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Too much talk of divorce

Posted: September 17, 2010 12:10 p.m.
Updated: September 17, 2010 12:06 p.m.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hearing about divorce.

I can’t tell if I’m just noticing it more because I’m recently married, but it seems as if the topic of divorce has monopolized newspaper headlines, magazine covers, television shows and more than a dozen television newscasts within the past year.

My head may very well explode if I have to read another article about the Tiger Woodses of the world, and I will scream if the deluded Rielle Hunter -- or any other mistress, for that matter -- pops back up in the media to gloat about a sordid love affair with a married politician or celebrity.

“The biggest adult film of the summer centers on a divorce (“Eat Pray Love”), the most talked-about television series of the moment revolves around a divorced couple (“Mad Men”), the hottest revival on Broadway of the season pivots on divorce (“Promises, Promises”), the bawdiest memoir of the year chronicles an affair that eventually led to a high-profile divorce (Andrew Young’s “The Politician”),” said Bruce Feiler in a recent New York Times article.

Looks like I may not have been the only one who has noticed that we’ve landed smack dab in the “Summer of Divorce.”

So what’s a recently married young woman to do when it seems as if she can’t escape the constant reminder that divorce may threaten her marriage in the future?

Because even though I’ve been married for nearly five months -- which by definition means that I’m still a lovesick puppy riding on the newlywed high -- the constant reminders that divorce is a very real threat to my happy home is enough to scare me senseless.

Sure, I may wish that John would put his cups in the sink or dishwasher, as opposed to placing them on the counter top.
And sure, John may get annoyed when I fall asleep with my Blackberry in my hand every night or forget to close the kitchen cabinets when I finish using them.

But other than that, we are perfectly happy in our marriage and love each other very much.

Divorce is often characterized as an evil disease that creeps into a happy marriage and then suddenly attacks it without warning. After seeing one or two of my friends get divorced recently, I’ve suddenly found myself clicking on the “Signs that Your Marriage is Failing” headlines on newlywed blogs. The last thing I want is for divorce to sneak into my happy marriage in the future.

Then, I realized, maybe I shouldn’t be so worried about when divorce may suddenly creep into my marriage. Instead, I should just spend more time making sure that John and I are doing what we need to be doing in our marriage to keep divorce out.

Last week, our Sunday School teacher said that husbands and wives should wake up every day and ask themselves what they can do to make their spouse’s day better.

“You’ve got to learn how to serve each other,” he said. “Marriage is a partnership. Don’t constantly tell your spouse what they can do to make you happy. Look at yourself, and make sure you’re doing what you can do to make them happy, too.”

John and I have been through enough premarital counseling sessions to know that marriages can fall apart because of arguments over kids, finances and lack of communication.

But maybe if we learn to make a habit of constantly trying to make each other happy every day, and never taking each other for granted, then we’ll make it through the inevitable rough patches in our marriage.

For the record, I’m not saying that I think people should not get divorced, because repeated infidelity, as well as any kind of emotional and physical abuse are certainly grounds for leaving a marriage that has apparently been broken for some time.

Besides, after some soul searching and making real efforts to make their marriage work, some couples may realize that it’s best to walk away from each other.

And that’s OK, because every marriage -- and every person -- is different.

I just know that John and I always talk about how we’re in this for the long haul.

Because we want this marriage to work in the next 10, 30 and 60 years, and as the years go by we have to keep working together to make sure that happens.


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