I am at the age where people I know are going through another round of divorce and separation.
It’s not that I am so old, but it seems like another 5 years has passed. These people are in the 10-15 year mark of their relationships.
I remember there was a spurt of break-ups around the 5-7 year mark. Usually you have been together a few years and then kids start to come along. There are some statistics that say that a large portion of break-ups occur when kids start reaching toddler age. This fits with the math of a few years of marriage and a few years of kid.
Toddlers are generally harder to deal with than a baby. It’s not just poopy diapers and sleep deprivation any more. It’s vocalization (and lack of understandable communication), and frustrations, and demands. As soon as you figure out one thing, something else changes. You are taxed, you are challenged, and you are not sure if this is the same baby you gave birth to.
Then, to spice things up a little and try to change things, you decide to have another baby!
If I hadn’t married as well as I did, I would have been the one heading for the hills. It wasn’t so much that I would have left my spouse, I just wanted a really long break from the situation. I didn’t know how to cope. Our daughter was mysterious, trying, and definitely spirited. She was not predictable or easy. I am an introverted recluse and I have never looked forward to going to work so much in my life.
The ideas and the hopes around the concept of marriage seem the same to me now as they did 15 years ago, when I first thought about it. People do want a life partner, they do want companionship, support, and love. Pretty standard checklist. Our ideas have not changed much even though society has.
What has changed is how we view divorce. In high school I knew of only two kids whose parents divorced. Many relationships functioned solely because there were kids to consider. Now, it seems less of a taboo or detriment to one’s life to leave a relationship. There is still grief and heartache and readjustment, but I also see amicable separations where people realize they have just out-grown one another. There are new partners and new chapters. There is not as much reason to stay together for the kids if all you are doing is creating two unhappy people.
So on this new wave of changes in personal lives, I wonder how it is we even survive in the first place. Growth. Willingness to change. Love helps, but being able to see a different point of view, even if you don’t agree with it, goes miles towards understanding. Then Love helps even more.
For all these qualities, and a few thousand others, I love my husband.
I am grateful for him.
This is a post in my mini-series, “Gratitude on Wednesdays.” Most Wednesdays I like to write about something I’m grateful for and I encourage you to comment and tell me the same. It’s the little things that can make a difference in our life, so here’s a gentle reminder to keep paying attention.