Our society today has become obsessed with taking note that 50% of marriages end in divorce. They blame marriage. What they fail to acknowledge is that marriage is not the issue, 2 human beings are the issue. Now I have never been married, I don’t claim to know anything about marriage or it’s challenges, but I have been in relationships. Marriages are essentially relationships with a legal contract binding the 2 people together for a long time.
My opinion is that perhaps marriages wouldn’t fail if we went into them with different intentions. As young women growing up we are taught to find a man “who can/will provide for us,” and young men grow up learning that they “need to provide for women.” And we are taught that this is what makes us loveable. The women being provided for are the loveable women. And the men providing are the loveable men. This is the very reason marriages/relationships DO NOT last. Society/WE have placed these expectations on one another. If every human being went into a relationship solely providing for themselves first (and maintaining this mentality throughout the entire duration of the relationship), I would be willing to bet my life on that 50% decreasing enormously.
And if 2 people come together in marriage and grow apart, who are we to judge that? Do I hope to one day meet someone that I want to spend the rest of my life with? Yes. Do I hope to meet someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with me? Yes. But I never plan on saying the words “until death do us part.” That sounds absolutely horrifying to me, like a jail sentence, a set up that will only develop a complacent attitude.
If I am staying by someone’s side and they are staying by mine, it will be out of the DESIRE to do so. If the moment ever comes that a legal contract or having my needs met are the only reasons I am in a relationship with someone, that is the moment I will likely get out of that contract and relationship.
If two people come together, not out of NEEDING one another, but because they truly WANT to dedicate their love to one human being for the rest of their lives, I cannot think of anything more beautiful.
In Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet-On Marriage” he wrote:
“Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”