They say things happen in threes. Births, deaths, accidents, engagements, and apparently…divorces. I’m seriously starting to wonder if it’s something in the water.
Divorce is so common no one even blinks an eye anymore. 50% divorce rate in the US if you listen to the statistics. For me though, it’s never really hit that close to home, with the exception of my parents divorcing when I was a kid. You hear about celebrity divorces practically every day. Or it’s a co-worker, or your neighbor, or your friend’s uncle’s roommate. But then it gets more real. It’s your parents. Or your sibling. Or your close friends. Once it hits that close, it makes you see things differently. These past few months have been like that for me.
I’ve always had the opinion that most people give up too easily on their marriages. We live in a society where instant gratification is at our fingertips. So many things that used to require hard work don’t anymore. If you want a cup of coffee, you push a button. If you want to know some random, obscure fact, you ask Google. And sadly, if you’re in an even remotely unhappy relationship, there’s always seemingly greener grass at the snap of a finger. You don’t even have to leave your house or even shower to meet someone nowadays thanks to internet dating. If something is broken, you don’t fix it, you throw it away and get a newer, shinier version. That’s the way of the world we live in.
Now obviously not all divorces are avoidable. If you’re in an abusive relationship, emotionally or physically, that’s unhealthy. If someone repeatedly violates your wedding vows or has no basic respect for the marriage, that is also a recipe for disaster. Sometimes people change the rules after the marriage license is signed. You definitely have to be with someone who has the same life goals and values, and shares the same level of commitment to your relationship. But when people say “we grew apart” or “we’re not in love anymore” I feel like that is a cop out. Marriage is a choice. Love is a choice. And it’s a choice you have to make over, and over, and over again. It’s for better or worse, and sometimes the worse comes before the better. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.
I have always had that hard core attitude about marriage. You stick it out. You honor your vows and you make it work, excluding the situations oulined above. But these past few months, my confidence has been shaken a bit. When you see people close to you, people you love, people you never dreamed wouldn’t make it, get divored, it makes you start to question your own marriage. If these marriages that I thought were so amazing and strong could fall apart, who’s to say it won’t happen to my marriage? When I hear of so much infidelity everywhere, it makes me wonder, what’s to stop my husband from straying? When my husband and I have had the same fight for the 500th time, I start to wonder if we are even compatible. Then I start to fall into this doubt spiral and question everything I know. It is a sad thing to see people you care about go through something so difficult and to see those dreams shattered. And although I know in those particular cases all the parties involved will go on to be happier and better people, it’s still shocking and sad and definitely casts some doubt now and then.
Luckily for me, I know that even though I have these doubts occasionally, I know they aren’t anything I ever have to actually worry about. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my husband is all in. Even though it took him 7 years to propose, (pause for reaction!) I know he is 100% committed to us and our family and our life that we’ve built together. We have our share of fights, believe me. We are both passionate and stubborn, and have different opinions when it comes to a lot of hot button topics. That makes for some volatile arguments occasionally. There are most definitely days I have to actively choose to love my husband. And I’m sure it’s the same for him from time to time. But no matter what, we always choose to forgive each other and move on. I always say “Oh you’re mad? Sorry about ya. Have a seat and get comfy because we’re gonna work this shit out!”
There is a quote from Cory on Boy Meets World (yes, I love that show, what of it?) and it perfectly sums up the way my husband feels about our marriage. And it’s how I know he will never betray me or leave me. He says “Every statistic that you throw at me is gonna be about other people. I don’t care about other people. I care about you and me. If every marriage failed except one, I guarantee you that one would be ours.” That is how we both feel about each other, and that’s how I know our marriage will stand the test of time. That, and…this: