9.19.2008

I love you, but I'm not "in love" with you...

As much as I hate to talk about it, I'm officially middle aged (if I live to 86). This is the time in life when people typically assess where they are, what they've accomplished and whether or not they've achieved their dreams. If they aren't happy with what they see and feel the result is...A FULL BLOWN MID-LIFE CRISIS.

Perhaps this is the cause of a trend in my town. It seems to be all the rage to seek a divorce due to boredom, not feeling in love anymore, or falling in love with someone else.

I don't live in other people's homes, so I don't know the circumstances that go on behind closed doors, but this trend seems to be reaching epidemic proportions.

Where I live, the person who dumps their spouse ends up in the small house. The person who got dumped gets to keep the big house. I call my neighborhood "the divorce neighborhood" because it seems all our new neighbors end up here after their marriages break up.

One woman who moved in about a year ago is giddy with joy after leaving her husband. "I'm a passionate person, " she tells us, "and I wasn't passionate about my marriage anymore. I've decided to get rid of anything in my life that gives me a headache." Hmmm.

Maybe I'm being too judgemental, but that sounds really harsh to me! They have 3 kids!

I can totally see leaving someone if they cheat on you, or beat you. But because you're bored?

I think we all get bored. I know I get on my husband's nerves lots of times, and sometimes my tennis stories get old. (Thanks to all of you for listening to them!) My husband talks about his work alot, and I have to remind him to change the subject, but am I going to leave him because of it?

And of course there's the sex thing. They say men are predisposed to cheat. It's in their genes to try to spread their seed wherever they can. "We're all animals after all!"

Sounds like a bunch of bull to me. We're predisposed to take a dump in the woods too, but we potty train our children so we can be civilized and do it on the toilet. You can't do that with a dog. We might be animals, but we are supposedly intelligent animals that are capable of reasoning and choosing between right and wrong.

Everyone (I think) longs for the excitement of new love, the first kiss, the flirting, going on fun dates, making out on the couch...okay, I'm getting carried away here. But I would never trade my husband in to go back to all that stuff. Am I saying we never make out on the couch anymore? Pretty much, yes. But we really SHOULD, I'm sure it would be fun. Too bad the laptop seems to get in the way of that these days! (Stay tuned for my husband's upcoming post, "My wife's blog ruined my sex life!")

Sometimes marriage is easier than others. Mine definitely goes through phases. Some days things are great and we're all happy as clams. Other times it can turn on a dime, and we CANT STAND each other. But we know it's cyclical, so we just wait for the good feelings to come back. And we don't bail.

Maybe the people living in my neighborhood couldn't get past the bad days. Who knows? I'm not going to ask them, but I can't help but feel bad when I see the sad looks on the faces of the ones living in the "big house", the one they all lived in together as a family, before it got BORING.


29 comments:

Mrs.D said...

Oh goodness, I could go on and on about this subject. It's like this in out town, too. Except we have a small town, so it's like everyone "trades". In few instances do I condone divorce. And no, my marriage is NOT perfect, but we work it out when there is an issue. Or we simply press on knowing that we said "till death do we part".

I hate hearing a parent say that they just wanted to be "happy". I'm sorry, but when you become a parent YOUR happiness comes 2nd to your kids'. So if you have to grit your teeth the rest of your life then, well, sorry, but YOU married him/her. Your kid didn't have a choice about it. It's called unselfishness.

Can you tell I am the product of a broken home? LOL. But I am serious, parents need to put the kids first. You lose a LOT of control over your kids' upbringing when you give up half of them to custody. (which is what you do b/c you can't be there 100% anymore).

Okay, I am done.

Southern Fried Girl said...

I could not agree more. What ever happened to sucking it up and slogging through the rough patches? I agree - certain things - abuse, rampant affairs, not providing enough Reese cups in the house - are absolutely grounds for the big D. However just because "well I am just not IN love anymore." Hey honey, how about you sack up and remember that you said vows, ok?

Marriage is a decision. Every single day. You get up. You look at that person laying next to you. Who probably snored. Or hogged the bed. Or who "forgot" to take out the garbage AGAIN. You decide how to treat that person daily. That's all you can control - how YOU treat THEM, not vice versa. You work to end up on the same page and to have some wonderful memories along the way.

Anyone who spends their life on a never ending quest for "passion" is never ever going to find it all in one person. They are better off being a serial dater.

I'll shut the hell up now.

