The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
H. P. Lovecraft
Not everyone walks down the isles with the intention of staying there for ever. Most people actually know they won’t last one mile in a union, but take the bold step anyway.
Happily ever after is no myth. Some still hold close to heart when walking down the isle and making those solemn vows; they will give up everything to see it through.
Being married is beautiful, an experience which most can’t wait to have and others can’t wait to get out of.
Sometimes, it is viewed as a conscious trap which binds people “for life”. In other seasons, it feels like the amalgamation of two doves bringing nothing but good tidings.
Having divorce at the back of your mind isn’t exactly an advice one gets every day, if at all. But after observing and and reading about a marriages, divorce and everything in-between, it is but normal to ask someone to have divorce at the back of their head before saying I do; if they haven’t thought of it yet.
Yes I know the drill, thinking about divorce means you are planning for it and may just attract it. Right, that’s one way to look at it. But what about seeing it as a means to expose the couple to “reality” and let them walk educated into a lifelong contract. Because that’s what marriage is, a contract for life.
Like every contract, a breach has consequences, in this case divorce is.
Research shows thinking about divorce doesn’t guarantee the couple divorcing like most people belief. As a matter of fact, many people in marriages have thought about divorce once or twice but have still found a way to stay married.
If divorce thoughts are this present in marriages, why is it a sidelined topic especially for those newly engaged?
First off, most people never believe they will get to that point and so don’t see the need talking about it. Others are freaked out by the word and prefer to live in denial of it’s existence.
James J. Sexton, a divorce lawyer and author expressed the importance of talking about divorce before marriage in an article published by Time magazine; “When Should You Start Talking About Divorce? Right After You Get Engaged”.
A majority of divorced people acknowledge the fact that they never spoke about divorce until the end of their marriage. It’s almost like talking about sex and contraceptives with your teen daughter when she is already pregnant. The damage has already been done.
So why don’t we think of educating others about it before they get in. Why the fear, or should I call it disregard?
Most people misbehave and take marriage for granted because of the belief that there’s “no room for divorce”. Others dwell behind the curtains of “religion”, “tradition” and “love” and are confident that their spouses will stick to them no matter how despicable they act. Some spouses stay but eventually get fed up and quit.
This happens mainly due to the fact that they didn’t talk about divorce earlier on. Talking about divorce sets the deal breakers for the marriage, it helps the the couple understand what might trigger their partner to take that step if need be. It also lets your significant other know you are not scared to take that road; this gets them a little more cautious in marriage.
There is a lot single, engaged and even married people can learn from those divorced and this can best be achieved by having a heart to heart talk. This should not be a “no go zone” when starting a marriage. Less “happily ever after” songs should not be song as they paint a false image of marriage and it’s challenges.
Understand what triggers most people to reach that breaking point and start taking precautions soon.
Let’s flip the narrative for once and see how it turns out. Have the talk about divorce with your spouse early, learn about the most rampant causes of divorce; and work on your strategies to curb it.
State your deal breakers loud and clear ASAP. Don’t get into the union assuming anything, because in most contracts, what wasn’t laid down as a deal breaker, is legal.
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
― Aldous Huxley