divorce is for lazy people, right?
My mother and I spoke about divorce the other day. We spoke about how it can be difficult to believe in true love when the divorce rate is getting higher and higher. Even though my mother has been married for twenty years, and I have only six months under my belt, we were both equally scornful of the rising rate.
‘People just don’t work hard enough. They expect everything to come so easily,’ we declared.
With that, we settled back and changed the subject, comfortable in our superiority.
Today, a friend brought up the issue of divorce. She was so disdainful of it, judgmental even. It bothered me, and I felt the need to argue the other side.
While everyone is quick to point the finger at our generation – we’re lazy, selfish, impatient, and everything the previous generations were not –I don’t believe this is the case. People I know and love, both those younger and older, have all been through difficult times. The successful ones have all worked hard for what they have. The ones who haven’t quite found their footing yet are still working towards their goals just as ambitiously (or not) as anyone else of any age.
I realised that the conclusion my mother and I came to the other night was just a flimsy excuse. I don’t believe that rate of divorce has increased because people are refusing to work at their relationships.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s because they’re more realistic.
To expect two people to stay in love for the rest of their lives is something no one can do. We are in a constant state of change. Who we are in ten years may not be who we are today. I’m certainly not the same person I was as little as a year ago. My dreams have changed, and I have changed because of this. So asking two people to stay the same once they tie the knot is asking the impossible. If they’re lucky, they will grow together, stay in love, and remain compatible. But more often than not, people grow in opposite directions. They grow apart.
I don’t think it’s fair to judge people who don’t stay with someone who is no longer the one for them, rather than spending many unhappy years trying to force something wrong to become right again.
Right now, I can’t imagine ever wanting to separate from my husband. To me, this really does seem impossible. But I am so young and have so much growing up to do, and no-one knows what will happen in the next twenty years. However, if it does happen, I don’t want to be told that it was because I didn’t work hard enough.
People don’t throw love away because they are lazy, or because it’s too difficult. Usually it’s because there is not enough love left to make it worth hanging on to. And as difficult as it may be, we need to accept that, not pass judgment and make people feel guilty for doing what is right for them.
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