The problem is that our country is focused on the media’s representation of relationships that is comprised of the Ring, the Wedding, the Fight, and the Divorce. It plays out like a 1 hour drama where you already know the ending. Can we rewrite the script and create a happily ever after scenario?
Where is the beginning of the path that leads to divorce? Perhaps if you can recognize the divorce path it can be avoided. Of course there are no guarantees when it comes to interpersonal relationships. There are many unseen variables that can create an endless number of outcomes. But there is one key factor to a bad marriage. A bad marriage starts with a bad relationship. If your relationship is full of distrust, anger, fighting, meanness, finger pointing, selfishness, and other people, getting married is not the solution. Couples get divorced because they never had a relationship that would stand up to the intensity of marriage. Take an event that during the dating phase seems small but annoying and place in the context of forever, and it now becomes unbearable.
The factors that result in divorce are usually present in some form during dating. The following actions may be trivialized or overlooked when in the dating phase.
– A mean comment or foul language during time spent together.
– Lack of respect for the other person’s opinion, occupation, family and dreams usually presented as a negative comment or attitude.
– Physical harm. (Should NEVER be trivialized)
Lack of self respect or self hate, which can present as harmful behavior (drugs or alcohol), unsuitable manner of dress, negative attitude or depression.
– The comments or behavior of others, particularly family members, which negatively impact your relationship.
These actions may be encountered occasionally during the dating phase of a relationship. The actions may seem manageable during the intermittent time frame of dating (i.e. 2 to 4 times per week). Now place any of these actions under the every day for the rest of your life category and you have a bad marriage. Add those key psychological factors such as control issues, low self esteem, personal history of abuse, and substance abuse and that marriage is racing to the divorce court.
Marriage is not about the Wedding Day. It is about every joy, every crisis, every financial gain or loss, every hurt, and every comfort that make up each day of the rest of our married lives. So the question becomes: “Can I live with this for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, then do not get married.