I saw an article about the high rate of divorce among baby boomers after even forty or fifty years of marriage. Apparently it’s the thing to do. I have never considered myself to be one of the ‘in’ crowd and I decided this was my chance. “Let’s get divorced”, I said to my husband at the breakfast table. “Let’s be cool.” His response was the same as it would have been forty-seven years ago: “We ARE cool. It’s cool to stay together and work on a relationship over time. This is what’s cool.” It led to an interesting discussion about why people end long term relationships. Although there are cases of abuse — physical, emotional and verbal — in many instances, it seems that people just plain get bored with their spouses. “I love my wife but we have grown in different directions,” one man told me. Grown in a different direction I have learned, often means NOT grown in the eyes of the person who is making the judgment. I’m not sure what gives one person in a relationship the power to decide this about the other. My husband thinks that many marriages end because of chemical imbalances that are not addressed in one or another of the partners. My belief is that people cease to — or do not ever learn to — communicate on a deeply personal level. This entails talking about issues that could potentially be embarrassing or humbling. It means giving an ear — and possibly giving ground — to the other person’s hopes and fears.

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2 Responses

  1. Billie says:

    My husband and I are too lazy and cheap to get a divorce. My mom used to get mad when there was a big to do about people being married 25 years. I realize also that is no time at all. 39 years has gone by so fast.

  2. Melissa says:

    You chose well, Mary! Some of us had too many crazy things go on in our lives and, when it came time to choose, our compasses were out of whack. I’d like to think my compass has been realigned, but fear there will be no viable opportunity to put what I’ve learned to the test. It might just be too complicated now!

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