About a week or so ago, I was on Essence.com and I stumbled upon this article with a poll attached titled “Does Having Divorced Parents Make Marriage Harder?” and talk about things that make you go “hmmm”. So I read the article, albeit brief, and it was about Nicole Richie and her marriage to Joel Madden and how once they found out that they were going to be parents, they made a conscious effort to create a healthy family life for their child even though neither one of them had that in the own families.
The article was interesting to me because, I too, am a child of divorced parents. My mother and father divorced when I was in the sixth grade at the age of twelve. I too, am also a married woman now who just recently made it through her first year of marriage. One point for love!
I believe that having divorced parents does make marriage harder, just for the simple fact that you have to create your own blueprint for love and communication. You have to learn to solve things your own way and you won’t get everything figured out immediately. My husband and I have been together for about 2 & ½ years and we are just perfecting our communication skills. But I don’t think just having divorced parents make marriage harder; I think not having parents together at all makes things more difficult. My husband’s parents were never married but there was a time when his father didn’t come around as much and seeing that has had an effect on his relationships as well.
Neither of us grew up seeing loving parents. My parents yelled a lot of the time, and when they weren’t yelling it was only because one of them wasn’t home. I know nothing of what a lasting, healthy marriage looks like, except for what I am trying to make of my own currently. I believe that having divorced parents places children in a severe setback as opposed to children whose parents are together and happily married.
Children whose parents are still together have something to follow; a set of directions or a manual to look at. They know firsthand what to look for in a partner and what would make them happy when that time comes. As a child, I watched my mother put up with some questionable things with my father, which I didn’t realize was even wrong until it happened in my own relationship and I didn’t like how it made me feel. In every relationship I’ve been in, I accepted things that should have been deal breakers but because I had no idea I was settling for less, I stayed until I had no choice but to leave.
However, I do feel that even though my parents’ marriage failed, it makes me want to work harder to see my marriage blossom. I believe that as long as both people are willing to make it work, then it can work. Too many times, people compare their relationships to those of other people who may appear happier outwardly, and when you do that, you will fall short every single time. You have to keep your focus on your own relationship and working to better it. Every relationship has potential. Looking to other people’s love and trying to model your love after a relationship where the grass may look greener is wrong. All relationships can be the same shade of grass green if people just took the time to water them.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that the preservation of a marriage is all up to the two people in that marriage. You have to be willing to meet each other’s needs. You have to be willing to compromise. And while it is easy to see the faults of others and how they may be adding problems to the relationship, you have to be willing to look at your own faults and change them. You can’t be happily married and not be open to work on yourself. When it’s all said and done though, being married and having divorced parents does present a challenge, but it is definitely not a challenge that cannot be overcome.