So the US Supreme Court recently made a ruling on same-sex marriage. 5 – 4 in favor.
Then, the internet exploded.
So I’m going to talk about what I see as the greatest threat to the institution of marriage. Spoilers: it has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community. I’d also like to state, for the record, that I am not now, nor have I ever been married. I did have a weird dream recently that I was pregnant, but that’s a story for a different day.
Friends, marriage is under attack. I’m at the age where the majority of my friends are married, or in long-term relationships on their way toward marriage. Many of them have at least one child. It seems as though new photos of pregnant bellies, engagement shoots, and stylized first kisses populate social media with startling density. Happy people living happy lives. I’m not upset about it, but I am scared. Deeply frightened.
Why? Because 50% of marriages end in divorce.
That means that, statistically, half of my married friends will be divorced at some point. Half of them. Half of them will face the kind of heartbreak I can only dream of. Half of them will have to move on with their lives when they are single, again. Single once is no picnic, but twice?!
I think it boils down to this problem: we’ve been fed a fairy tale. At the conclusion of every romantic comedy are the words “The End”, as if the story stops when the couple finally gets together. As a marriage outsider, I recognize that marriage is hard. It requires work and sacrifice and compromise. There is no room for selfishness in a marriage, or stubborn bullheadedness. Marriage isn’t just a fancy party and then getting on with your life. Even cohabitating couples (for whom the divorce statistics are so frightening it’s a wonder that anyone cohabitates) report that marriage changes things.
Happiness is an inside job. No one can make you happy forever, just as you cannot be responsible for another person’s happiness. You are not a jar of Nutella. Somewhere along the way, we’ve been told that we have the right to be happy. If something or someone doesn’t make you happy anymore, get rid of it/them. In a disposable society, we cast off the worn and tarnished things in search of something new and shiny instead of putting in the work to restore them.
I see gorgeous couples post beautiful photos of their lives and I fervently pray for them. I pray that they would have the strength, grace, kindness, and love to carry them through those times that aren’t Facebook-worthy. I pray that they would love each other unconditionally, passionately, and realistically.
Maybe I’m way off the mark. Maybe I have no right to have an opinion on something I’ve never experienced. Feel free to disagree…