Do you remember when it seemed like all of your friends were getting married?
About five or so years later, all your friends started having babies?
Now, it appears everyone is getting divorced.
In the last month, I’ve heard of three good friends getting divorced. One couple was not a big surprise. But one was a shocker.
I suspect several more of my friends will probably be getting divorced soon, too.
I’m not naive. I know about half of all marriages end in divorce, but I guess I thought those statistics belonged to “other people.” I guess those “other people” include my friends.
Over the weekend, my wife and I went on our monthly date night. I insisted that we talk about our freinds’ decision to divorce. I don’t want this to happen to us, I told her.
Call me a sentimental sap, but the truth is that I absolutely adore my wife. She is strong, loving and beautiful. She understands me better than I understand myself. Not once since we started dating almost 19 years ago have I ever doubted that she was a better life partner than I could ever hope to marry.
I don’t doubt that my friends felt the same way about their wives until recently. I don’t know what caused their break-ups. But it scares me a little. If this can happen to them, it could happen to us.
“Honey,” I said starring into my wife’s sapphire eyes during dinner, “I will sacrifice whatever I need to so this relationship works. My priority is to stay married to you.”
She offered a timid smile which I knew was her way of keeping the tears welling up in her eyes from falling. She simply said: “I’m not going anywhere.”
I think we have what it takes to grow old together and be among the second half — one of marriages that last.
But my friends failured relationships has provided us with a sober reminder of how easily divorce can happen. It has also provided us with an opportunity to learn from their mistakes so we can avoid the pitfalls of divorce or at least be prepared for the challenges that might come our way.
People change. It’s inevitable. Some partners can accept those changes and adapt. Some partners cannot. Love is not always enough to bridge the gap. It takes hard work, a willingness to compromise and maybe a little luck.
The journey won’t be easy, but we both know it will be worth it.
Al Watts is the President of Daddyshome, Inc. – The National At-Home Dad Network and an at-home dad of 4 children living in west Omaha. Read him Wednesdays on momaha.com.