Has Divorce Become an Epidemic?
Perhaps I've been living under a rock, or maybe in a bubble, but what the heck is going on with the divorce rate? It's off the charts! I can not believe how many couples are calling it quits and this is just in my neck of the woods. I often say that nothing could shock me anymore, yet once again I am shocked.
What shocks me most is that it's the women who are asking for the divorce! And there are young children involved. What the heck, people? Sure, women are more empowered now, keep in mind we almost had the first female president of the United States! Women are no longer taking a backseat to men, but chances are they might go in the backseat upon request.
Women are out of the house and in the workforce. Women are strong and hold prominent positions. Women want to reach for the gold. But, keep in mind I am not blaming women for the epidemic—it takes two to tango.
Men seem to have an issue with communication and expressing their emotions. Yep, this flaw has not been remedied yet. It seems that men feel that by sharing their thoughts it would make them appear weak—this is not true. Women would appreciate it if y'all spoke up more. Without proper communication how in the heck is a relationship supposed to work?
The blame game seems to be popular among divorce proceedings. Instead of playing that game perhaps y'all should take a step back and view your relationship via the eyes of an outsider. Just perhaps you could learn a lesson or two.
Until Death Do Us Part
Divorce goes way back, not as far back as the dinosaur age, but I bet dinosaurs had their problems too, besides becoming extinct. In the late 90's I was a divorcee. A single mother of two young daughters. Did I want the divorce? No. But when my husband said he wasn't happy and wanted to see if the grass was greener, I bid him a farewell. Unfortunately, he never did find that greener grass. But I did when I met my second husband.
Due to my experiences along this crazy thing called life I've discovered that the person who initiates the divorce rarely, if ever, does find that the grass is greener. I've had many friends call it quits over the years and it's always been that the spouse who was left behind was the one who flourished and frolicked among the lush greens. Mind you, it was not an easy path that they traveled, heck there were many hills to climb but they were happy. Those who checked out of the marriage were shaking their heads in disbelief. Perhaps those who check out would rather not accept their flaws and instead think their spouse is the problem. We are responsible for our own happiness. Don't expect others to make you happy.
Both of my husbands were not perfect. Sure I considered throwing in the towel at times, but I didn't. Why? Because I'm a firm believer that we come into each other's lives for a reason and who am I to question that reason. Perhaps along the way, you might discover the reason and then quit the marriage or decide not to. Both of my husbands are deceased now. I did not kill them, even though the thought entered my head at times. I am thankful for the memories and experiences along the way.
Reasons For Wanting a Divorce
- She says she could do better than me.
- He says he doesn't love me anymore.
- She fell in love with her boss.
- She's holding back on any form of intimacy.
- He/she let themselves go; I no longer find them attractive.
- She cheated on me.
- He was a substance abuser.
- We married for the wrong reasons or bad timing.
The list goes on and on but these are just some of the reasons I heard during my chats among friends. Mind you, I'm not a licensed therapist, but people are drawn to me and feel comfortable sharing their stories. I take all their stories and combine them to help others. Yes, I do mention that I am a writer and that they may appear in one of my upcoming articles, but their identity would never be revealed because I respect their privacy.
Options to Explore Before Thinking About Divorce
I ask that you think really hard before you initiate a divorce. There are other options.
- Counseling has been very effective in saving marriages.
- Have more date nights that involve speaking to each other.
- Don't allow friends and family to impair judgment.
- Communicate with each other. Ugh, so many couples do not communicate anymore. They just get lost in life and forget about each other.
- Listen to each other. Listen. Respond. Repeat.
- Maintenance. Just like your vehicles, boats, pools and homes need proper maintenance, so does a marriage. Check those spark plugs, change those filters, lube those belts, paint those walls and water those flowers—don't allow them to wilt.
- Appreciate. We all need to feel appreciated for the efforts we put forth. Once we begin to feel unappreciated resentment occurs. Do not allow this to happen.
- Do not cheat. You will get caught. You might think you are slick and you might enjoy the rush of excitement but trust me when you get caught that thrill will linger over your head for quite a while.
A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.
The Children of Divorce
You have done all you possibly could to save your marriage but alas divorce is inevitable. Don't fret, you will survive. Possibly marriage just wasn't in the cards for you. Or possibly you prefer to be single again.
Nevertheless, divorce is becoming way too common. Too easy. It concerns me that eventually, you could buy a divorce on Amazon!
50 percent of married couples in the United States end up in divorce. That is sad especially when children are involved. Young children look up to adults as their security blanket. All of a sudden they are being shifted between two households. A damn shame, but this new way of life for those kids is something they must get used to. What makes matters worse for them is when the parents bicker even after they separate.
Children are resilient, they will overcome the trauma that their security blanket inflicted on them but there is no need to make them suffer by hearing you argue and bicker over trivial issues. Sort out your issues in private. Use CAPS via text if you must.
Perhaps one day a vaccine will be produced to ward off the divorce epidemic which seems to be contagious. In the meanwhile do your best to have an amicable divorce. Peace not war!
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© 2018 Linda Bilyeu