First, sorry for the delay in posting something new. KJ and I were on the east coast traveling. She was only there for about a week and a half, but I was there for about a month.
While on the east coast, we both attended the wedding of my childhood best friend, Dave. During the wedding weekend, I started thinking about a statistic I had recently read. It said the divorce rate in America for a first marriage is 50%, for a 2nd marriage, it’s 67%, and for a 3rd, it’s 74%. This is according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.
Now, I wasn’t thinking about these stats because of the people getting married. I have a very good feeling they’re going to make it. Here’s a video of their 1st dance to show you why I’m so confident:
I was thinking about my parents, and KJ’s parents, who both fall into that 50% 1st marriage divorce column.
Dave and Kerry’s parents, however, are both still married.
My question is this: What contributes to a marriage that doesn’t work out? Specifically, how much of what happened to your own parents, good or bad, contributes to what will happen in your marriage?
*By the way, my favorite part in the video above is when they high five at the end.
Disconnect. I think that’s a big early contributor to not working out. I read in a self-help book that a mere 3 days of no meaningful conversation is all you need to start disconnecting from each other. A work friend of mine came home from work one day in 2003 to find that her husband had murdered their children and killed himself. I really struggled with wondering how she could have been married to him, living with him, kissed him and her kids goodbye that morning and not sensed ANYTHING. If she couldn’t tell, then how could *I* tell that MY husband would never do such a thing? The answer I came up with for myself is “disconnect.” The moment a couple stops connecting with each other physically and emotionally is the moment that each of you starts off on your own path, a path that can lead to merely growing distant from one another, to affairs, or even as far as a horrible tragedy, like my coworker’s. I can only imagine that she never saw it coming, because perhaps she had no idea what was going on in her husband’s life, mind, or feelings. Less horrifically, I do believe this applies to my parents divorce and my own divorce. My parents were young, and probably never right for each other to begin with. After 25 years, I’m not even sure if they ever truly connected with each other, but I think for a good 10 years they laughed together, played games together, things that seem like a genuine effort to connect with each other. I too, was young and totally mismatched for the person I married. Looking back I realize I married someone narcissistic, lacking empathy, incapable of connecting with someone else. So I do think I made some of the same mistakes as my parents. You guys aren’t young, and you probably aren’t as mismatched as we were, so maybe that part of my story doesn’t apply. But staying connected applies to all of us. At a minimum, if you stay connected, you won’t be surprised where your relationship leads (either to marriage, or to letting go).