Research  
 

I Do, I Don’t, I Don’t Know

               46,523 just another number, but it’s the number of divorces a week in America. That breaks down to 6,646 divorces a day, and 13 divorces every second, (mckinleyirvin.com). Roughly about 50 percent of marriages in America end in divorce. Does this mean our current laws for getting a divorce are too “easy” and don’t make couples think twice before saying “I do”?

               When getting married couples do not think about how soon their marriage will end. After getting a Petition for Divorce form, from ones local court, most couples go to a mediator to divide up the belongings and the divorce is soon after finalized. But, for those in troubled relationships and those that have mutual differences would we really want to make the whole process harder? Don’t we all change our minds and who we are as people? Many state assemblies including Michigan and Illinois are trying to get laws passed that require pre marital counseling and, or longer waiting periods to get a divorce finalized. Divorce laws should not be changed to make getting a divorce in the Untied Sates harder because as human beings we all make mistakes and we all need time to rethink situations and be alone. Not to mention, every nine seconds a domestic violence act is committed in America, (domesticviolencestatistics.org).

               However, some disagree. Others support laws that make it more difficult to get a divorce saying, “people of the young generation have lesser patience and ability to work things out,” (Umuhoza).  They would agree that the high divorce rates makes marriage look more of a “joke or task” instead of “commitment for life”.  With big name celebrities like Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman being married for nine days, Brittney Spears and Jason Alexander hitched only nine hours and lets not forget the famous Kim Kardashian and Chris Humphreys marriage that last only seventy-two days, it is hard not to think about that. With the mass media influencing our modern day world it is hard to not consider these relationships when wanting to make laws for getting a divorce harder.

We forget that as average Americans we live the “average American life”. Not many of us can say we have met someone with a seventy-two day or a nine-hour marriage.  Some consider these, ‘brief pathetic excuses of a marriage’, give the term ”till death do us part” a new laid back definition that does not take much commitment. We must put in consideration: do we really want to compare our lives to those of celebrity status? Are we going to shave our heads next time our ex breaks up with us? How about claim to drinking tiger blood?  Our lives are completely different. When a couple or single person decides divorce is the only option, who are we to say that they did not try and hold them in a relationship that makes them miserable?

Domestic violence is no stranger to the couples of America. More and more domestic violence cases are reported every year, (domesticviolencestatistics.org). 1 in 4 women will experience a domestic violence within a marriage, and we want to make it harder for women to get out of it? No one expects to be in a violent relationship that would end in divorce but “emotions can blind you from seeing the truth about people you think you love… the truth about your partner emerges and most times it turns out different from what you thought,” (Mwai). Going into a relationship is easy; leaving is the hard part especially when one is trying to accept the fact that their relationship was all a lie. No one should be forced to stay in a relationship if they every feel uncomfortable at any point. Unfortunately some “couples have been forced to stay together against their will because of the law… in many cases the end has been tragic,” (Ntambara).  Many women are abused to the point of scars and other times the other party is unfaithful. Certain things would cause differences, and leaving no option but divorce.

People will always change it is a fact of life, not one person is the same person they were ten years ago. So, when someone weds someone and ten years down the road they realize that changes in personality have occurred does one really want to stay with someone that they have differences with? Its never makes sense to “ stay with someone who makes you unhappy. Honestly people change so why cling to someone that makes your days dull for the rest of your life… Unhappy marriages have always existed, it is just that a few people had a way out or were bold enough to walk out,” (Umuhoza).  No one goes into a marriage thinking that they will get a divorce or see changes in them or their spouse that would end only in divorce.

Along with changing many people also need time, “Why divorce if we can’t learn from it?’ (Smiley) I know this from personal experience that couples do need time. The beginning of my freshman year my parents went though a very ugly and emotionally draining divorce that did not end well or stay well. It started off with my mom requesting the divorce after mutual differences. It didn’t end after the papers were signed either. My parents would fight about everything and anything. Things did not seem to cool down until after the restraining order was placed on my dad. Over the four years there would be really good days and really bad ones. By the end of my senior year my parents stated acting weird when they were together. They were finally acting pleasant and ordinary for once.  I could not believe it. My dad sat me down one night and told me that him and my mom were going to start seeing each other. Once again I was babysitting my little sister while my dad took my mom on dates during Friday nights. Shortly after my mom moved in and the whole family was back together again. It was every child with divorced parents dream. Even though the divorce was the hardest time of all our lives, I am glad it happened. My parents needed space from each other, four years of space. But I can say their relationship is the best I’ve ever seen it over the eighteen years. If the laws were harder and my mom could not get out of the marriage we would not be were we are as a family right now. I am thankful for the divorce because I know from first hand experience it change things for the better. I think many would agree that “if at first you don’t succeed, try again, is that bad?” (Smiley) Surprisingly 14% of all couples that divorce get back together sometime in their future.

Marriage is a commitment, but you should not be locked in. Nothing is forever, people change and everyone needs space. No one wants to be held captive in their abusive relationships because the laws to get out of the marriage are too hard.  All laws should be kept the same that involve getting a divorce. Many would agree that “marriage should be protected but it should not hold people captive,” (Ntambara).

Works Cited

 

 Smiley, Jane. "Divorce! It's Good for the Children!" Huffington Post (2013): n. pag. 12     

       Nov. 2012. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.

 

Collins Mwai "When Divorce Comes Knocking - Is It a 'viable' Option?" Africa News   

       Service 4 Oct. 2013. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.

 

     Ntambara "When Divorce Is the Only Way Out." Africa News Service 9 May  

             2013. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.

 

"Divorce." Current IssuesMacmillan Social Science Library. Detroit: Gale, 2010.Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.