The Current Rate of Marriage & Divorce
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.