Emma Johnson, who blogs over at wealthysinglemommy.com, wrote a post recently saying that the institution of marriage was dead and instead of a marriage people should be embarking on 10 year contracts with a pre-nup and a well defined goal. One of the comments she posts to someone who agrees with her was, “Right? Who could argue with me?”
I can argue with you, and I will by saying your entire premise is flawed.
You say that marriage is dead and site divorce stats, and claim that “lack of communication” is the biggest reason. You say, that a 10 year contract with everything predefined will stop this. You are wrong. You are falling into the same hole that it seems everyone in America is, which is to look at the end of result of something and address that – instead of the cause. The greatest example of this is the United States Government. How many times have they looked at a statistic and said, “We need to address this problem!” but didn’t bother to find the root cause? It’s putting a piece of duct tape on a broken bone and expecting it to heal.
Let me enlighten you to the root cause of why there are so many divorces: People are selfish.
Not just women, not just men. People – as a whole – are selfish, self centered individuals who do not care about the welfare of the people around them if it infringes on their own. In a world where women are working more and more, people don’t NEED each other anymore. It’s, “I’ve got mine, and I’m going to get yours too if you don’t do what I want.”
You’re probably sitting there thinking in your head, “But Stephanie! I’m the exception to the rule!” You know what, you might be… but I doubt it. Look at your last relationship and why it failed – was it because of something you did? Was it because of something they did? Was it because you couldn’t see eye to eye because apparently compromise isn’t in your vocabulary?
It manifests in different ways too. Let me give you an example from my previous three relationships:
1. In early 2010 I started dating/sleeping with/whatever you want to call it with Mike. Our *entire* relationship consisted of me driving out to him in Fairfax. It’s such a small thing but the fact that he couldn’t be bothered, except once after I pretty much had to beg, to drive out to me, showed how selfish he was. There was no reason for him not to – it’s not like we were “going out” somewhere. He was just too selfish to expend the effort to come see me.
2. The catalyst to me breaking up with A.H.Helmi (which I admit now was a huge mistake) was the fact that I wanted him to come see me in Herndon. Our entire relationship I spent putting an annoyingly high amount of miles on my car because he was fasting and has a cat. He will tell you that part of the reason for that is because I hated my apartment – and it’s true, for about a month and a half of us dating I did. HOWEVER, for the last month and a half, I loved my apartment, and he didn’t spend time here. It was nothing for me to drive 40 minutes to see him – but he couldn’t even be bothered to save himself sitting in traffic to come see me because well, he didn’t feel like it.
A couple days ago, Mike was going to come hang out with me in Herndon because my roommates have been gone all week. He bailed on me on Wednesday because of work (fine) but on Thursday he also bailed because he ‘didn’t feel like driving’. I was on the phone with my mother and her response was, “Oh, he’s another A.H.Helmi!”
The truth is – Mike and A.H.Helmi are the standard, they are the norm. That is why girls like me fall in with assholes like Zack, because even though they have flaws – they are willing to come to us. They make it easy. Sure, we might be supporting them, but at least you know, we don’t have to listen to them make excuses as why they can’t drive 20 or 40 minutes to see us.
If Mike and A.H.Helmi read this (which is highly improbable – in fact – that’s another thing, neither of one of them read this blog, which is why I can write this without fear of them saying anything to me!) they would say that I was totally off base. They would say that they aren’t selfish and try to give me a ton of reasons and examples why they aren’t…
But here’s the deal – it’s not that they aren’t selfish those other times. It’s that in those situations, they want something they can’t REALLY have. A.H.Helmi for instance, is chasing after a girl who slept with him while she was dating another guy and lied about it, (yet got mad at him for making out with another girl and being honest about it… you got a real winner there!). Mike fully admits that the only girls he’s ever really ‘loved’, he loved because he wasn’t number one in their life. So – you are willing to expend a significant amount of effort for relationships where you CAN NOT WIN. It’s not that you aren’t selfish, it’s just you can’t accept that there’s something you can not have – which is the ultimate self-serving action in a relationship.
So, to Emma – you really want to solve the problem with divorces in the United States? How about you address the root problem – not that there wasn’t communication in the relationship because I promise you, 9 times of 10 EVERYTHING that needed to be said was said, address the fact that people in the United States are too selfish to listen.
Relationships, the ones that work, are built on a mutual trust, understanding and knowledge that the other people is there for them. If one or both of the parties is only out for themselves – it will never work.