This comment was by mgm531 on the post “Is ‘Tradition’ What’s Wrong With Marriage?”
“The statistics on marriage aren’t pretty. 50-60% of marriages end in divorce these days.”
I think using the oft sited 50% of marriages end in divorce statistic is a bit misleading and really doesn’t tell the whole story. Just because a marriage ends in divorce it doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t a successful one.
It would be naive to believe the any marriage that doesn’t end with the death of a spouse constitutes as a ‘failed’ marriage. Sometimes relationships just run their course and come to a natural end. The Happily Ever After notion of a life long marriage may have worked decades ago when life expectancy was relatively short as compared to today.
Till Death Do You Part was far more of a reality in the past than it is today. But that notion is a bit quaint and archaic now, don’t you think? Does anybody really think that it is feasible to live ‘Happily Ever After’ with the same person for 20, 30 or even 50 years? Maybe for a scant few, but for the majority of people I think not.
Further it has only been very recently that the notion of marriage for love has been in fashion. For many, many years marriage was viewed as a practical and economical way raise a family. If they were lucky a man and woman loved each other, but it wasn’t necessarily a requirement. That notion maybe be foreign to use in this modern day world, but for men and women of decades ago it wasn’t unusual at all.
So the notion of what is considered a successful marriage really needs to be re-examined. Does a 20 year marriage that ends in divorce really count as a failure if there were many good years shared by both spouses? Does a 20 year marriage with one or both spouses living miserable lives but doesn’t end in divorce count as a success because they didn’t divorce, even though by all rights they should have? I’m not one to judge in either case, but it certainly begs the question of whether we should reconsider the definition of a successful vs unsuccessful marriage.
Photo: nuno luz / flickr “Someone is happy. #divorce”