The Not So Symbiotic Nature of Marriage
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a longtime friend of mine, only to discover that she and her recent ex-husband are unfortunately at odds over many things necessitating an ensuing court case to settle their differences. Three young boys are involved. Since Christmas, I have heard of two other marriage split-ups; one wherein adultery broke apart the relationship, also affecting three very small children (one aged four months) and the other separation happened when the husband came home one night and announced that he was leaving after almost two decades of being together. While break-ups are nothing new and I am not surprised to hear of these latest situations in that statistics support the notion that divorce is likely in 40% of all unions, and has been that way for years (even decades), I cannot help but wonder what exactly is going on. And, I am not talking about the stats themselves, rather I am referring to all of the things that come about as a result of them.
Obviously, in some cases, it is necessary to cut ties especially when someone finds themselves in an unhealthy situation, but what continues to puzzle me is how we end up treating our supposed loved ones or once loved significant others, be it while together or apart. I mean, for most of the population in the western world, marriage is a choice as is the person whom we marry. So, why oh why does it often end up going so badly?! Sometimes so much so, that before long it seems as though the sole purpose of the one person is to cause as much pain and suffering as is possible to the other, often with blatant disregard for their very own children in the process. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN AND UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES DO PEOPLE THINK THAT IT IS EVEN REMOTELY OKAY TO INFLICT SUCH UNNECESSARY AND LASTING HURT? There is only one lame explanation and that is pure and absolute selfishness beyond survival of the fittest. Plain and simple. But, that’s the problem. Being selfish is NOT just plain and simple and it most certainly ends up affecting more than just one’s self, which is honestly the worst part. It’s really too bad, in many regards, that selfishness isn’t on a boomerang-that way, the only one who would be on the receiving end of the wrath would be the person initiating such belligerent acts and the one for whom they SHOULD be intended anyway. Do you know what I mean? Why do basic levels of respect for another human have to go out the window to satisfy some line of egotistical, childish thinking?! It just doesn’t make any sense nowadays when we KNOW and are capable of doing better. Generally speaking, we are not living in a time when Darwinism is essential to meeting our basic needs and unless someone has seriously wronged another, in which case maybe the court system is best used, there should be a reasonable approach to reaching an amicable agreement for all parties with the needs of children being first and foremost! Is our society too lenient in that it has become almost normal for the blatant disregard and/or mistreatment of others, namely those often bearing our own last names? While I wish more than anything that the sanctity of marriage and having children meant mutual care and understanding “’till death do you part”, divorce or not, it isn’t even remotely close to how things tend to go down.
The most profound statement made to me by the friend that I first spoke of is that out all of that has happened, she has learned that the only person that she can really truly depend on in this life is herself. A harsh, but sad reality in a world that seems to support a lack of accountability and personal responsibility for one’s own words and actions. Look at the recent data with respect to anonymous online bullying, for example. Now, I get that what I am saying sounds like a real downer and will likely not be well-received by some for that reason, all one has to do is open their eyes and look around to see that the, ‘All for one, and one for all’ quote is not exactly prevalent.
I guess my point to all of this is that I am not sure why or how it has become that the one close, supposed long-term relationship that WE get to choose in this lifetime is the very partnership that we often use to destroy one another with. Not very symbiotic at all, which makes me wonder from a scientific point of view if our very make-up as usually compassionate beings has somehow been compromised over time. Maybe our DNA structures are changing? Or, maybe we are just becoming masters of manipulating our environments true to our nature as humans, with self-interest as our perfected and one and only motivation.
I raise this heavy-hearted topic today in conjunction with the daily word prompt because as much as we all want to read and hear about all of the cheery aspects of life, myself included, we also have to be willing to look at the not-so rosy issues in the hopes that awareness will help to bring about some form of positive change.
“Be the voice, even if it is the lone one.”