It’s easy to get caught up in fantasy land and think about nothing but whimsical details, cake flavors, and reception playlists while planning a wedding. Zach and I recently got smacked back down to reality, though, when we heard the sad news that two of our old friends are getting a divorce. It was hard not to feel a bit shaken by this event, especially because these two seemed so awesome together that we even held them up as sort of “marriage role models” for ourselves. This was also the first married couple in our circle of friends to break it off. We’ve happily celebrated with many different friends on their wedding days, and it is SO WEIRD to think that statistically, half of those marriages won’t make it.
Honestly, I haven’t pondered the topic of divorce too much until recently, when I talked to my now-divorced friend for the first time in awhile and she basically tried to convince me not to get married. Yeah, that was awkward. But it did get me thinking hard. It’s impossible, in this day and age, to take the cavalier “That’ll never happen to us,” mindset. So why do we get married when the divorce rates are so scary? Why do I, personally, still believe in marriage?
The answers, to be sure, are complex, emotion-riddled, and different for everyone. I think it’s important for every couple to take some time and let the sobering divorce statistics sink in, and then really consider WHY they want to get married. For Zach and I, from a logical standpoint, we want the many rights and benefits that accompany legal marriage (rights which someday soon will hopefully be extended to ALL couples!). From a more philosophical standpoint, we both still believe in the commitment of marriage. We find the concept of teaming up with one person for to be noble, desirable, and right. Love is an action and a choice, and we have decided to continue choosing each other for the rest of our lives.
Despite our persistent believe in marriage, the current divorce stats are still terrifying. I don’t really know what else there is to do besides support our friends in good times and bad and keep trying to be the best partners possible to each other. I also think discussing marriage and divorce with those holding differing beliefs is really important.
So let’s discuss! Do you still believe in marriage despite the sobering divorce rate? Why or why not? If you’re in a life-long relationship but have chosen not to get married, how has that decision affected your life?