constantly falling in and out of love with one another. That warm and fuzzy feeling isn't there all the time, but it's not dead either. More like hiding. Why are we ditching out on our marriages when we we've fallen out of love if falling back in could be right around the corner? Isn't that relationship the one we value most? Next only to the relationship with our children. What if we took the "D" word off the table?

I can't fathom it feels like an accomplishment to be divorced. It would be so much more fulfilling to be able to look back and see what a huge hurdle you overcame with your partner. Even when you felt like there was no other way out, you bit the bullet because you knew the taste of metal would eventually subside. You stuck by your promise and because of that are bonded to each other like never before. Besides, being a single parent, sharing custody, losing a home, starting over financially, etc. doesn't sound like greener pastures to me.

This is of course not to say that avoiding divorce is easy. It can be a grueling and long process to pull yourself out of a marriage slump. In no way am I inferring we should stick by an abusive or otherwise extremely unhealthy person either. What I am saying is, it shouldn't be so easy to bail on our partners just because our neighbors lawn looks better.

What do you think? Have the last few generations forgotten the sanctity of marriage? Leave your comments below.

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    • LilaDaley profile image

      Lila Daley 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Great hub! The points are true. Divorce is more acceptable now days. I do believe that it might be seen that moving on to someone else when your marriage gets hard is easier but really even with someone new you will still have issues. You have to look at deciding to get married that there is no divorce in the end, you must choose who you marry with care. It's for life. Your life with be easier, your spouse will be happier and your kids will thank you. Sure everyone fights but it's how you figure out what to do to make it work that is the best part of it.

    • fjones0052 profile image

      fjones0052 5 years ago from Washington State

      I believe that this generation has lost the idea of a marriage commitment. The media has shoved in our face all the clebs and their merry-go-round of marriage, as well as sociaty accepting the use of anything that protects us from social situations (texting, Facebook, etc.) that what else are young people to think. Couple that with parents not wanting to assume the responsibility of being a parent, so all a child knows is I have to get what's important to me, because only I deserve it. If I am not getting anything out of the relationship, then I need to move on. That is a child's attitude. We live in a very Narcissistic society, and it will continue untill we as a society are prepared to lance the behavior. I do agree that no-one should remain in an abusive relationship. I do not believe that there are ever irreconcilable differences.

    • LMKaplan profile image
      Author

      LMKaplan 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Thanks so much for the vote MissFrost!

      wonderful1: You're absolutely right. It's so hard to project twenty years out what you'll want or who you'll be. Like I said, there's an exception to every rule. However, it seems like some people get married with the idea that once things get tough they'll just get divorced. It's taken far too lightly these days. Totally agree with the "masks" too. We can only hope that once we're ready to wed, we're completely aware of who we're committing to. Thanks so much for the feedback!

    • wonderful1 profile image

      Sheila Varga Szabo 5 years ago from Southern California

      Interesting points, and I think you're on target. People generally haven't changed much, but the "D-word" is more accepted these days. Many people are ready to start over and find happiness rather than stay in a bad marriage. People change over a lifetime, and what you "think" is your soul mate at 22 might become a completely incompatible person when you're 40. I sure didn't know WHAT I really wanted or needed from a spouse (they don't have courses on finding soul mates in high school), but with the knowledge I've gathered from experience and reading advice, I now have more clarity about relationships. Oh, and I doubt I will say "I do" a second time... that was too painful a lesson to go through again. People sometimes wear "masks" when you are falling in love, and by the time you could see who they really are, love blinds you. Good subject matter, and thanks for sharing.

    • MissFrost profile image

      MissFrost 5 years ago from 50% Island Girl, 25% East Coast Girl, 25% Country Girl

      Agreed! Good points...voted up!