Every time I turn around I hear about another friend separated or getting a divorce. I am very naive because I believed if you could make it past 15 years and stay married into your fourties then the rest would be an easy glide downhill. What is it about this particular age that gives people the courage to separate? Is it that life is pretty much half over and we are looking for a new exciting adventure? Is it that the spark has gone out and we are searching to replace it with a new love disguised as lust and physical attraction? Is it that the relationship is disappointing and the only interaction is a chance passing in the hall and we cannot live like that anymore? Do we put our time and effort into someone we think is a better fit while we bide our time and get the courage to really go?
For the ones who do decide to stay, what is it that keeps them together? Does one think I’ve invested all these years so I cannot give up now? Does one decide that they will never be completely happy and it’s safer to stay in a mediocre relationship than starting over in a new one? Is it the guilt and obligation of having kids? Is it not believing you are lovable or deserving of someone who could really make you happy? Is it believing that okay is good enough?
The truth is, as we get older, most of us grow. The expectations we had in our early twenties change as time goes by. Our wants and our needs change also. We cannot easily overlook those things about our spouse that drive us crazy. We no longer appreciate the good qualities our partner brings to the relationship because we are so unhappy. We want to feel that we are the most important person in our partners life and not play second fiddle to a job or TV. We play our spouses flaws over and over in our mind until the list becomes too much to stand. Or we stay and simply give up the dream we once had of a perfect soulmate and a perfect marriage. We comfortably settle as time slowly ticks away.
What do you think motivates someone to leave and someone to stay? What age is the most common time you see your friends move towards a divorce? Is marriage what you expected it to be? Are you truly happy? Do you secretly wonder what if? I’d love to hear your opinion.