I can’t help but feel I am missing something when I read this article. It’s saying that being married is better than being single. I dunno there. My parents had 30 years of marital bliss end after several affairs, a drug problem, and eventually, a divorce (I say ‘marital bliss’ in utter sarcasm, in case you missed it). Other persons in my family are currently enjoying a painful introduction into the world of infidelity. Not to mention my grandparents, several uncles and aunts, and other extended relatives.
What is it about marriage that I find distasteful, or rather, what is it that I fear? I don’t know, could it be…THE ABSOLUTE PAIN AND HORROR OF RELATIONSHIPS?
Speaking in generalities, I can say with some certainty that the prospect of marriage is not frightening. It’s just that society has us engineered to expect disaster. Look at the facts, and then look at reality. 50% of marriages end in divorce? So what–that’s a number, a useless, neutered statistic. But I look at my family, and others’ families, and I think, “Me? Do that? Forget it!” Because it’s more than just numbers.
When you’re a kid, it’s the realization that you won’t be going home anymore. It’s your dad’s house, or your mom’s house. It’s “weekend” dad or mom that you get to see once a week and on holidays. It’s forgetting all the fighting they did and remembering just the good times…and then realizing that all of it’s gone forever. It’s never truly knowing why–oh, they explain how it was, but that’s something you’ll never quite grasp; the nuances of mom and dad’s marriage were always just one step removed from your childhood.
And then you’re an adult. Holidays are always split up between two places. Phone calls are more infrequent. One of them moves far away. Then they come to you, usually through email or the phone, to say how sorry things went, and how they would have changed things if they could. You begin to see threads of connection between what your parents did and what’s now happening to others in your family. You see mistakes repeated, the “sins of the fathers” in effect bigtime. You can’t comprehend the stupidity of what others choose to do, because their feelings are greater than their commitment.
There can be great marriages, there’s no doubt. But from my seat, those are the exceptions rather than the rule.