Last week I was talking to a friend who is older than me. Her oldest child is in college. She was talking about her concerns over how her separation from her husband is affecting her kids. As I was talking to her about my own experience being the child of divorced parents, I realized her parents were together. She didn’t need to say anything, just the way our conversation was going I could tell that was the case. This surprised me. And I was surprised that it surprised me. When someone says their parents are still together my response is almost always, “Wow, that’s so wonderful. How amazing.” It’s not that I don’t know anyone who is still married to their first spouse but… it’s not common. Is that a little messed up? That I don’t expect your parents to be married?
It seems like so many stars must align for people to grow old together. You have to get lucky enough to meet someone you can do this with. Then you have to be smart enough to recognize that this person is special and that you need to pursue this. And then you have to put a lot of work in to it. And sometimes that’s not enough either, because life gets in the way.
I can’t decide if this is one of those “What is the world coming to moments?” On the one hand, all these divorces are enough to make a person feel like love isn’t real. On the other hand, a lot of our grandparents and parents remained married for all the wrong reasons. They may have gotten married for reasons unrelated to love and they stayed married for reasons other than love. So today, when you see a couple who is making it, who has put in all the hard work and the compromise and been together for those double digit anniversaries… it just makes it all the more special. And when a couple doesn’t make it? Kudos for recognizing your mistakes and trying to correct them.
Maybe that’s strange, but I can’t help but feel that way.