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The Unfair Secret Trick to Staying Married

Posted by on May. 29, 2013 at 9:02 AM
  • 22 Replies

The Unfair Secret Trick to Staying Married

by Linda Sharps 

I have a friend who's in the midst of a separation from her husband. I don't know the whole story, and I don't know where things will go, but it doesn't sound good. It sounds terrible, in fact, a nightmarish situation made even worse by the fact that they have young children together.

There was a time when I would hear about someone's divorce and I'd feel sorry for what they were going through, yet completely secure in the fact that I would never be facing a similar situation. It was a little like reading about a parachute accident: That's awful! Thank god I don't jump out of planes.

I don't really feel that way anymore. Lately, I've started feeling more and more like a marriage that doesn't end in divorce is as much about luck as is it about perseverance.

It's not that I think my marriage is in trouble -- if anything, it seems like we're stronger than ever. We've weathered so many storms, pushed each other down and picked each other up so many times, seen each other through good times and awful times, it's as though we've formed scar tissue that works in tandem with our love and friendship to bind us together.

More from The Stir: World's Longest Married Couple Has the Secret to Lasting Love

(Is that horribly unromantic and maybe also a little disgusting? The idea of being united by unsightly keloid nodules? It's possible I chose a bad metaphor, here.)

Still, the older I get, the more and more more couples around me are falling apart. Forty to fifty percent of marriages will end in divorce, they say, and that seems to be running close to my anecdotal experience. I know it's far more than a numbers game, but it's almost how it feels: like we're all on some great spinning blackjack wheel. Red or black, go or stay, sorry, you lose.

That's not to say that I don't think we have any control over our destiny. We do, of course: we say our vows, and we have the choice to abide by them or not. But it can take so much to walk a road together for years and years, through all the changes and divergences that take place. I've often thought about the complicated series of events -- of the sheer luck! -- that led me into my marriage and to where I am now. And how there's always this equally complex, unknown future ahead of us.  

Maybe a marriage is sometimes about not experiencing things. Maybe it's about those moments that lead to big changes -- the butterfly's wings that don't flap, the storm that never takes place. The job that was never lost, the child who never got sick, the house that never went into foreclosure, the happy hour beer that never happened with that attractive coworker at a particularly vulnerable time.

Maybe the trick is that it's about luck. Maybe it's about being strong enough, dedicated enough, flexible enough ... but most of all, lucky enough to make it.

I don't know, really. All I do know is that these days, the news of a friend's divorce is the whistle of blade passing overhead. It makes me sympathetic for what they're going through, and it makes me want to gather my family tight and bare my teeth against the idea of losing what I love so much. There but for the grace of God, I'd say, if I believed in a god who controlled such things.

We will be together forever, is what I believe. But I bet that's what almost everyone believes.

Do you ever worry about divorce?

by on May. 29, 2013 at 9:02 AM
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Replies (1-10):
villagemamma
by on May. 29, 2013 at 9:08 AM

nope. because of the reasons you just listed. dedication, constant need to strength and reconnect in our marriage and flexibility to handle whatever life throws at us

xoxRachelxox
by on May. 29, 2013 at 9:15 AM
3 moms liked this

I don't worry about it. We have a solid relationship. I don't of course know what the future holds but I'm not going to worry about what could happen. I'm going to enjoy things being good right now. 

beeky
by Alexandra on May. 29, 2013 at 9:45 AM
1 mom liked this
I've been married almost 25 years so at this point I don't worry about it because I know we will be together for the rest of our lives.
I think compatibility is the secret to a long term relationship.
Bertieb
by Member on May. 29, 2013 at 11:03 AM
1 mom liked this

I was married 24.5 years and had no question it wouldn't last. I thought he was lucky to have me and he acted like it. Our lives revolved around things he liked to do. But, he also brought me coffee every morning, told me how pretty I looked before I went to work everyday. He left for a school that lasted over the summer, met somebody else and that was it. Poof! He realized he hadn't loved me for a long time.???? Looking back, I still think we had a normal relationship. We didn't fight, we did stuff with the kids, just what I thought was a normal family life. He was a narcissist but I let my life revolve around him and wouldn't have divorced him, I believed in forever and I trusted him and saw no problems, neither did anyone else. 

I just say never take your relationship for granted or be too secure, you might find out what you think you know can change in a heartbeat.

Hottmomma607
by Trica on May. 29, 2013 at 11:24 AM

No I never worry about it.

The_Doodle
by Bronze Member on May. 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM
I do, I won't even lie. It's not that my husband and I have a bad marriage, because we don't...but it's hard not to worry a little over that when every single marriage in my family and extended family has ended in divorce (I'm not counting my one crazy aunt and her crazier husband...no sane person would still be in that marriage). However, I am optimistic. We've been through a lot of trials in our marriage so far and have come out the other side stronger than ever.
TheMommaJessie
by on May. 29, 2013 at 11:33 AM

no because me and hubby do not believe in divorce UNLESS there is abuse 

AJ-47
by on May. 29, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Yes, I do worry about divorce. Even though we've been through more than most, there's always something worse that COULD break us. I don't want it to happen, but I'll never say it won't.
freenuts
by on May. 29, 2013 at 11:56 AM

We are all hanging by a thread, in all aspects of life. Like Steph said, it's mainly good luck that makes a marriage (or couple, as I don't believe in marriage) last forever until death do us part. Mainly luck, and also equally important ingredients as balance, compatibility, and working at it when the read gets rocky.

ciaomamabella
by on May. 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

"We've weathered so many storms, pushed each other down and picked each other up so many times, seen each other through good times and awful times, it's as though we've formed scar tissue that works in tandem with our love and friendship to bind us together..."

LOVE THIS!!! :) love you sign

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