“Oh, honey you grow together or you grow apart. But you know that. It was a rude awakening at my age ( she was at least 55) to be separated,” the tone in her voice quiet and subdued, the expression on her face matter of fact and the feeling in her words were honest and yet still so raw.
How many women face this in our society? Have you heard the stats: 1 out of every 2 marriages end in divorce? We literally have a fighting chance. What happened? What happened to the sanctity of marriage? Is it just that easy to move on and walk away? Are the vows we take just a few nice words all wrapped up in the main event of the wedding now, you know that billion dollar industry of the perfect wedding?
What happened to unconditional love on both parts? It takes both people involved to make it work!
Maybe when our young people are dating; having flings and one night stands, they are just trying to please themselves with instant gratification. However, if instead of “just having fun” they were to look for a compatible mate things might turn out differently. Dating should be used for discerning what you want and what you don’t want to live with for a lifetime. The attitude our culture adheres to says it won’t be a lifetime so if I don’t like this or that it won’t matter its only temporary anyway. Or I can change that about him. Know this YOU CAN NOT CHANGE ANOTHER PERSON EVER! You can only change yourself.
So find someone you respect, admire. Find someone that makes you want to be a better person. Find someone you think will make an outstanding parent. Someone you can picture yourself growing old with. Someone you can disagree with respectfully. Because no matter how good the relationship is you must be able to disagree without slander, cruelty or insults. Seek out someone who holds the same priorities, values and overall philosophy of life as you do.
Don’t just look for lust and overlook friendship and don’t just look for friendship and overlook chemistry. We spend 12 -24 years in school preparing for a career and a way to take care of ourselves for a lifetime. Shouldn’t we dedicate some time to reflect on what we are looking for in a mate? Shouldn’t we as cautiously pursue a mate with the same intensity? Shouldn’t we try our hardest to find the right person and know the relationship well before we commit for a lifetime? Maybe it is in the selection process that we can solidify and sanctify a good, strong and healthy marriage. So that one day when we are 55 we are not left standing there at a counter talking to a stranger telling them “It is a rude awakening at my age to be separated.” The selection process may not solve everything but at least it will give us a better chance at the lifetime commitment of marriage.