How many people actually are thinking when they make a commitment with someone that it will turn out for worse anyway? I really don’t think anyone does. Everyone thinks that person they’re going to share his or her life with is going to make it better…that just having that person there with them in the journey will make it better. Sometimes it just doesn’t turn out that way though, does it?
Obviously, that’s the reason that vow is included in a traditional marriage ceremony. It’s because a true commitment for life, recognizes that life has good and bad, people have good sides and bad sides…life has ups and downs and the journey won’t all be smooth, flat roads. It can sometimes be long, winding, mountainous roads full of surprises and dangers at every turn. But nobody ‘really’ expects that. Again, even if they do think that, they still have this rosy picture that the person they’re committing to will make it better.
The truth is that there are all sorts of reasons people break up….reasons that they break that vow, or sometimes don’t even choose to make that vow nowadays. Sometimes people choose just not to marry at all, and if they do, they make up their own, less binding vows…something like “for as long as we both shall love” rather than “as long as we both shall live“. I find that kind of funny, because love is a choice. It’s a decision. Yes…relationships usually start with an attraction. You have a physical attraction, or things in common with each other…you have fun together or maybe just have good sex. Face it…that’s the primary basis for some relationships…as if ‘sex’ really is the most important aspect of a relationship.
Don’t get me wrong. I see a sexual relationship with your spouse as a gift…something wonderful and beautiful and in fact important…to a degree. But if that’s what the best thing you have is…you have nothing. You have to have friendship. You have to like each other. You have to have common goals and common interests…and the ability to allow the other person to pursue their own individual interests too, without feeling threatened.
So why do people break up anyway? Maybe they’re not getting the sex that they want. Sometimes that’s it. And that’s not just a man thing nowadays…there are more women who are unfaithful now than there used to be. That’s probably because women have roles nowadays that don’t just leave them home with the kids in many cases, like in the ‘olden days’ of my youth. Sometimes people are unfaithful. Sometimes there are financial difficulties, or just some sort of differences with a person that are really minor irritations that build in one or both parties’ minds. Sometimes something changes in the relationship. Maybe your spouse gets sick or injured, or loses their job so that your situation changes. Sometimes children factor into it and change the dynamics of the relationship. That often happens I think, because children are a big responsibility and take a lot of time and commitment, so that sometimes the couple stops spending time together in the same way that they once did…stops making time for each other to be a couple and just enjoy each other. Sometimes there are drug or alcohol issues…even prescription drugs sometimes that can change a person’s personality and behavior…or just take their time and attention away to the detriment of the relationship. Or maybe there are secrets and lies that one or both parties are keeping. Those things will absolutely destroy a relationship.
Ultimately I think it pretty much always boils down to selfishness. I don’t mean to be cruel here at all. We are all human, and as unselfish as I’d like to think of myself, I have my ways of selfishness too. I’m not excluding myself from this at all, or being ‘high and mighty’. I think pretty much all of us have selfish feelings at least one time or another. But nowadays I think it’s a lot worse. It’s a ‘me first’ society that we live in. “If I’m not getting my needs met I’m out of here!” Or maybe someone else tells a person, “You can do better!”…and then that person starts thinking about that and thinks, “Maybe I can do better…find someone prettier or smarter, or who won’t be such a pain in the ass!”
Why do we do that? Why is it so hard for people to set their own needs aside and really seek, instead of to find someone to meet their every need…someone whose needs they can meet? Because really, the best way for a relationship to ‘work’, is if the two people are both seeking to meet the needs of the other one, instead of demanding their own way all the time. If both people were doing that…both peoples’ needs would be met! It’s not a 50/50 thing…it’s a 100/100 thing!
But that’s not the way it works. I’m not saying there’s never a valid reason for getting a divorce. Sometimes I think there are valid reasons. But I think if people wouldn’t ignore warning signs in the beginning that, if they were thinking clearly, might prevent them from making that commitment in the first place, that would help. And aside from that, if we just weren’t so selfish as a society, it would pretty much diminish divorce rates to next to nothing. But since I don’t see this world becoming that “land of milk and honey” that I speak of, this is all just talk in the end.
Love and blessings,