Monday, September 26, 2011

Two Dumb Reasons to Get Divorced

Not so much in my generation, but in my parents' generation, you often - OFTEN - heard people cite a lack of love as a reason for divorce. They would and do say things like "He doesn't love me anymore" or "We grew apart" or "The excitement was gone" blah blah. Of course, you never know what a marriage is like from the inside, so maybe there is much more going on than these statements imply, but if these are the only reasons you're getting a divorce, I have one piece of advice.

Suck it up.

You're not always going to feel excitement and passion in a marriage. And you may even grow apart and start to live separate lives. So what? If you grow apart, now you're suddenly thrust into a living arrangement with a mysterious stranger. Seduce that stranger! Now is your chance to start fresh in a new relationship!

But maybe you're still close, and still living the same lives, but you just don't feel in love anymore. So? You will again eventually, if you don't try to force it. Just take a break from each other or whatever, and before long you'll be back in love again. Like that comedian says - "Bitch, we roommates. We'll fall back in love together".

Another dumb reason people get divorced is "It's better for the children to grow up in a single parent household than in a house where the parents are fighting all the time". Ok, that may be true or it may not be. Let's say it is though. So? This reasoning implies that fighting is some crazy thing that happens to you, beyond your control. It's not. You control whether you fight or not. It's a decision you make. Of course, it's natural for couples to bicker and argue from time to time, but those kinds of normal fights don't traumatize children, so that's not a legitimate excuse for divorce. It's the major fights that do it, where the parents are physically abusive, or smashing furniture or threatening suicide. It is entirely within your power to avoid those kinds of fights. And if you have so little self control that you can't contain yourselves, you probably shouldn't have kids anyway - just give them up for adoption.

I suppose it's easy for me to say, since Phil and I don't fight much, and when we do it's resolved pretty quickly. I guess if I was in a relationship with someone who was deliberately provoking me all the time, I might feel differently. But I like to think I would have the good sense not to marry someone like that in the first place.

I guess I feel like these two reasons cited for divorce can be solved easily using one basic skill; manners. If you don't feel super in love with your spouse today, that doesn't mean you should act like an asshole or go out and cheat on him or whatever. Nor do you have to fake being wildly in love, falling over yourself with passion. Just simply be polite. Same if you have a problem with fighting all the time. You can choose to not be baited into a fight. Just use your manners, be civil to each other and the bad times will pass. Some people may say it's dishonest, just going through the motions like that. I say, it's about treating your spouse with respect, no matter how you feel about him that day or that year. Just suck it up and do what you have to do until the good times come around again.