And if my hubs does not bring Reese cups home tomorrow, I will be on the news. I'll still be married but I might be in jail.

Scarlet O'Kara said...

What a great post! You hit the "nail on the head" with this one. Thanks.

Blithe Revival said...

wow, you get the longest comments of anyone ever...

it's cause your awesome.

xo

Mrs.D said...

She is, isn't she? :-)

Tickled Pink And Green said...

I think this is definitely a result of the My Happiness First liberal feel good push that has gone on in the past couple of decades.

I remember once going to a conference and there was a class on marriage & family. And the lecturer was saying that most people think you shouldn't stay together for the kids, but his question was ...(barring domestic violence or other kinds of abuse) ...why not? Why not stay together for the kids? What better reason would there be? It stayed with me and really made you think.

Polly said...

I think much of the divorce rate ( at least what I see in my own town and family) comes from marrying the wrong person in the first place, not having religion in common, not realizing that you're marrying the spouses entire family. I lecture my kids ad nauseum about this.

I'm so blessed that my own marriage is better than ever. We're celebrating our 20th this fall.

jenn said...

I can't imagine putting my KIDS through the turmoil of a divorce just because I got bored. For Chrissakes, go shopping or something, you know?

beach mama said...

I totally agree.
Great post!!!

KATE said...

Many couples treat marriage like dating they completly forget their vows "for better for worse"
I really think when things get tough and the love of your life shows their "warts" rereading the vows might remind you that it's a marriage not a fling. Especially when there are children involved.
It shows them what true love is through good times and through bad.

Jillian, Inc. said...

Everything has become so disposable thise days, and it's so sad. I can only seeing it getting WORSE, too. When this generation of kids is married they will have known nothing except immediate gratification, being entertained 24/7 and impersonable commuication via email, texting and lord knows what else. Their "networking" is f**ebook and m*space which is really never calls for being authenic. And, I'm not saying ALL kids today are like that, but the majority are. It's what our society has become and our marriages and FAMILIES are suffering. Great post.

Pearls To Hide My Neck said...

Wow, great post. Divorce seems to be the top option for many couples who are not getting along. I look at my children's friends who have gone through a divorce in their household and most are definitely not in a better place. We see quite a few who sit down at our house for a "family dinner" and you can just see on their faces how much they miss having a complete family. Through the years, we have had kids who stay the whole weekend at our house so they don’t have to split time between their Mom and Dad’s.

I think if many people took divorce off the table and didn't consider it an option, maybe more marriages could survive. I once asked my mom why she didn't tell me marriage would be so hard and she said if people knew they wouldn't get married. It is hard and it is work but I certainly wouldn't trade my husband for another. After 22 years, I look at all the good times and also the bad that we've been through and I'm forever grateful that we hung in there. I also hope that my kids will realize that marriage is a lifelong commitment so they better pick a partner who is deserving of that type of promise.

Just Ask Beth said...

Great topic Jill and Well SAID. I took the Oath for better for worse... There have been many ups, some downs and definitely some boredom or complacency, but when you get to it, underneath all of the day to day drudery, I remind myself why I love my husband. He loves me, he is a great father, he provides for our family (as do I) and our children come 2nd to our marriage. If we are not happy how can we be great parents.. Like my late Mother always said "God First, Husband 2nd and children 3rd.. I think children know when they come from a loving home and that their parents love each other. My girls love to see my husband and I kiss each other when we both come home from work. Kiss not make out people. It's like a job, the harder you workk the better the payBACK!

Jennifer said...

Oh my, are you on the set of Desperate Housewives!? :) Seriously, great post.

Karen MEG said...

GREAT post!!!

I remember when I turned 40 (not too many moons ago) I had a few mid-life discussions with some girlfriends. It seems that once the 40's come, people, women in particular, may take stock of their life and wonder "is this it; where is the passion, where is the love?". I would hazard a guess that the divorce rate for those in their late 30's early 40s is staggering. Sure we have our slumps, but the kids are our priority right now. We had the passion, and we still find it occasionally when our backs aren't acting up ;).

But I do have a friend who was cheated on; and she tried to work it out, with counselling etc. for the kids, but the betrayal happened again. Once she was free of it, she came into her own; but she still struggles to find that elusive 'happy ending" and I am so sad for her.

Petunia said...

