Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'll See your Breakup and Raise You One Divorce

Is it a full moon? Is there something in the water?

In the past week we've learned of two broken engagements and one impending divorce, all initiated by the woman in the relationship.

The two engaged women used the EXACT same expression, "I wasn't head-over-heels".

Huh? What? Have they been watching too many Disney movies? How do they define head-over-heels?

I'm a dinosaur who met the Farmer over 35 years ago and I'm well aware that culture and relationships have changed. The women's movement made it possible for women to create a life for themselves with or without a man. But something has changed in the process. I don't get the feeling that young people understand the concept of going through life as a team. They've widened their net with lots of friends, all connected by internet and cell phones, but the connections seem thin and tenuous. How about one TRUSTED and loving partner to share your life with?

The divorce situation is very puzzling to me. The woman has stated (14 years into the marriage) that she never really loved this man. Seriously??? Why in the world would you do that? Was it not an "exciting life"?

Believe me, I find today's young men to be a dream. They care about their children and they COOK. The man in the divorce situation does all the cooking. My generation admires this trait tremendously.

One thing I learned when I was in therapy was that if you feel that something is missing in your life, you need to look inside of yourself. Life isn't some fairy tale existence, it's hard work.

I'm proud and happy to have someone who is honest, hard working and truly cares about me and creating a life together and I'm sad that young people are somehow missing the boat on this one.

As for the Farmer and me, we're a team! Yay team!!!!


chocolatechic said...


Vee said...

And a hearty amen to that!

Two of my son and daughter-in-law's dear friends are divorcing. This has rocked my son and his wife to the core. I believe that some young women need to wake up, including the one I'm speaking of. The husband does so much in that, cleaning, laundry, shopping, plus he works nights. Crazy.

cityfarmer said...

oh girl, you said it so well!!

carry on!

Steph said...

Not all young people have missed the boat! But we're definitely different than most young people...we farm! I do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of the chicken houses (which is what most women do around here) and I don't mind one bit.

Anonymous said...

The reality is that a woman doesn't need a marriage. Until the last generation marriage was essential to a woman's life. But now, a woman can work, own a home, have child without marriage. And society doesn't have the same influence in setting the standards for what should be expected in a marriage. The individuals do. If a woman wants "to be in love" then that's want she should seek and aspire to.(ideally before they get married) Its great that men are taking on some of the roles that woman have traditionally been assigned..but I don't think that just because one person is doing all the chores you should feel compelled to stick it out..that doesn't make for a happy marriage or a sustainable team effort.

All that being said, I am happily married, mother of 4 and while it is not always happy dappy in our house I love my husband and would fight for our marriage the same way I would fight for the well being of my children. I don't think you can fake that kind of love and I would not settle for less.

Suzanne said...

mypoliticalexile - I understand everything you've said and I agree that women (and men) should decide wha they want out of life but that requires that you know yourself and that seems to be difficult. I remember it being difficult for me. However, once I married and made the commitment I surrendered to the fact that it wasn't all about me. It was also about my husband and eventually my children. No, I wasn't going to be happy all the time.

During the conflagration also known as the women's movement, I saw many, MANY women pick up and leave their husbands and their children waving the banner of "finding themselves" and "fulfilling themselves". Unfortunately the complete abandonment of their responsibilities created much damage. I guess the answer is to really know what you want. There are consequences to any decisions we make in life.

It's complicated, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

During these tough times with the economy etc.; people are being stressed to the max. People are sometimes so self-involved and think ending a relationship is the cure for all their woes. Thankfully everyone I know who is in a relationship is in it for the long haul and they work as a team. Yeah for my fella! He's a very patient man and I love him dearly.

Meadowlark said...

I figure after nearly 24 years we haven't killed each other (yet) and that's a good enough reason to stay :)

Are we always "in love, ooey gooey". Um, no. But is there a core of respect and shared lives? Yup... that's what young people get confused about...they want the ooey-gooey stuff and most of the time, that's just surface flavor.

Oh Vee, I wanted to mention that the husband you mention might either a) doesn't like it and needs to 'man up' and do something about it or b) he doesn't mind and the rest of us have to accept his choice. (We have some friends like this and it works for them. I have to let it go) just a thought.

beyondbeige said...

I for one made the incredibly difficult decision to leave my husband after 18 years of marriage.. Why? Because he sat me down and told me he had never wanted me "around" during those 18 years.
Could I have stayed in the marriage? Probably, but would it be healthy? Most certainly not.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I are a team too. We were together for 10 years and then married. At this point we are head over heels because we have so many memories together. I have been divorced and so was he when I met him. Sometimes there truly are reasons for divorce, but if she never loved him in the first place she should never have married the man. AND, I agree that men these days take on many of the household responsibilities and the yard work and they hold down jobs. These young gals better open up their hearts and their eyes if they are throwing away what is really a "KEEPER". Just my two cents worth,

The Blue Ridge Gal

BittersweetPunkin said...

