Marriage Rethought

Delta Winds cover 1999Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Marriage Rethought

Michael Ramos

Marriages among American people seem to be more statistical than sincere. It seems that today a marriage is more likely to end in divorce than the parting of death. While there are still people who work out their problems and stay together through thick and thin, they aren't very common. What we mostly see today is divorce. A marriage appears to be most vulnerable during the first five to seven years. It is during this period of time that people today usually discover they have made a mistake in choosing their lifetime partner and want to correct it. The real issue, however, is the tremendous impact divorce has on certain people. Many used to say that the kids of the divorced were hurt the most, while today some parents claim to be the most vulnerable to it.

So what exactly is the truth? So many opinions exist it's hard to know who or what to believe. And the only answer is that there is no real answer. Obviously every divorce has different circumstances and situations. People get divorced for different reasons. It seems unfortunate that many innocent are involved just as much as those responsible. This doesn't necessarily mean kids. When the divorced wife of a cheating husband finds out the truth, it always hurts. Unfortunately a wife would have very few choices in a time like this. Fight a futile battle, or pick up the pieces and move on. It's cruel, it's drastic, and it's become an American way of life.

I despise divorce and advise people I know against it. I've known people to get divorced just because they didn't have similar hobbies. When people get divorced for foolish reasons, it's just a waste of life. It's a lie to the other person and disrespect to the people involved. It makes both people look like they don't know how to really love each other. When people get married, it should be because they are in love and because they seriously want to spend the rest of their lives together. Recently, I heard a talk show discussing divorce situations. On this show, I heard some strange statements: "He was different when we were dating," or "She never showed that side of her;" "He said he wanted to be with me forever, but never showed it." Hearing these words makes me think the people of America today really just don't know what they want. No one wants to be alone, but everyone wants a perfect relationship. My questions to them would be "Why do you look in all the wrong places?" Many teenagers and young adults go to bars and clubs looking for a man or a woman. The kind of people you find in places like these are typically looking for a good time without getting tied down. In the fast-paced society of meeting new people, you're either a user or a victim.

So who are the real victims in a divorce anyway? It's apparent that adults and children alike are both affected by it. Thirty years ago, many said it was mainly children, and adults stayed married for their sake. Yet today, adults can claim to be more affected than the children. Some say that children can always overcome the effects of a divorce while an adult may not. This is not necessarily true. Two cousins of mine, who were separated from their fathers due to a divorce, had difficulty growing up as children. One had to grow up without a father, while the other grew up with a verbally abusive one. Both had difficult childhood lives in which more was expected of them and less given. Their parents also suffered because they had to watch as their children grew up in pain. It hasn't been easy for anyone. It's important to know that anyone can be hurt.

It seems unfair for children to grow up in a country where half of all children will experience divorce in their families before they reach the age of eighteen. Whatever happened to true love? Waiting until marriage? Getting to really know the other person inside and out before getting married? These all seem to be shadows of a world once lived. I see too many people who have already lived together, have children from this relationship or another, and just get married out of convenience. Seeing this happen to members of my own family leads me to believe that today marriage just doesn't mean much. And while these things are not true for all couples, the one thought racing in my mind is that the children who are being brought up this way now see it as the norm ­­ which only means when they grow up, chances are they will make similar mistakes.

I have been told that children will almost always make the same mistakes their parents made sometime or another in their life. While this is not true for everyone, having seen divorce in my family and loss after loss, I owe it to myself to learn from what I've seen, and do better with my life. I promised myself as a child that when I grew to adulthood I would never get a divorce. I have always told myself that I would stay with my wife and work out any problems that would arise. Most important, I promised that I would not put my own children through the pain I had to endure as a child, due to the loss of my father.

However, there are situations in a divorce that make it a wise choice. I had a friend who was badly mistreated by her husband physically and verbally. Finally, after she couldn't stand another day with him, she divorced him. Although I don't care for divorce, in the circumstance she was in, I agreed and supported her decision. Now, she's happily living her life the way it should have been, with someone else. Divorce isn't always a bad thing, but it can almost always be prevented. When people know very little about each other, have difficult problems, or get married even though they know it's a bad move, they're just bound for divorce.

These situations can be prevented. No matter what it takes, people should be willing to want to prevent a possible end of their marriage, even if it takes years of getting to know one another, making sacrifices for each other, or giving up things that may cause problems in the relationship later on. Why go through a divorce if you don't have to? Today people seem to be getting married too quickly. I can understand why some would get married sooner than they should, but if it's a bad decision, it's a bad decision. Some young adults feel that they want to enjoy life while they're young and can enjoy being with a certain person. They often run out and get married, having only known the other person for a short time and end up getting hurt in the end. Others have known the person they were seeing for years and still find that there are things they do not know about their partner after getting married.

Based on the marriages and divorces I've encountered, I would conclude that it's all about getting to know the individual. Lack of knowledge could result in divorce. Rather than discourage people today about getting married, we should encourage them ­­ more important, encourage them to stay married and work their problems out. No matter what anyone says or what changes the world undergoes, there will always be someone who gets divorced due to an abusive marriage. Similarly, people will divorce just because they "don't like each other anymore." This is unfortunate but true. However, if people could look beyond the faults and see the needs, and find what is sacred and right in marriage, perhaps they could overcome differences and find a common bond to tie marriages together forever.