I’m not going to lie. I am irrevocably and unapologetically in love with the thought of being in love. You see it in the movies, hear it in the ballads, witness it in the hallways: the gleam in their eyes, the unrelenting smiles and giggles, the ease with which they interact. It’s like this universal secret that only couples are privy to.
Maybe that’s why it hurts so much. Divorce, I mean. Separation, the end of love. But don’t worry – your parents will assure you time and time again that it’s not your fault, it’s never the kids fault. They don’t get it though. We aren’t afraid that we’re the reason you fell apart, we’re afraid because we weren’t enough to keep you together. Do you know what it feels like to know that two people who were once so in love that they brought you into this world together, as a symbol of their love and devotion to each other, are now realizing that maybe it would have been better if they’d never met? They can’t even hold conversations, they sit in courtrooms while strangers talk for them and “negotiate” their life, their belongings, all that used to draw them to each other.
Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce now. Why? Because people have lost heart and have become too selfish to understand each other, much less share a union for life. Marriage has always been an investment, but modern day society has taken it a step further and now it’s a business deal. Something you might be happy about in the moment and for a while after, but when the passage of time leaves you feeling unsatisfied and like you deserve more than what you’re getting, you start to consider your options – namely, divorce.
People just don’t get it. They marry and they think that they’re entitled to something in this life – to happiness, to love, to success. But they’re wrong. Life isn’t fair. No one deserves anything, besides basic human rights, and while our Declaration promises us the pursuit of happiness, it is up to us to secure that happiness for ourselves. It’s not up to our government, our employers, our kids, or our spouses. And we forget that. We get immersed in the idea of an all-encompassing love and we think that we will find true love because we deserve it, because we deserve happiness and love is going to get us there.
Love, I think, is the 8th wonder of the world; the one no one talks about, no one visits, because it’s something you can only find within yourself, and not everyone is strong enough to venture deep into their own heart. Some simply strike the surface and call it a day, foreshadowing their marriage as well.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with my parents, or all the others out there who couldn’t make their marriage last. I’m just saying that it takes a lot of work and dedication and perseverance. It’s by no means a smooth ride, and it was never intended to be so. Ask anyone who’s made it 25, 50, 75 years. They are the real heroes, and the hardest workers you will ever meet. And if they just so happen to be your parents, or your grandparents, remember to cherish them and their every encounter. Appreciate all the times they kiss and show their affection. Don’t roll your eyes and tell them to stop holding hands or making gaga eyes at each other. Never ever forget how lucky you are, or how strong and admirable they are.
There’s something oh so special about a couple whose love isn’t threatened by forever, whether they’re straight, gay, purple, blue, or green. Not everyone’s spark lasts. My parents burnt out a long time ago. I’m still recovering.