“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
I started writing this entry on May 15th, and the above quote was pretty relevant to me at the time. I am going to leave it, because it’s pretty, but I am not sure what it really has to do with this entry anymore. It’s obviously taken me awhile to finish up my scattered thoughts on this subject, but bear with me.
I want to talk about something personal, because even though this won’t be the first/last time I get this out, it might be the most cathartic and important. At this point, I don’t feel like I should need a disclaimer before I start typing, but a lot of people are sensitive these days. So disclaimer: this is my opinion, and my opinion only. I am not insulting you.
The institution of marriage: how do some people not take this seriously?
According to DivorceRate.org, the rate is 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. First of all, fifty percent disgusts me. Essentially, if it’s between your marriage and your best friend’s marriage, someone’s isn’t going to work out. Don’t like those odds? Okay, if it’s between you and ten of your friends, half of you will wind up divorced. We can do this math all day. The question I need to work out is, why??
We can all agree that it’s an awesome idea to marry our soulmate, because being with someone who understands and appreciates us is paramount to the functionality of a marriage. However, if I may be somewhat bold here, is it also fair to say that we will encounter numerous soulmates in our lifetime? And that there is a good chance it will be someone of the opposite sex? Personally speaking, I have definitely experienced this and I am only twenty seven. In fact, I currently have a boyfriend who I love dearly and appreciate on a daily basis, but I also have a guy friend who is also very easily a soulmate on many levels…so how I am to choose? How am I to know that I am making the right decision in picking someone to be with for the rest of my life?
Honestly, I can never really be sure that any decision I make is the absolute right one. I DO know however, that this guy friend of mine (while wonderful and understanding of my oddball behavior) isn’t the right choice for me in the long run, or even the short run. Just because we get along, and he ‘gets’ me, I am not about to translate that into a real commitment. He is not the one for me, and I don’t question that, ever. Admitting this might raise two questions in your mind: 1.)What does my boyfriend think of this ‘guy friend soulmate’ of mine? Answer: He’s fine with it, doesn’t feel threatened in the slightest, and I am incredibly honest 100% of the time about my feelings for anything and everything. He would know if I preferred someone else. 2.)Does this mean that I think my boyfriend is the one? Answer: That remains to be seen, because two and half years of dating doesn’t mean I should be ready to walk down the aisle and into the rest of my life. For the moment, we definitely belong together and appreciate one another, and that’s all I care to know.
In case you’re still wondering, I have a few female friends that fit into this soulmate category as well, so this isn’t me being an asshole to my wonderful boyfriend.
My point here, because I might not have been making it clearly, is that we have to choose our mates more carefully. After all, this will be the person you wake up to everyday for the rest of your life, and I would suggest basing your choice on the knowledge that this person will definitely have their smelly moments (both actually, and emotionally). Yes, sometimes you meet someone and within ten minutes, you know they are the one. And sometimes this turns into ten years, then twenty years, then forty years of being together and you’ve existed and are happy with your choice. It happens, but it doesn’t happen often and where is the accountability when it fails? Do you chalk it up to “growing apart”? Maybe this is the ‘twenty seven and never been married” side of me speaking, but I think the excuse of “we grew apart” is bullshit. You got married, you made promises to one another, and to simply let your relationship take off in different directions is really irresponsible of you. There are a multitude of reasons why marriages fail, but 99% of them boil down to one thing: You married the wrong person. Whether it’s your choice to leave your mate, or their actions that prompted it, someone married the wrong person.
I understand these are blanket statements I am making, and they in no way explain every divorce and the personal reasons behind it. I have been trying to write this entry for weeks, because it’s wedding season, and several people very close to me are marrying in the next six months. I don’t look at their relationships and wonder if/when they’re going to fail, and I would never want any of them to think I believe they will fail, because while 50% of marriages end in divorce-the other 50% of them last. Half of the people who marry actually mean what they said in their vows, they actually take the hard work and make something beautiful out of it. I have simply grown frustrated with how casually people treat their relationships, how quickly they give up, how unwilling they are to see their fault in anything. It is completely in my nature to examine every angle, every possible way to succeed or fail, before doing anything…and when I choose to marry, I want to do it right.
(on a somewhat related note: I recently started ‘reconnecting’ with an old friend from high school. She became a new mom a few months ago, and started a blog to document the process and growth that comes with marriage and children. Her latest entry was similar to this one, which is awesome, since I started writing this awhile back and couldn’t figure out how to end it. Check her out at Mombie Confessions!)
Even now, I just don’t know how to end this. Marriage is such a personal journey for the people involved, but it’s so frustrating to be my age and have divorced peers. I feel like, sometimes, people give up too easily.