I’m not a married woman. I live with my boyfriend of nearly three years and our golden retriever, Archie. I don’t know why I wrote that charming summary of my romantic life but someone’s bound to be new around here and I thought I should touch on that real quick. As I write this N is out walking Archie in 20 degree weather so if that doesn’t prove he is marriage (and Dad) material, I don’t know what does. Bless that man, I adore him.
But on to the point of this post: In America, someone gets divorced every 13 seconds. Let that sink in. Every 13 seconds.
I’m 25. I’ve watched as friends and acquaintances have gotten married and divorced. I’m ashamed to admit that when that happens, I breathe a small sign of relief. Those are the people who get divorced. Not us. They are the ones who got married too quickly, or for the wrong reasons (coughpregnancycough). They weren’t mature enough. They weren’t a good match. They weren’t us. At least that’s what I tell myself. Because realistically, in 2 or 4 or 8 years (statistically, it’s 8 years) that could be us. It could absolutely be us.
Because why not? It seems asinine that we should believe that we will succeed where others have failed. Where we have watched our parents fail! That the people we look up to and whose advice we value most in the is world could not do it. Don’t we seem full of ourselves? Why yes, let’s go ahead and try this thing. Great plan!
And why on earth do people encourage people
our age to get married? Our own parents, all divorced (though my parents have both been happily re-married for 15+ years), are supportive and excited that we’ll spend our lives together. What is it about this institution that they can put aside their own experiences to suggest we give it a shot? If I watched half of all people fail at something, I don’t know that I would try it. I really don’t.
When I can’t predict the future (which is always), I tend to turn to statistics for comfort or to feed my freak out. We live together, so our chances of divorce increase by as much as 40%. But we are over 25, so it’s a drop by 24%. And statistically we are 13% less likely to divorce because we both went to college. I will now feel 16% less bad about my student loan payment, because gosh darn it, it’s improving my future marriage.
The truth is, deep down, marriage terrifies me. Marriage to N doesn’t terrify me. Something about being a part of this thing that has a 50% failure rate terrifies me. I’d like to think that isn’t immaturity speaking. It’s fear and it’s logic. I truly hope every single couple who gets married believes that it is forever. They wouldn’t go through with it if they didn’t, right? But somewhere along the way shit flies off the rails. What makes us different? Will we try harder? Every single day? Are we simply a better match? Will we just always love each other the way we do now? I don’t know. I hope so. With my whole heart, I hope so.
I guess in the end, this post could be called “thoughts on divorce”. But damn, that would have been depressing. And alas, perhaps it was.