Today we learned that another celebrity marriage is ending; Katy Perry & Russell Brand will be filing for divorce. It's big news because they're young and famous, because the marriage only lasted 14 months and because they always seemed an unlikely couple. But marriages are ending every day among us, especially as the new year begins.
As someone who's never been married, it makes me wonder. Do people get so caught up in the whirlwind romance that they don't think about the idea of lifetime commitment? Or do they go into the marriage thinking, "I hope this works, but good thing for 'irreconcilable differences' in California"?
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Last year at this time, a friend of mine was ending her ten-year marriage. "The passion was never there. I don't want to live like this," she'd say. She made her feelings clear to him a few months earlier, but wanted to wait until the holidays were over before splitting up. They have a daughter who was six at the time. It would be easier on her and their families if they were together for the holidays. Put The Kids First: 6 Ways To Tell Them You're Divorcing
I was shocked when she shared this with me last December. Her husband was always great to her. I remember when she started dating him and how she immediately knew that she wanted to marry him. She was happier than she'd ever been, so she committed to a lifetime with him.
But somewhere along the way, she thought the grass was greener elsewhere. She met taller, sexier men. She found herself flirting and wanting more. She tried igniting passion in her marriage, but was disappointed to find that her feelings hadn't changed. She was finally ready to move on.
As a friend, I wanted to be supportive. I wanted her to be happy. But part of me kept thinking, this is what she willingly signed up for. This is the man she was so happy to commit to ten years ago. And he hadn't changed at all. He loved her. He cared for her. He did everything under the sun to make her happy. But she wasn't happy. How To Help A Friend Cope With Divorce
And that same part of me thought she should suck it up and find her happiness in that marriage. (Easy for me to say, having not been in her shoes, I suppose.) But I couldn't blame her any more than I could blame the society we grew up in. Long gone are the days where you work for one employer your entire life, where you find a suitable mate in your neighborhood and stay faithful for a lifetime. We've grown up knowing that we can decide to change our lives. That we deserve to be happy. We grew up with parents and grandparents that would give in to our desires more often than not.
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So, is society breeding a population with whom marriage isn't compatible? Is the idea of lifetime commitment so foreign to us that we don't even know its true meaning? Lately, it seems so.
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