Friday, February 7, 2014


I think we've been making it much more likely for our kids to end up divorced.

Now, bear in mind I have no children. I say what I say purely as an observer and survivor of divorce. I freely acknowledge that what I am about to say does not apply to all divorces and certainly there are many reasons for getting a divorce, not all equally valid or wise.

When I got married, I was 21 years old. People said we were too young. I don't think that 21 is necessarily too young to be married but I think I was too young and so was my mate. What I mean by young is, we didn't have any idea how to be independent people yet.

I don't think we teach our children how to be whole people. I don't think we do it to be mean and I don't think we do it consciously either but we do it nonetheless. What I mean is, we teach our children only half or less than half of what they need to be independent and autonomous adults. We rarely teach male children to do more than follow the directions on a box to "cook" for themselves, or to put the laundry in the hamper, or to keep their feet off of the coffee table etc. in terms of maintaining a home. We seldom teach female children how to budget or to help maintain their own vehicles or negotiate with moving companies, or fire a gun or read a map (or use a GPS). This is, I think, is a large part of why many young people get married and/or end up divorced. They need the other half of the knowledge and skills to function as a whole person today so they marry the other half.

That's fine if that's all you really want to be to someone; if you want to do the laundry and dishes and cook and tell them to take out the trash and fix your car and handle the money. It's dandy if all you want in a mate is someone who will tidy up after you and sub in for your Mom by telling you to put your clothes in the hamper and nag you to take out the trash and have you fix her car. We sometimes think that's what we want because that's what many of our parents had.

It's when we realize that we don't have much in common aside from our mutual needs for care and maintenance that it all goes south. We start realizing that our mate takes us for granted; that we just expect that clean clothes magically show up, that hubby will take the car for maintenance when it's due, that you have only to show up in the kitchen with an appetite to be fed, or that every time you go to buy groceries, the money will be there because someone always balances the budget.

I think, if we just start teaching our children not to NEED someone else to fill those rolls in their lives for them, they will look for someone who fills a bigger roll instead and that they will make better choices not based on subconscious desperation and a car making a funny noise and pink "tighty whities".

Yes, I think the majority of us do want and need a mate of one sort or another to be completely content but I think maybe if we stopped handicapping our children, they could choose that person more wisely in the fullness of time.

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