Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"The Fine Line Between Marriage and Divorce"

I just read an article on the Huffington Post online news paper by Iris Krasnow called "The Fine Line Between Marriage and Divorce." In the article, Krasnow talks about the "eggshell-thin line that separates loving from loathing" within a marriage. You would think the first things she mentions would destory even an unhealthy marriage: "swinging, adultery, spouses coming out as gay after 30 years together, threesomes, fist fights in restaurants, even the tale of a husband discovered to be having sex with a sheep, documented in a photograph discovered by his wife in his nightstand drawer," but these women, even the ones in healthy marriages, constantly think about divorce. And this got me thinking...

Any of the above-mentioned adultry would crumble mine and Matt's future marriage, we have already discussed, and agreeed on that. But how many of these women in healthy, stable, happy marriages who are constantly thinking "divorce" have been in knock-down, drag-out relationships with someone they actually strongly dislike? These women's only "hang up" is the fact that they have to stay "with one person in one house for a very long time."

Before Matt and I met, I was in a flat out unhealthy long-term relationship where I was disrespected and abused as a person. I thought I would never get out, never leave, and that was my life. And, similarly, Matt was in an unhealthy, abusive marriage. We actually have had long discussions comparing the similarities of the two previous relationships. Thankfully I had Riley and that was my last straw, Riley seeing me so unhappy and so helpless caused me to change things in my life. Matt and I have both been through being "cheated on" by the people who claimed to love us (which is what ended Matt's marriage), abuse both physical and mental, and month-long fights about nothing in particular.

All of the above-mentioned experiences have caused Matt and I to value each other more. Matt wants to provide for us, to take care of us in that way. He wants Riley to be able to do gym class, soccer and school. And I want to take care of Matt, Riley, and our house. I like to cook dinner, be a stay-at-home mom, take care of the house, take care of my boys- all of that is fulfilling to me. That is my work. Right now I don't want a job, or to go to school, I want to get married, have another baby and raise my kids along with my future husband.

I personally think that our experiences with love before meeting each other have caused us to want these things so much more than ordinary people. Krasnow admits, "These are not abused wives; they are women with nice husbands who give them orgasms and jewelry and stability." Those are things that I want forever: to be with someone who loves and cherishes me (in a healthy way) for me. I also think that because Matt and I trust each other, we are the type of couple who can be apart from each other for periods of time without worrying about what the other is doing. One of the three strategies that Krasnow believes makes a marriage last is, "couples who allow each other to grow separately are the ones with the best chance of growing together and staying together."

As my marriage to Matt quickly approaches, I know not only will we never get divorced, but I know that one of my fears of divorce will not be the possibility of "cranky step-kids who hate [me]." I will also always remember that "the grass isn't always greener, there are parched patches on both sides of the fence." I think as humans it is easier to want what you can't have. If all of your friends are getting divorced, you may want that too. Maybe for the attention, or the drama, or just because you want something exciting- it is uncharted territory that might make your life that much more interesting. Well, let me tell you, it won't. It is sad, despressing, and hard to pick yourself back up from.

I don't ever want divorce, for Riley and our future child(ren), and also for Matt. I never want him to feel so defeated and lonely again. I want to love him forever, build a life together, and grow old side-by-side. Of course there will be rough patches in our marriage, but I know our love and respect for one another, and also our drive to be happy and content with life, will prevail. Our motto in life is, "Whatever it is, we'll make it work," and that is what we plan to do.

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