Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To Marry or to Divorce? Well which one is it?

To marry or not to marry?

To divorce or not to divorce?

These are questions I think everyone thinks about at least once in their life, if not more. Both acts are serious and should take time, thought and consideration before doing.

I got married in 2009. I shouldn’t have, but I did. I married a boy I had a crazy up and down relationship with since 2001. I married him because I thought he had changed, because we had a daughter together and were about to have another. I married him because I thought he loved me and I loved him. It wasn’t love, it was addiction, I was addicted to that loser. He made me feel sexy and special while at the same time treating me like dirt. What I thought was us having a connection, having things in common and being the perfect match was just my hopes and dreams cramming themselves inside a box with the words “Settling” engraved on it.

My wedding day was great. I had a fun time surrounded by family and friends. We eloped in Las Vegas and Elvis sang. It was beautiful, it was quirky, it was a little trashy and totally me…Well the ME I was when I was with him. The toned down, cruder, trashier (not in a bad way I use the term trashy with love) less smart, less sophisticated, B version of myself. It was funny and aside from some normal wedding day stress I wasn’t too worried, at the time I figured, “This is it! I am going to be with him forever.” Which couldn’t have been further from the miserable truth.

That is not to say my marriage was horrible. I mean most bad marriages are not awful all the time, just some of the time. Maybe he screamed at me a lot, but didn’t I yell back? Maybe he never listened, or was I nagging? Maybe he pushed me around, got a little physical… But didn’t I throw things in moments of rage? If he didn’t treat our kids well all the time wasn’t that just because I was the mom and I should deal with the girls more than he did? I might have been a controlling bitch but he was a selfish cheating douche bag.

We just were not compatible. Did he end things childishly with a level of drama that was ridiculous? Sure, but it was probably a good thing it was over with. Do I wish things had ended differently, that he cared about his children? Oh yeah, but again it really was for the best.

We had happy times, laughter, sex and times of romance and peace. Not all my memories are bad ones. But sometimes marriages end. Mine ended in a storm of shit fire and hail the size of soft balls, but sometimes they end in quiet and softness or amicably.

The point is that before a marriage ends I believe things should be done first. If you took the time to get married, shouldn’t you take the time to try and save it? Sure there are plenty of good reasons to divorce, abuse and cheating the two big ones, but before you file papers I think couples should TALK to one another. I think couples should see a therapist together and apart. Really try to fix what went wrong and remember why you fell in love to begin with.

Though perhaps the best way to not get divorced is to not get married in the first place. People get married too fast. They do not take the time and effort needed to make a life long commitment. I have heard people say, “Well if it doesn’t work I can always get a divorce.” Well….yeah…you can… But having just finished a divorce my response is always, “Why the fuck would you want too?” Divorce can be messy, complicated, expensive and heart wrenching. So why go through it if you don’t have to?

Here are some things I have learned from watching myself, my parents, my friends, talking to my therapist and doing a crap load of reading.

1) Don’t get married because “everyone else is.”

2) Don’t get married to someone you have known less than a year

3) Don’t get married because your religion says you need to

4) Don’t get married to someone EVERYONE else hates. (Unless that hate is because of their sex, race or religion)

5) Don’t get married because of a child (Pity proposals women. If you are pregnant when he proposes don’t do it! )

6) Don’t get married if you will have to live in either of your parent’s house afterwards

7) Don’t get married before 25. A HUGE majority of my friends who got married before 25 are divorced now and most on their way to their second or third marriage.

8) Don’t get married because you are afraid to be alone.

9) If you have broken up once chances are you will again, so don’t get married.

10) Don’t marry a habitual cheater. People that have cheated on you more than once will continue to do so if you get married.

Marriage is nice. I enjoyed having someone in the bed with me every night, the comfort their presence added to my life. Knowing that even if I didn’t want to spend time with him right then and there if I needed him he was a) coming home from work soon or b) just in the other room. I like the idea of having kids and growing old with someone. Not in a tied down, old ball and chain, burden or baggage kind of way, but in a partnership, love, family, completion way. I can be a liberal woman who thinks for herself and enjoy being married. Having a partner whether man or woman does not mean you are weak or subservient or can’t be happy without a relationship. It just is what it is. People make it too complicated. Love is love and you build a life within and around it.

Now I am not saying I want to get married again, but I am not opposed to it either.

For those of you who think half of all marriages end in divorce…That is kind of a bunch of crap. When you see a statistics on yearly divorce rates they are not talking about those who were married THAT year. It’s a generalized statistic. Here are some numbers to give you a better look. The divorce rate has actually been dropping because…. Oh yeah people are getting smarter.

In 2002 Arkansas had the highest divorce rate of 6.2 % versus a marriage rate of 14.3 less than half.

In 2006 55% of American were married

In 2008 The U.S.A had a marriage rate of 10.6 and a divorce rate of 5.2, which had decreased from 2000, though is still a little high.

In 2009 (the year I was married) 2,080,000 people got married, and only 840,000 got divorced.

About 2.2 million people were married in 2011 and there about 1 million that got divorced. Remember that is not 1 million of the 2.2 million, just in general a million people divorced.

So things are not as dire as they seem. Get married, get divorced. Just do it educated, responsibly and because it is the right decision for you. No judgement.

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