~Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In Love and War

At our final wedding of the year—wedding #8 for anyone who's counting—my friend Pam looked at me and said, "You know, statistically all of these marriages won't work out."

I was taken aback. Pam is the sweetest, kindest person I know. She always has a smile on her face and is always thinking of others. It was out of character for her to think so darkly. But the thought itself was also frightening. Pam was right.

"Yes, there's the statistic that half of marriages end in divorce, but it can also be broken down further. The younger you are when you marry for the first time is a factor. The divorce rate for first marriages in your thirties and forties is shockingly low."

I was referring to a TLC documentary I saw years ago called Sextistics: Your Love Life. The 51% divorce rate is true. However, if you get married in your forties, the divorce rate is 7%. Marriage in your thirties: 16%. And finally, marriage in your twenties: 77% divorce rate. I find a lot of comfort in these statistics.

Pam sipped her glass of champagne. "16%? That's still one of us."

I responded by being the mean girl. I speculated which one of us I thought it would be.


Abraham IMed me this morning when he got to work. He said he had sad news: friends of his announced that they were divorcing. Because they are Abe's friends, they are a little older than me. I like them; we just aren't super close because they don't live nearby. There's a little girl involved.

I put my head down on my desk and cried. I can't articulate why. Perhaps now that the weddings were over, the real work was starting. The love bubble had burst. Maybe it was that I knew how that little girl was going to grow up, and my heart was broken for her. It felt like the beginnings of an avalanche. This family is this the first. The first of others.


  1. I've also heard recently that that statistic on marriage and divorce hasn't been true since the 80's! Chin up! You're almost a year in and you haven't murdered him. That's AWESOME.

  2. how did I not see that you were up and blogging again? (I randomly re-read the old post "out of the woods" and then decided to see if you had posted lately.

    I haven't had a close friend divorce yet, but the one I thought would happen hasn't happened yet, I'm not sure if its a good thing or not.

  3. People getting a divorce breaks my heart. I felt it very much in my first year, and even 10 years later I have moments where I think that maybe it just wont work out. As long as you are 100% honest and 100% communicating about everything, it will work out.

    1. I wish that were true but sadly, in my experience even then, sometimes it doesn't.

  4. My best friend is getting divorced after 13 years of marriage and it breaks my heart. She got married at 22 and neither of them are the same people that they were at 22. Unfortunately, their growth was apart and not together. Despite counseling and renewed efforts over the last five years, they finally accepted that they would be happier apart. When I realized that they would really be divorcing, I crawled into my husband's lap and sobbed. I cried for my friend, her husband, selfishly for myself and also a little bit because the fairytale was dying. Although other people that I know have gotten divorced, in those cases there was always a clear reason of infidelity, etc. But here it was two grown ups agreeing that, for no particular reason, forever together just doesn't sound good enough anymore. That's tough to process and still feel like the construct of marriage as generally accepted in our society really works. But I am still choosing to believe as it relates to me and the hubby.

  5. Divorces are not nice. Hopefully this little girl will be one of the lucky ones that comes through it ok. Who knows...maybe she'll get a couple of great bonus parents from the situation and will have two loving families. I'd like to think my kids (step-kids, but I hate that term) are better off with me in their lives.

  6. i, too, remember the first couple that divorced after we were married. i was shocked, and went home and cried. they had 3 litle girls - he was a rabbi, surely if he couldn't make it work, how could we?

    but time moves on and every day you work on your own relationship. they are NOT you and abe.

    after the 10 year anniversary mark, it seems we hear of about three a year. some have cheated, others are "finding" themselves. you will be shocked at their behavior.

    but again, they are not you. the shattering of other marriages somehow makes you and abe stronger.

  7. This isn't necessarily a response to your post, but I just wanted to say I randomly found your old blog a couple of months ago, read the entire thing and will now follow this one. Your writing is amazing and inspiring, and I'm so glad I found your blog! (Also, a couple of my favorite posts were about the sleep farting. LOVE.)

    As for the stats, they make sense to me. Wonder if I'd waited until I was 30 to marry (instead of insisting that I marry before my 30th), would I still be married today? Nah, though I may have saved money/stress by avoiding a wedding. It's true that the older you get, the more you know yourself and your needs and can act accordingly.

  8. Unfortunately divorce is now a very common practice compared to the older days when it actually meant something to people nowadays its almost cool to say i'm divorced but saying that it is not an easy action to take for most people.

  9. Very sad statistics. I think some couples jump to divorce too quickly when there are problems.