Sweet post Suzanne and oh so true. I agree with you....while I don't agree with some opinions of it just being a "piece of paper"..I also commend some people who don't marry if they really don't think they are the marrying kind...marriage isn't for takes effort. I do know some people my age who have not "met" their true match but then I wonder sometimes when one proclaims they'll make no concessions if it's best that they just stay single?

Mary said...

Amen Suzanne. I will take the quiet love that is respecting, concerned and looking out for the others best interests any day over head over heels love. That daily cartwheeling must be tiring and hard to maintain. The real love hangs around during thick and thin and good times and bad.

You said it well

Lynn said...

So much wisdom in these comments; think of all the collective years of experience with marriage they contain!

I was a divorce lawyer for 13 years--it amazed me how many marriages were ended by women who were "just not in love". They had seen too much tv and too many movies. It was so sad to see the lack of respect or consideration for their husbands. Of course, I saw many badly-behaved husbands, too.

I've been married once, for 32 years, to the best husband a woman could have, who's far better than I deserve. He's helped me become a better woman, without ever criticizing me. I am so blessed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely. Marriage like anything else takes work and the willingness to see the others point of view. Too easy now to just give up. Cheryl

Owens Family Adventures said...

Wonderfully said!
A couple of years ago our Pastor gave a marriage seminar. One of the things he said has stuck with me ever since. He said "love is a choice you make everyday in your marriage. You can chose to be in love and happy or you can chose to not be." Then he asked us what did we chose for ourselves. Isn't that just so simple and so wise??! These women need to get bopped on the head. It isn't always fireworks and romance novels. Sometimes it is a lot of hard work. This is how it should be...makes the good times so much sweeter.
Sorry so long...this is a topic that gets me started! :)
hugs to you!!

Phillane E'lee said...

Yes, I call it the Cinderella complex. They get all goo goo and gawdy eyed and then say things like "he doesn't make me happy anymore". What? where does it say to make you happy everyday from now till forever. No it states for better or worse and sometime Worse lasts longer then you expected. You fall in and out of Love with your partner through the changes. You always love them sometimes don't like them and that is okay... Do you love your best girl friend despite the fact she is stupid with money- you bet you do. Same kind of thing. Young people need to learn it isn't about you all the time. They are spoiled.
Thank you for speaking up! Now we have to whip these gals into shape. Cinderella is a cartoon for crying out loud and men make noises that smell. No fairy tales and flowers in that.

Anonymous said...

I was told by my ex that he was not happy. I told him that after 2kids and 7 years, happiness was a relative thing, he divored me anyway. 22 years later he is just now trying to be a dad to his two adult sons, perhaps now he understands the gravity of his selfish actions.
If it was an engagement broken, ok, perhaps it is better that the character of this person was revealed now rather than later.

Kristi Nommensen Dorson said...

Interesting post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I've been married for five years; my husband and I married early in our courtship. And we had our two children right away too. There were definitely more bumps than smooth spots in the first, oh, FOUR years, but we've worked hard to smooth things out and be a team. We married because we love each other, and want to be together; it may be hard work at times but we are a team that is in it for the long haul.

The other night I was out to dinner with two of my close girlfriends, and both of them were discussing their marriages and how they both are experiencing various degrees of 'seven year itch'. One is having a LOT of trouble in her marriage and is having various thoughts of straying; the other is relatively happy in her marriage but is still finding herself emotionally attracted to another man.
We were all drinking wine that night so I didn't have much by way of advice, but I've been ruminating on the talks we had since then. I don't know that either of them would act on their impulses, but I wish I had some wisdom I could share with them.

Is the grass really always greener?

Becky K. said...

I so totally agree with you. I often find myself saying that love is not an emotion but a decision that bears emotions.

So sad to see our culture decline with the break ups of family.


Go Team!

The Cowgirl said...

Ugh. The words of the divorcee were the same words my sister-in-law used with my brother to end their marriage. Seriously. What do these women think? Not every relationship is a thunderbolt. Not every relationship is the stuff of fairy tales. So sad. Such a sad commentary of how some women perceive love.

Ye Merrie Quilter said...

Hi! I'm a new reader--came here by way of the Milk Man's Wife. I have to put in my two cents. Besides getting bored with the daily mundane firework-free marriage (as most of it is), I think today's women are jumping into marriage because they want the fairy tale *wedding*, and not being too picky about the guy standing at the front of the aisle. I met a guy on the first day of college. He and I hung around a lot over weekends and those minor holidays when most students go home to do laundry and hang out with high school friends. We were both out-of-state students and would have had to travel 2,000+ miles to get home, so we went to movies and went on hikes in the hills. Over the next five years, he became my best friend...and *that* is the guy I married. 15 years later, we're still married with three kids, and he's still my best friend. He's not perfect, and there are days when I want to wring his neck, but he's a hard working provider and a great dad and husband.

Anonymous said...

