Getting married is supposed to be the Holy Grail of relationships; most little girls fantasize of having the perfect husband with the perfect kids and a happily ever after ending. Most men, too, reach the time when random hookups and one night stands will no longer do the trick and they want to settle down and have a family.
But with the current divorce rate hovering around 50 percent, that happily ever after all too often comes crashing down.
Many of these marriages end up citing “irreconcilable differences” on their divorce decrees, which is just a fancy way of saying “we were both too stubborn to compromise.”
See, couples — especially young ones — seem to think that marriage will be so easy; that if the two of you have enough love, any storm that comes along can be weathered.
But ask any couple that has woken up to the same human being for over five years, and they’ll tell you that just being together takes a lot of work. And why shouldn’t it? You’re taking two completely different people from two completely different backgrounds, giving them the same house and bank accounts and asking them to make a go of it until death. That’s a long time to wake up to the exact same face every morning.
So there comes a time when the little idiosyncrasies that make up your other half stop being cute and start grating on your nerves. There comes a time when you no longer look at them with an awestruck look of admiration and start looking at them with an exasperated glance of banality.
And so many people decide to get divorced; marriage wasn’t supposed to be hard — you sign up for the warm and fuzzies of the beginning stages of love and not the trials and tribulations that come with love for a lifetime.
As a process, divorce is meant to be easy. Just like when you signed a marriage certificate, that consummated relationship can be nullified with just a flick of your pen — and half of your marital assets.
But people usually decide to have kids, and then after that whole experience decide that they “fell out of love” with their husband or wife. Divorce may be hard on man and wife, but magnify that by hundreds and you have close to how hard it is on children.
So what if we took measures to hold onto that vow of “Until death do we part?” What if we made sure that only people who were truly meant to be together got married and stayed married?
We just may be making steps towards that utopian concept of marriage. Provided that the initiative gets enough signatures, Colorado will vote in November on a measure dictating that couples who are looking to tie the knot will have to complete thirty hours of marital counseling, and that amount will double and triple with second and third marriages, respectively.
The goal to make couples understand what it is really going to be like to be married to that person forever; in counseling, couples will be faced with challenges that they will inevitably run in to over the course of their marriage — things like how they are going to deal with money and showing them healthy ways of fighting. If couples complete the number of required hours, the hope is that they can then be better prepared for the everyday challenges that make up a happily ever after.
I am done accepting the fact that my future marriage has a 50/50 shot of making it. I am all for anything that is looking to remedy this statistic, and if that means making people sit and actually sort out issues in their relationship, then so be it.
I think it’s a fabulous idea to have couples sit down and actually talk about whether or not they are going to have joint bank accounts, or whose income will be responsible for paying the mortgage, or whose health insurance they’re going to file dependents under.
People like to stay in a state of perpetual naivete; couples want to get married and ignore the fact that statistically-speaking, they have a half-and-half shot of making it work. In this love-conquers-all mentality, people are willing to look past anything that questions the destiny of their enfianced relationship and instead focus on choosing tablecloths and what song they’re going to dance to on the big day.
Far too much thought and planning goes into the wedding, and not nearly enough thought and planning goes into the marriage.
Brittany Jordan is a junior psychology major waiting for someone to propose to her. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Marriages are ending up in divorce half of the time, and we need to do something to fix this
This bill is a good start in that direction, and deserves a chance
Making couples sit and actually talk about issues may be inconvenient, but in the end will benefit everyone involved