My parents have been married for 36 years. Just writing that sentence is amazing! But it has not been without their own drama, and times where they felt like giving up and divorcing. But my parents also got married at a time where people had to pick up the telephone and call each other to speak, and cell phones did not exist let alone texting, facebook, myspace, or twitter.
Their generation also had a different mindset, which was that you grow up get a job, get married, and have kids, and in that order. Now you don’t really have to grow up, and can have kids while you’re still a kid and get a reality show out of it, and don’t necessarily have to work a 9-5 to have a career. I still find myself having the same conversation with all of my friends, and inevitably the question is always asked…Is marriage worth it?
Last night I spoke to my girlfriend who got married a little over a year ago and she made the statement, “Well we made it through our first year, and we argued and felt like we may have made the wrong choice, but thankfully we made it through.” In our generation the first year is the hardest, but in my parents generation the first year is the best and its not until you reach year 15, 20 or 25 that it gets hard.
Now people get divorced 6 months after marrying, or separate when their first major problem arises, or even worse cheat the entire time their married not fully allowing themselves to “be” married. So what does this say about us and our generation? Are we lazy, impatient, quitters who don’t want to put in the time and effort it really takes to make a relationship work? Or are we emotionally jaded, sexually uninhibited, or not ready to handle the “business of marriage”?
Marriage is in my opinion a business-and I do not mean this is a negative way: Marriage, is the corporation, the husband and wife are the President and Vice-President of that corporation, and the kids, house, pets, cars and vacations are the products-items bought together, or produced in marriage-become pieces of that business arrangement. When you enter into marriage you are legally bound to your mate financially. The promises of love, faithfulness, and staying with them through good times and bad for the rest of your life, are just that…verbal promises.
You change your status on your taxes, share your jobs health benefits, and life insurance with your partner. So in that sense marriage is like a business. Why is it that our generation (the now 25-30 somethings) who are millionaires, CEO’s, and entrepreneurs achieving success in ways never seen before in our jobs, businesses etc. are not as able to keep a marriage together as seen in previous generations? Why are we business savvy, but fail at marriage savvy? And if marriage is like a business why can’t we make it work?
There is a website-which I refuse to promote on my blog-that is made specifically for people who are married and want to meet other married people and have affairs with. There are also iphone apps that hide texts or change phone numbers on your cell so that if you’re cheating your girlfriend/boyfriend won’t be able to read the evidence. There are magazine articles, blogs, and books dedicated to cheating, lying, and ripping apart the business of marriage. People are literally becoming millionaires off of the demise of the ideal of marriage, but there are so many ways in which we can deal with our relationship issues outside of divorce.
Social media, iPhone apps and Instagram likes do not ruin our marriage, we do. We have the attention spans of children and are easily lead astray. Everything we expect to happen should happen, and happen right away. Wait for things to get better, hell no, not when there are a trillion other people who will give us the instant satisfaction we crave. Not all marriages deserve to be saved, but for the ones that do, are we working hard enough at maintaining our businesses?
If your companies stock value has declined you do everything you can to raise its value, so why not apply those practices to our relationships. At times employees become lazy, complacent, and don’t put in the same amount of effort they did when first hired on the job. That’s when we need to look at our leadership and reevaluate what we are doing to bring morale back up. Of course your partner is not your “employee”, but the exact same principles apply.
Has the ideal of marriage been lost on us? And how do we get it back? Two of my friends are now married and I am rooting for them both. I hope they do not end up divorced single moms because they’re both amazing people who deserve the best. Marriage just may be the hardest job you sign up for. There are huge amounts of dealing and compromises that need to be made, sick time to be considered, and money matters to be taken into account, and the business of marriage should not be entered into lightly. Just make sure you are investing the same amount your partner is into the relationship. If it gets too rocky and you need to separate, make sure both those signatures are on that prenup and you leave your business with the settlement you deserve.
“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” ~Katherine Hepburn