I was born during the women's right movement and I'm going to speak only for myself, not for my entire generation. I enjoy the rights gained by women, but I also suffer the losses. I'm in a long term relation as well, and I also don't feel head over heels. I don't care for that pink, rosy romantic love. Well, yes I do care, I'd like to have that sometimes. But its not what I mean. I would be head over heals if I was accepted and respected. If the man next to me didn't feel so comfortable that he farts in bed and burps long and loud in front of my face as if it was something funny. I would be head over heels if little arguments were quickly forgotten instead of becoming an excuse for him to stay away for days (we don't live together). People outside of the relationship see only what the couple let's them see. In my case, my own parents keep telling me to hold on, to not be the one to break up the relationship. They don't understand that as much as I care for this man because I'm used to his face, I, too, want to feel "head over heels". You can only be a team when you're head over heels for each other. I'm not saying that all couples who break up do it for the same reason. But I can certainly understand when a woman is fed up and just wants to be in a relationship where she is "head over heels". So do I, I'm just too much of a coward to end the one that I'm in right now, where I have not been head over heels for years.

Tom and Cindy said...

40 years into our relationship... I wouldnt have stayed if I didnt love the other person. Marriage isnt a bed of roses. There are a few thorns along the way. I know some women and men that today cant see beyond their own needs. It is about sharing and living a life TOGETHER! My wonderful husband is as involved in daily activities as I am. We share in all aspects of our lives. What happened to commitment?

Mogsie said...

not just to be a poohaid here ~ but I would like to state that men say the exact same thing, just as often ~

it truly does stink when it happens. I agree totally with the thought that it is way to easy to "get out" of things that take time and work. so many want everything simply handed to them, all things in life are "supposed" to be a walk in the park on a sunny day...I dislike (okay, borderline HATE) that attitude in people. Makes me a bit cranky...


COFFEE MAN said...

we live , I BELIEVE, in a time when young people spend more time planning the WEDDING than the MARRIAGE . Its to easy to divorse , and many go into marriage with the view that " if it dont work ill get a divorce"

If we are starting out that way , its planned to fail!!

Ill shut up now

becky said...

I always say my husband and I make a good team! And you are right, that is important. It's not all hearts and flowers when you are traveling through life with someone.As a matter of fact, most of it isn't, that's why the fairy tale doesn't work.

LibraryGirl said...

I agree with Anonymous who wants "head over heels" and I say run for the hills girl! Get out now before you have to deal with a divorce. I am divorcing after 19 years of marriage and 4 kids. The fact that "head over heels" never played into my relationship is just ONE of the mayriad reasons why I couldn't hold on any longer. Maybe "head over heels" could have held my marriage together - if there was some feeling of passion, love, companionship, partnership or that feeling of TEAM that you and the farmer have. I truly envy you. To arbitrarily say that divorce is "too easy" is absolutely wrong. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. I gave up a great job that I loved and took one doing something I don't enjoy so that I could afford to get away. I have to move from my dream home, which I thought would make me happy but didnt. And I've likely put myself into financial ruin in this process. One of your posters commented that people only let you see the parts of their marriage that you want them to see. This is absolutely true. Before you judge people who "break-up" just be happy that it's not something that you have to deal with, and thank God every day for a man who wants to be your partner. You're one of the lucky ones.

Devin and Maggie said...

LibraryGirl is right on, and I was also going to comment on what Anonymous said - people on the outside can never truly know what the inside of a relationship is like. Each relationship is as unique as the two people in it. I hear what you are saying about people (women AND men) who have unrealistic expectations, and yet, divorce is NOT an easy choice - it is very, very hard, and people who choose that way probably have very good reasons for it, that perhaps they are not expressing well.

I am very lucky to be happily married to a man who I cannot imagine living without, he is my best friend and partner, and we are a great team. Yet both of us were married before, to the wrong partner. Both of us were married to good people, too. If we hadn't gotten out of those marriages with something missing, we would never have found each other and the kind of deep satisfaction and contentment that being married to the right person can bring.

Anonymous said...

I'm so thankful that I have been in a good marriage for 24 years. I have grown more in love and look forward to growing old with my husband. He loves me for "me" and I love him for "him". We each have to give 100%, not 50/50. Marriage is reality, not fairy tale.

Too many are looking for the greener side of life or looking through rose colored glasses. Sometimes one has to be the giver instead of the taker.

I know that some divorces are for solid reasons and for those I truly feel sorry.

Rue said...

I think it's better that those two gals didn't get married, because divorce would have definitely been in their future. As far as the married woman getting the divorce... well, only they know the reasons for it, no matter what either one says and so I can't judge them.

Rich and I were both divorced because our spouses had affairs. he was married for 12 years and I was married for 6. After living in hell we both know what to do and not to do and we respect each other. Our life is a modern day fairy tale and I know it pisses people off, because they like to call us newlyweds to make themselves feel better about their relationship. In other words.. "you two won't be so happy once the newness wears off". Well, I'm sorry, but after living in hell for all those years we know what it's like to be unhappy and we never take our happiness for granted EVER. We have our moments, but we know that they are just passing occurrences and so we move on.

I personally think they need to move the marital age up. At 20 years old, we don't even know who we are, so how can we know the person we are marrying? They don't know who they are either LOL

Don't even get me started on the woman's movement. I swear if one more broad tells me she doesn't cook, I'm going to lose it!

Sorry for the rampage ;)