It's a fair question, seeing as I run an entire blog based on my divorce.
Someone told me today they were tired of my cynical opinion, and in specific it was relating to my opinion on marriage.
Which seems strange as I am currently excitedly getting ready to get married a second time, after the last one ended in a big ball o' flames that SHOULD have made me hate men forever. And wasn't even all that long ago really. I am cautious, at worst. Especially about those who marry young. When my brother and his wife got engaged, I told him I didn't think it was a good idea. They were 20. And I also had a 4 hour conversation with her about it. But I love them both and knew that if they made up their minds, it was going to happen, and that was the end of it. They seem to be doing just fine, and that's all I'm really concerned about. In the end, marriage is about what's right for you and your partner. Not what other people have to say.
But let's be real for just a moment...
People who marry young don't have great odds. I'm not saying that every couple that marries young will divorce, but the chances are higher for them than those who wait.
This entire episode today took place because this article was posted.
I married young. What are the rest of you waiting for?
It ruffled my feathers, to say the least.
Again, marriage is a decision each person has to make. And no one's solution is a one-size-fits-all. Mine certainly wasn't/isn't, but neither is the author of this piece's advice. The entire tone of it condescends to those who don't marry early, insinuating that either those who hold off and wait are under some misconception that marriage is a thing we do once we're done being kids, "all grown up" and ready to settle down for a life of boredom, or that the people don't get married young because they want to date around and find their "soul mate." She argues instead that it is it's own new learning experience and growing up experience, and that your partner "becomes" your soul mate, that there is no such thing all on it's own.
I don't disagree with the basic idea here, but I also know that most people don't finish changing psychologically until they are 25, if even then. And with divorce rates what they are, who isn't scared to get married and have it crash and burn? With the stigma still attached to divorce, no one wants such a public failure, especially after a lavish wedding! And the element of social media makes these break ups quite public. And why wouldn't I want to date around until I found the most compatible mate. Someone I know I can spend my life with? I'm not saying we all have to find a soul mate, marriage is a choice, but I'm still going to choose someone that is best suited to spend their life with me and I with them!
I fear for people around me. I am not cynical about marriage. I think it's great. It's why I'm such a strong supported of marriage equality. Because for those of us who want it, we should have it. I've said it before, marriage isn't for everyone. Some people function best without all that legal crap. And I respect that. But for those of us who do, marriage is a personal decision, best left to your personal beliefs, personal life, and personal relationships. Marrying young isn't for everyone. It's for a pretty select few as it turns out. I wasn't one of those, and I've seen enough of them crash and burn around me to not want to see people I care about fall there too.
People may think I write this blog to preach about my life, or how awful X was to me. People may think I do it to "hear my own voice." Maybe, in some way, that's true.
But the real reason I write this blog is because of how isolated and alone and ashamed I felt after X left me. Because no one around me could understand. Because I wanted so very badly to feel less alone, and the resources just weren't there. My life is a mostly open book, so I am putting it up here for people to read in hopes that my life, my poor choices can serve as a cautionary tale to those who may be where I was. I can't save everyone. I can't tell you what to do with your life, and I would never deign to do so.
This is another fact some people would likely contest and say I've butted my nose in where it doesn't belong regarding my friends' relationships.
This is also a direct result of my failed marriage.
In the weeks following my return to my hometown, almost 100% of my friends told me how they all thought X was a scumbag and all guessed that this would happen. They all said they knew he was not right for me.
And not a single one stepped up to say "Hey, he's being incredibly emotionally abusive." or "I don't think this behavior is healthy for you two, you should really think about this more."
No, instead, everyone just congratulated me on my engagement. And when I was getting cold feet and asking for second opinions? Just a second round of the above comments.
So I will not be silent. I will not shut up. I am not cynical about marriage. But I am cynical about our perceptions of what marriage is. The truth is... none of us know what marriage really is. Not me, and I've been married. But my former marriage was nothing like what my upcoming marriage will be. My parents' marriage is nothing like what yours is/will be. Marriage is as individual as those entering it. For some it is more traditional, but for some of us it is something completely new. And maybe I am preaching to the choir. But I'll keep preaching.
I do this because I love you. I love you even if I don't know you, and I want you to be happy. I don't want people to get hurt. If anything I write can serve as a warning to the things you shouldn't let happen to you, then I am happy to keep doing this. But if all this sounds like is a constant whine-fest about my life... then perhaps it is time to shut down this blog.
But I don't think that's the case. I think that I have readers who genuinely benefit from my posts. Even if it's my fellow divorcees who take solace in knowing they aren't alone in their struggles and pain. I know that you can't tell people some things. That people have to learn from their own mistakes. But that's not entirely true. So many of us DO learn from seeing those around us make bad decisions and knowing that's exactly what we don't want to do. So unless I get a resounded "STFU" response to this entry, I'll keep typing away for you.
Because I love you.