Marriage: a divorcé(e)’s cemetery

(via Flickr)

Do you remember how you felt when you were a child? Do you remember this feeling of innocence and ingenuity? Do you remember believing that anything and everything is possible? And do you remember the moment the feeling vanished? Allow me to remind you: when your parents ceased to behave like adults.

The goal here is not to criticize parents, but rather to initiate a discussion on the trivialization of marriage and divorce, and the impact of the latter on children. Before examining these complex questions, it is important to consider the status of the child in the family.
When a child enters this world, two people must take care of him: his father and his mother. Parents, usually, provide the foundations needed for a proper and healthy development. They are the mediator between the youngster and the world. However, it seems to be that children do not know where they stand when it comes to their family.

The excessive use of social media and parents’ permissiveness towards this problem is a reflection of this malaise. Why do adolescents and even children use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so much? A problem of identity exists among the youth. But this struggle extends far beyond the realm of teenagers, and is affecting the entire society. Volatility, materialism, and individualism are strangling and chocking western civilizations. We live in a world where getting “likes” on Facebook is synonym for pleasure and assertiveness. It is the last straw to feel our own existence defined by means of superficiality and appearance.

Let’s focus now on a phenomenon which gangrenes society: divorce. When two people decide to part ways, the child is given a certain role that he is not supposed to have. He becomes prisoner of a situation that did not involve him at the start. He does not have any control over what is happening, but his parents will ask him to make certain decisions (such as who to live with). This makes sense. Best case scenario, the child will split his time between his parents. However, this change will have one undeniable consequence: the child will question every belief and assumption he could have about the family. He will learn to live differently, and he will struggle with the idea that his parents are not the team they used to be. All in all, he will need to accept that things change and that life is as it is.

Divorce entails questioning and reexamining what life, love and relationships are.

Le divorce (via Flickr)
Divorce (via Flickr)

So, should people not divorce? Should people stay together even if love has faded away? All those questions are important and need to be asked. However, before trying to figure out if divorce is necessary, it could be fundamental to ask if marriage is synonym for love.
When examining the definition of love conveyed by society, the message is clear. While Snow White is awakened by Prince Charming,the lady and the tramp are enjoying a candlelit dinner, and Aladdin is literally sweeping Jasmine off her feet with his magic carpet.

Also, in every Hollywood movie, the main characters always end up professing their love because, yes, love does conquer all. We are taught, from our tender childhood, that we will live happily ever after, that relationships are easy and that, despite hardships, everything turns out all right. What world do we live in?

These movies convey the idea that love is easy. But the only simple and easy thing about all those love stories is watching them on the screen. Also, we do not get to see the difficulties and struggles that are an undeniable aspect of being involved with someone. These films all end with the start of the relationship in which people see “la vie en rose”. This leads to an idealization of what the couple represents. This is how we end up living in a world half of marriages are followed by a divorce.

So what should we do? One thing is clear: we should adjust our expectations, we should not take comfort in childish dreams, and we should change habits that are anchored in our minds. This will, of course, not be pleasant or easy. But this will maybe allow to avoid a lot of pain to children and adults.

And if we don’t succeed, children will still have Disney movies to cheer them up. And it’s already fine as it is!