What do you do if you get into a fight with your spouse or your partner? Do you stick through it or do you cop out and walk out of the relationship? This is the worrying trend I have been seeing lately in our society today – people walking out on each other. And the irony is that you would think with advancement in technology and better standards and quality of living, the family and spousal life would improve but the trend is quite the opposite. Lately I have been hearing lots of stories about friends and people getting divorces after just 2-3 years of marriage. And these are not bad, crappy people – they are good natured people, some are good friends of good people that I know and yet they are getting married. Recently I heard some news about a couple from my parish church who just got married last year and are having issues in their marriage and are looking toward separation.
It is a worrying trend. Even though I am not in the same boat right now, it worries me. My parish priest used to remark that people who marry later are at a disadvantage and I can see why now. Apart from biological reasons, delaying marriage, although on the onset may appear “sensible” and “the way to go” but it’s actually making things worse. Most people delay marriage because of financial security, but I believe (although its unsubstantiated) its also because people want choices and freedom. I get the sense people have lost the sanctity and responsibilities of marriage and delaying marriage subconsciously will give room to such thought.
And so when these people “finally” have to make the leap, most often than not, its not because they feel “richer” and “now only I can get married” – but I sense it’s because it becomes an obligation – the whole “it’s about time”. And it’s sad because when you go into marriage with that kind of mentality, your marital bonds become weaker. You marry out of of necessity and to meet some sense of commitment and “stability” in your life. It’s this precise thought illusion that is giving rise to extramarital affairs and the breakdown of marriages.
The biggest drawback on the breakdown of marriages is actually the breakdown of families. I have countless number of friends who have separated parents and there’s a worrying trend that I see in my friends – their lack of security, self assuredness and confidence is transcended in their social and workplace setting. The need to be accepted, the need to please, the need to have a false sense of accomplishments, the approach to failure and rejection are all tell tale signs of a weak household. At the same time I have also seen parents who have raised their kids well and I notice the stark difference – believe me there is a difference!
And what’s really saddening is that the trend is not changing. You would think with better access to education, better advance social developments and greater opportunities to network, that people would be better parents but it seems to be worsening. And no this has nothing to do with the demands of life – while I do agree that the pressures of life may be more now, I refuse to believe that demanding jobs and careers have produced lousy parents. Instead I believe couples and parents these days have found the easy way out to deal with home affairs. If you have a problem with your spouse, you have the option to take time-outs and breathe. What’s ironic is I don’t recall my grandparents or parents taking “time outs” to just “breathe”. Sure they had fights and arguments, sure they gave each other silent treatments, but I doubt they just opted out so easily. Despite turmoil and difficulty both our parents and grandparents stuck on for the children, to provide the sense of security. Where has that self sacrifice which is so-ever important in married life gone?
And we wonder what’s wrong with our kids and society today? We wonder why our youth give up so easily and often cop out whenever faced with adversity. As GK Chesterton once put it in response to a question “What is wrong with the world?”. His response – “I am”.