The other day I was in talking with a group of friends about divorce. You see, I am currently going through a divorce myself, and these friends of mine were all guys that had been there too. I must say that this whole process has been extremely difficult. Personally, I did not see my divorce coming. I know there are some other guys that sort of knew it was about to happen before their wives left them, but I remained completely oblivious until the day I got the attorney's card shoved into my hands.
Now, before you go off and mention that divorce was inevitable since I am a gay man, I must point out that my wife knew about my sexuality before we even got married. We were, quite simply, high school sweethearts, and I had fallen head over heels for her. It seems that love is not restricted by a person's sexuality, though I would daresay that the two usually go hand-in-hand.
However, back on topic, my friends and I were discussing love in general. In our modern day age, men and women can leave the once-sacred vows of marriage on a mere whim. There are, of course, laws that attempt to keep the integrity of families intact, but even I know that there are easy loopholes in the system. Yet, if we dig deeper, this occurrence is happening throughout the entirety of society. It is not just restricted to a married couple. Families can kick their children out simply because they are different than them; friends can have a silly argument and suddenly be the worst of enemies; and, brothers and sisters can find all ties with one another broken as soon as their own lives begin.
So, what has happened to love? Has there ever been an age in which we could walk up to someone and say, "I love you," without being ridiculed? Was there ever a time when marriage, family, and friendships were held in higher esteem than they are these days? What do you believe is causing the breakdown of these relationships? Have we become too independent as a society in general? Let me know what you think!
In my opinion the #1 cause for divorce is and always has been selecting the (wrong mate) for oneself.
The #2 cause is getting married for the (wrong reasons).
The first one happens when people have not done the introspective thinking to figure out who they are, what they want, or need in a mate for life (before) they start pursuing relationships with others. It's the equivalent of going shopping without a "shopping list". They allow their relationship choices to be dictated by "impulsive connections" or "happenstance". Afterwards they invest time trying to "change" each other into being the type of person (they really want).
The second reason comes up frequently when people have an "age goal" to be married, all of their friends are married, an ultimatum was given, an unplanned pregnancy, someone joined the military and is about to be shipped away and they want to know they have someone to come home to.
A marriage based upon (circumstances) rather than love is likely to fail.
Lastly the biggest change between now and the eras of the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and most of the 60s has to do with better opportunities for (women). In the so called "golden era of marriage" many of these women were completely financially dependent on their husbands. A lot of them did not go to college or get any job skills. Their primary goal was meet a man to fall in love with, get married, and raise a family.
Even if a woman was unhappy she was reluctant to leave her husband due to the financial hardship she would endure. Some women felt trapped!
Today's woman has several birth control methods which can allow her to have sex on par like men without as much fear of getting pregnant. Many women have excellent career opportunities and earn great salaries. Awhile back AARP did a survey which revealed that (women initiate) the filing of divorce in the U.S. 66% or 2/3rds of the time! It's fairly rare for a (man to file for divorce). In fact most unhappily married men are far more likely to (cheat) than run down to the courthouse to file for a divorce.
With regard to today's women: "The more options one has the less crap they're willing to put up with!"
Your statement: "In our modern day age, men and women can leave the once-sacred vows of marriage on a mere whim." Actually in our modern day men and women often get married on a whim!
Las Vegas even has 24 hour drive thru wedding chapels! We've had TV shows like "Who wants to marry a millionaire?' and "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" Not exactly a ringing endorsement of sacred vows! We've had "mail order brides" and other instances where people got married to get a green card.
Some cultures still allow forced or pre-arranged marriage which have nothing to do with being in love.
Some people get married or have children without having a "plan". They live life by flying by the seat of their pants. To hell with getting a good education, choosing a career path, having their financial house in order, and taking their time to truly get to know someone to determine if they share the same values, want the same things for the marriage, naturally agree on how to obtain those things, and last but not least have a mutual depth of love and desire for one another.
Generally speaking the only people who think divorce is "easy" are those who have never gone through one! In fact the longer you have been together and are known in your community as being a couple and have accumulated friends and material things together in addition to bonding with in-laws, the more difficult it is to make the decision to start anew. It takes courage to make wholesale changes.
There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: We either get what we want or learn to be happy with what we have. You have know yourself, love yourself, and trust yourself. Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse. We are responsible for our own happiness. If we are unhappy with the choices we have made ideally we can learn to make better choices for ourselves. No one is "stuck" with anyone and that is the way it should be. Marriage is a choice.
Marriage was never meant to be a trap or a prison sentence.
Human beings make mistakes and that includes getting married to the (wrong) people sometimes.
Even our prison system allows most criminals to "get out of jail" at some point!
A divorce is nothing more than a "public admission" that a (mistake) was made.
No one on their wedding day envisions them self going through a divorce.
In order for her/him to be "the one" they would have see you as being "the one".
If someone doesn't want to be with you it's proof that they are not "the one".
At the very least everyone deserves to be with someone who actually (wants) to be with (them)!
I really love your counterstatement! You mentioned that only people that have not been through the grueling process of a divorce could call it 'easy.' I suppose I should clarify the way that I used easy in my original post. I thought it was much too easy to initiate the divorce. In my case, I was completely unaware that the divorce was coming, and I didn't have a chance to fight for the relationship. Sadly, I even went to a marriage counselors alone and waited for her.
While I do understand what you are saying, and I know my idea of divorce is slightly naïve, I wish that it required more than just one person's desire to get divorced. I know, marriage is not meant to serve as a prison sentence, but I do believe that it takes effort. After all, imagine how much you have invested in the marriage itself. Financially and mentally, the marriage has become a serious part of your life.
I do agree with your reasons for divorce though, as I would admit to getting married much too young myself.
Thank you so much for the response!
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