Marriage. Divorce. Cheating. Kids. Is it worth it?

Marriage.  Divorce.  Cheating.  Kids.  Is it worth it?

My mother filed for divorce when I was eight and my brother was five.  At the time, she told us the reason was “she didn’t love him anymore.”  It was hard to understand then, and it is hard to understand now.  While her life became more liberating with her new found “freedom”, ours became more unstable and lonely.

I remember a party at our house one night.  It was the first time I had witnessed the “quarters” drinking game.  I was eight, and I’ll never forget what went through my head – “I guess this is my life now.”  My life of comfort and confidence quickly disappeared, and took years to regain.

You know how experts say that kids are resilient?  It’s not true.  Even if children act like they are “dealing with it”, it comes back to haunt them in adulthood in the form of anxiety, insecurity, or something worse.  I think that term is used to make us feel better about our bad choices.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not talking about physical or verbal abuse.  I’m talking about choosing lack of interest, or perhaps a new found love of something or someone, over the family unit. The sanctity of marriage is dying.  How many couples do you know that have been married over 10 years and are still going strong?

It’s one thing to divorce when you don’t have children, and quite another when you do.

I know we all make mistakes, and we’re not perfect, but society often sends a deceiving message that “we all deserve to be happy.”  I do believe this statement to an extent, but what is “happy” exactly when referring to marriage?  Happy doesn’t always mean sunshine, lollipops, and heart flutters.  I think happy is more along the lines of commitment, strength, and trust.  The message, or question, we should be asking is, “Are our desires and pleasures more important than that of our child’s welfare and future?” AND before you argue this statement, let me say that I do understand that divorce can sometimes result in improving a child’s life, however, I believe most times it does quite the opposite.

I watched the movie, Up in the Air, a few weeks ago and was so sickened with the message regarding marriage.  Not only did it drag marriage through the mud with its “comedic” dialogue, but made the main love story of a woman who was cheating on her husband “to escape real life.”  It was, in my opinion, disgusting and wrong.  When you have the power to send a message to millions of people, why do it that way?  A married woman, with children, having an affair to escape from real life?  Really?

Marriage with kids is hard.  It takes constant nourishment, effort, and sacrifice.  There are highs and lows, but the reward is so amazing!  A strong marriage results in strong, healthy children.  Fight for it-for them.