If divorce hasn't affected your life in any way then consider yourself LUCKY!
I do think that it is very very sad that it has become commonplace in our society. I have been on both ends of the divorce situation (and somehow didn't get the big house either time), but somehow it all worked out and now I hold EVERYONE in my life very precious and close to my heart. It's a very long story, but when I was the one who left I had tried and tried to make it work for years. My ex wouldn't go to counseling, and I knew that I wanted children and refused to have them in this kind of relationship so I left.
It's a different story when children are involved.

(fairy) Godmother said...

Yeah well I wanna be happy too.. I have been having midlife crisises (is that a word?!) my entire life and I haven't been 40 my entire life... leaving everything behind is a cop-out. Ok. well, I would like to leave everything behind -- including spouse and kids for a coupla days! But I agree with you completely!!!

Mrs. K said...

well I guess I'm lucky because my married friends have been married forever and i just look at them as an example to follow. But why did I leave my ex? (my daughter's dad that is)- he cheated, he lied, he was not trustworthy and even though at some point i could not even think of kissing him, i tried, but i just couldn't trust me and THAT drove me crazy.

Caffeine Court said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caffeine Court said...

I hope this post didn't come off as too judgemental.

I completely agree that if someone is a serial cheater, it becomes a no-brainer. I would never be able to put up with that.

But the person who cheats when they have kids must be INCREDIBLY selfish!!

My cousin was married to a guy who cheated all the time. He even went so far as to have a prostitute at their home when she was away for the night with the kids. (He was so dumb he charged it on their credit card and she found it on the bill the next month under $500 to some "entertainment company" out of Brooklyn!)

She left him and I don't blame her one bit.

This is such an interesting subject (as you can tell by the comments.)

As I said, none of us know what goes on behind closed doors.

simplynotso said...

Divorce is definitely the last option! My husband's ex was unhappy and ended up cheating on him as her way out. Although, that brings us together it is extremely hard on the children(all involved) My children wish their brothers were around more often, it is hard to transition from home to home and unless you have a great relationship with your ex communication is very difficult. Everyone has issues, even if they say they don't, marriage is a never ending work in progress. Needless to say, if you truly can't trust and someone is abusive or cheating that is not good for anyone involved either.

Mrs.D said...

Right, not judging, but I just meant divorcing just to find "happiness", "passion", etc. Repeated infidelities, abuse, etc, THAT'S different...

Diva Ma said...

Well, I have to say that being married has not been the easiest thing that I have ever done. But I have come to agree with Mrs. D when she talks about the unselfishness for your children. You endure the hard times because you love them.

Boredom should not be a sole reason to go forward with a divorce. That problem is treatable if you work at it. And Love can be found again, if you really want it.

Wifey said...

Great post and comments. Marriage takes work and definitely has its ups and downs, but boredom is definitely not a reason for divorce. Instead of giving up, try spicing it up. Smiles!

Tammy said...

I think everyone needs to find ways to spice things up. If you don't it could get routine, but to just give up and leave? That sounds crazy to me. I will be married 13 years this month. It gets crazy sometimes, but for us never boring. Divorce sounds and is painful on everyone.

Great post! I left you something on mine. Go check it out.

P said...

I get what you're saying about staying married for the kids. I get it, really. But speaking as "one of those kids" that had parents that stayed together for me, let me just say I would have preferred they get the hell out of that marriage. They were miserable with each other, and I, too, was miserable because of it. Geeze, if they would have only got a divorce, I might could have relaxed a little! They sucked the "family life" experience out of everything!

Jaina said...

I'd like to slap the woman who said she was passionate, but not about her marriage. She should be passionate about her three children! How incredibly self-center and selfish to break up your family and your children's sense of stability and security because you're bored!!! Seriously, there are few things that get me really going, but this type of stupidity and selfishness really triggers it. I'm not a parent yet, I'm not ready to be a parent yet. But when I do become a parent I know that my focus becomes my children, that sometimes I will have to make sacrifices for them. Even if I get bored. I would hope that if I ever reach that stage, that I have the COURAGE to do something about it rather than just checking out.

Okay...off my soap box now. Great post. I really like what you had to say about marriage.

sltbee69 said...

Great post. I'm in total agreement with you. I think many people these days get married for the wrong reasons - think they can change each other, etc. If it starts getting rough for them, well it's just too easy to get a divorce. Never mind that there are kids involved because after all it's what makes that person happy. Yeah, right. So selfish!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I agree with you totally. What happened to commitment and sticking it out through the tough times?
I love how you summed up cheating, too. It's a choice, dammit!

 
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