We are seeing more marriages end in divorce than ever before, and people are quick to suggest that modern society is too quick to get married and, subsequently, start giving up on marriage. But is this true?
People in the “olden days” were getting married at a much younger age than we do now and, I believe, marrying much quicker than we do today and for many reasons other than love.
I have met older women who wished they had been stronger and had made different choices when it came to marriage.
Some of these women have told me many heartbreaking stories. Some of them were forced by their parents to get married at a young age because they were pregnant. Subsequently, they lived a loveless marriage and an unhappy life.
When I asked her why she stayed, she gave me two reasons: her husband wouldn’t let her leave with the children, so she would rather take the abuse herself than see her children subjected to emotional and physical abuse, and her family and friends would disown her because it would make the family look bad in the community. Our family and friends are supposed to be the ones to help and support you. But, back then divorce was frowned upon by society.
I’m happy to say she left her abusive husband when the children were old enough, moved a considerable distance away from the place she called home, secured herself a job, and started a new life. I’ve learned many lessons from this lady who I’m proud to call my nana.
For me, the only reason to get married is love: when the person you want to marry is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Sometimes, this doesn’t last, but each and every person we meet comes into our life for a reason, to enrich our lives with valuable lessons; good or bad, big or small, we must remember to learn from them.
When I decided to end my relationship with my now ex-husband, I had people of the older generation say things like, “You have to work at marriage,” “Whatever happened, you married for life and should have stayed married,” “You young people give up too easily.” These people didn’t know what had occurred in my marriage, but they were only too happy to presume I hadn’t given my all. Some even presumed it was my own fault. Even when some of these people were aware of what happened, they told me I should have put up with it as I made a choice to marry him and I am his wife.
I was shocked because I know I had given my all in my marriage, even at the cost of my own self-worth.
I don’t believe we give up on marriage too easily. I think women of today have more self-respect and determination than some women of past generations and, therefore, know they deserve to be treated with respect and deserve to be happy. Therefore, we are not afraid to walk away if we are not treated right.
I also think we are not afraid to be judged by our community and society as much anymore, as at the end of the day, no one really knows what happens behind closed doors.
We are able to go out in the world, have a successful career and be financially independent, pay our own mortgage and bills, and not have to depend on anyone other than ourselves.
Maybe I’m wrong but we are only on this planet for a short duration, so we should enjoy the experience while we can. Something I’ve learned is we are all responsible for our own actions and happiness, so if something doesn’t make you happy, walk away and don’t let other people make you feel bad for living your life the way you want to in order to be happy.
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