this makes sense

Divorce

Posted in Uncategorized by thismakessense on July 24, 2009

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There is a verse in the bible that I really like (Malachi 2:16), and it flat out says that God said “I hate divorce.” I am pretty sure this is one of the only things God is quoted as saying he hates in the bible. Marriage was intended to be a lifelong bond, and over the past 100 years it has begun to mean something different in our society. “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6). Even though marriage had its roots in religious institutions the government grants marriages leaving the definition of marriage ambiguous, fluid and in the minds of the ever changing social construct. Because the state regulated marriage laws are not based on any religious doctrine or hard definition, the law has now allowed that to mean that marriage can be many different things and end many different ways and many times.

The Divorce Rate

Statistically speaking 40% of all marriages end in divorce. That is roughly 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages in the United States. But in some countries such as Malta and the Philippines, which are predominately Roman Catholic countries divorce is illegal, although in certain cases annulment is permitted. What an interesting idea. Can you imagine how different peoples views in these countries must be toward marriage? They must actually take it seriously, as if it were actually a serious life long commitment? What a concept! What would happen if divorce became illegal in America today? Certainly the Vegas weddings would loose popularity, engagement lengths might increase and others would swear off marriage all together. But the reputation of marriage would certainly have a resurrection. Instead of becoming increasingly viewed a joke or “outdated institution” it would once again be an honorable and respectable symbol of love and commitment that only the most dedicated, honest and mature would enter into.

The Awkward Truth

Divorce is a bad deal all around. One persons selfish decision not to patch things up will effect everyone who knows them and interacts with them for the rest of their lives! In my own family I have divorced grandparents, a divorced aunt and an uncle twice divorced. On the other hand one set of grandparents never divorced, and my parents and other aunt are still very much married. So half of my family is divorced and it seems like noting usual, we are right there in the middle. But even having the “normal” family in this aspect it is still makes things very awkward and uncomfortable. My grandparents divorced before I was born, so I grew up thinking of my grandmother’s husband as a “bonus grandpa” and I love him very much, but I could do with out the awkward moments and uncomfortable family gatherings. There is obvious competition between my grandparents still (they haven’t been married since the mid-70’s). They have always seemed curious to find out what the other one paid for, gave as a gift and how much. The asking is always done in a non-chaulant, like that “is not really what I am asking but if you happen to tell me I will listen” sort of way but it is quite clear that is really fishing for.

Recently my grandpa arranged a trip to Croatia with all of the kids, grandkids and spouses to visit his cousins and to show us our roots. Im my grandmothers eyes all of her family were off froliking in the beautiful and faboulous Croatia with her ex-husband while she was stuck at home caring for her sick husband with cancer. Naturally at one point she asked my mother if he was paying for everyone to go, which he was not, so that must have eased some of her suffering. But can you imagine how she must have felt sitting at home knowing she was missing out in the most glorious family vaction that ever happend and she was not invited? I know how I would feel and I would be very very jealous. After I returned it seemed she did not have much interest in knowing about the Croatia part of the trip, but my other travels that occured after the family part. She also quickly mentioned that she would like to take me to Paris sometime. Mhmm.

A few years ago my aunt and uncle divorced and family realtions have never been the same since. We used to be very close with that side of the family and now it is a struggle just to get my aunt on the phone. The divorce intensified some financial trouble that they had already been having to the point that my aunt had to borrow $10,000 from my parents. As a single mother, with two kids living with her she is struggling with multiple jobs and dosen’t like talking to my parents because she knows she owes them payments and can’t make them. Another thing I thought about is her now ex-husband. All of my life he was just “Uncle Don,” part of the family who I used to see many times a year, but now I haven’t seen him in about 5 years and I wonder if I will ever see him again. What if I run into him somewhere? What will I say? How will I act? That would be very awkward for me. Afterall it was not me who divorced him, but my aunt. I guess I indirectly divorced him as part of my extended family that he is no longer apart of.

So my experience with divorce is not a pleasnt one, but is still no where near the experice a child of two divorced parents has. When parents divorce with young children, their life splits between two worlds. Less time for friends, less time with family, awkwardness every time you talk about one parent. Even when divorce happens and the children are adults it becomes awkward. It is always messy.

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