A lot has shifted over the last few decades, marriage being one of the bigger shifts. In this day and age, marriage has become quite fickle. Maybe this is due to social media or just the sheer fact of how flippantly people change their minds, but when it comes to marriage, they’re changing them left and right. Marriage used to represent a union that meant forever, whereas now marriage has become a trend. I think for some people, it only means pretty pictures in a white dress on Instagram and Facebook with subsequent posts of a “my forever date” caption. Then, when they have to actually look at the foundation of their relationship, they decide they just don’t want to deal with it.
This was unfortunately confirmed when I came across a post not too long ago on Mumsnet, which is much like a British Reddit for moms. (It’s actually a really great resource. I’m pregnant right now, and I’ll ask specific questions about pregnancy and parenting on there.) In this particular post, a woman wrote about her “aha moment” when she knew her marriage was over and led to her divorce. The subject of the post read, “What was your ‘this is over’ moment in your marriage,” so I perused through it. This woman wanted to hear other people talk about the moments they realized their marriage was over.
According to her post, she did not want to paint her husband in a bad light. But she goes on saying, “However, I can’t stop thinking about something he said to me, and at that moment, I knew it was it, that I wanted more.” She had a meeting at work one morning but was 20 minutes late. Her work accidentally called her husband (her emergency contact), meaning to call her. They explained the mistake in calling him, she got to work, and everyone went about their day. But when she got home, she asked why he didn’t contact her to make sure she was alright. After some back and forth, he said he knew the police would have called him if she’d been in an accident. That was her eureka moment because, according to her, “he did not care, not one little bit.”
Reading this, I could not believe this was grounds for divorce for her. The first thing I thought about was the poor employee who accidentally called her husband. Then, her husband answered, said no problem on the mix-up call, and no one thought anything of it. But she somehow twisted this in her head to ask, “What if I had been in an accident?” She was basically implying: What if I was dead? Why weren’t you hysterical? Shouldn’t you be? This woman was 20 minutes late — not two hours late. There was no reason to be that concerned. It makes sense someone from work would call when, as the post states, the person she was meeting with was waiting for her to arrive. It makes entirely no sense she would be upset with her husband for not making up some ludicrous scenario in his mind that she’s been in a terrible accident.
She was so upset with him that she was willing to divorce him. This is stunning. The fact that she shared this says she thought we would all just understand. She expected we would understand why she knew right then and there that he did not care one little bit. And she knew she wanted “more”? What is the “more” she wanted? Drama? This passage starts by acknowledging him as “a good man, hardworking, loyal.” So outside this incident — the incident in which he forgot to pretend she had been in a car accident and hysterically ring a false alarm — he was a good man. She allowed this little seed to fester and grow into a full-blown scenario she couldn’t get over.
So she divorced a good, hardworking, loyal man. I would say she will absolutely regret this divorce because if she thinks she is going to find a man who is so upstanding he will know how to react to the figments of her imagination, she’s out of her mind. In fact, if she finds a man who will be that over the top in a similar situation, she will think he’s too theatrical and doesn’t know how to relax: She can’t even run 20 minutes late without him calling the police? Who would want to be married to that drama?
We continue to see examples like this in the media, on television, and in shows about relationships where people have the wrong idea of what it means to be married. Part of the reason that’s the case is because it’s too easy to get divorced. People don’t want to work through anything. They don’t even want to work through a 20-minute delay getting to work. So, they just leave in search of the perfect partner. But there is no such thing as a perfect partner who is not going to make any mistakes so your life is absolutely perfect.
We must stop being so fickle. We must learn how to focus. Too many people have relationship ADHD, and that has to change. We must get serious and recognize this is the reason there are so many ills in our society.