Why Marriage Is Suffering

Not to keep piling on Mr. and Mrs. Gore -- whom, as Billy noted, we should be rooting for -- but this seems to demonstrate the kind of attitude that led to the culture of divorce in America.

Speaking with Matt Lauer on Today Wednesday, psychologist Judith Sills said the couple may have found that disparate interests have pushed them apart.

[...]

“It’s troubling because we believed their narrative, that you could marry at 16 and basically live happily ever after,” she said. “That was their romantic story, and we were invested in that story.”

But the Gores may look at their split as an exciting new opportunity rather than just a sad end of a life spent together, she added. “It’s sad that it can’t go on forever, but it’s courageous to say, ‘I am stepping onto the stage myself and I’ve made a choice to let go of the hand I’ve been holding for 40 years.’ ”

Sills added it is wrong to look at a 40-year marriage as a failure. “The fact that we judge marriages as a success or failure by divorce seems false to me,” she said. “The truth is, you have many marriages that in 40 years, you can have 25 years that are beautiful, and at the end of it, the life simply goes out of it.

“Then you make a different decision. [We shouldn’t] judge it as a failure or success like a football game.”
There are myriad ways in which these statements reflect the societal devaluing of marriage, but perhaps the most damaging is the utter lack of a sense of tragedy when a marriage is ended. Divorce becomes simply another stage of life -- and an admirable one to take, at that. But deciding to "let go of the hand I've been holding for 40 years" can only be considered courageous if personal satisfaction and self-worth are the greatest virtues.

How much more beautiful is it to keep those hands held together for 3, 4, 30, 40 years, even if the entire world seems determined to pull them apart.

Comments:

How true you spoke
Truly spoken, Travis, especially the comment about the "sense of "tragedy."

Divorce is a huge tragedy. Most of the people I know who have gone through it, including myself, if honest, admit it is worse than the death of a loved one. It, is, in fact, the end of a life which God created out of two and made into one. I would also submit that those who refuse to see the tragedy in the death of a marriage will never really be able to see the glory in the life of one either. Marriage is truly a mysterious, divinely created thing - one of those rare repositories of other-worldly glory in our faded, jaded world. Once you have seen that, you mourn deeply when one dies.
Agreed. Post. Nail. Head.
Love this: "How much more beautiful is it to keep those hands held together for 3, 4, 30, 40 years, even if the entire world seems determined to pull them apart."

Marriage doesn't even mean anything if its treated like clothing.
Travis's post=nail on the head
"But deciding to 'let go of the hand I've been holding for 40 years' can only be considered courageous if personal satisfaction and self-worth are the greatest virtues."

As I read that long quote, I prayed to God that you would make this point. Marriage is no longer about commitment or a sacramental bond. Instead, it's about convenience and self-gratification. When either leave, so should the commitment.

As you said, 40 years is good...but till death do them part is better.

Side note: Any post that references me is a winner in my book. (Uh oh, there's that narcissism creeping up again. Help!)




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