Tag Archives: divorce

The Stigma Surrounding Divorce

While marriage is not something that is on the mind of many Radford University students, it nonetheless hangs over us like a specter. Many people around college age, particularly women, are expected to get married sooner rather than later. It often seems like one is expected to get married as soon as they turn 18 or 21. For that matter, if someone has any sort of long-term romantic relationship with another person, they will often get asked, “Do you plan on getting married?” But the thing no one even wants to mention is the prospect of divorce.

There is a lot of societal pressure to stay married once you are, regardless of how bad the situation gets. If a couple does get a divorce, then everyone silently judges them. People think one or both of them must have done something horribly wrong, that they just did not know how to handle marriage and that it is their own fault for getting married in the first place. But why is that? Why can a married couple not just come to the conclusion that they are not happy together anymore and amicably split apart?

Divorce has long been seen as this terrible thing that only happens in dire circumstances, (as if marriage is the best thing that can happen to you and divorce is the worst thing that can happen), but that simply is not the case. The stigma surrounding divorce needs to be removed; people need to understand that getting a divorce does not make you a bad person and that you can get one simply because you’re not happy in your marriage. People are not required to be miserable because they married the wrong person. Life is a lot of trial and error and given the massive amount human beings that exist, there is a good chance that the first person you marry will not be the person to make you happy for the rest of your life. Which is not to say you cannot marry that person on the first try. Just know that you are allowed to be happy, and if that means getting a divorce then that does not make you a bad person.

 

 

Photo from Huffington Post

The Biological Imperative

What does equality mean? Is it merely everyone having the same things, or is it everyone getting what they need? What about when the needs are so far out there that the government cannot legislate them into people’s possession? In an article published last year [6], there appears to be a certain measure of equality; men and women are stepping out of their marriages at roughly equal rates. Maybe it’s time we reevaluate the role marriage ought to play in our lives.

Perhaps it’s merely a timing concern [2]. The median age for the first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men. It is interesting to note the article had to specify “first marriage.” In a sort of Hobbit-esque twist where the Tolkien characters have a meal more or less every hour they are awake, people seem to cycle through marriages not quite as quickly, but just about. 40% of people getting married today are not doing so for the first time [3], and 20% of marriages are both partners’ second (or more) marriage.

What does that tell us? Are people even meant to be bound together? Do we only need to get together to have sex and occasionally crank out another red-blooded tax-paying American, but for all intents and purposes live separate lives? White America, Black America, Male America, Female America, till death do we part, as long as we both shall live, so help us generic Deity/random quantum fluctuations? Much like an afterlife, it’d be real nice to think there’s something more to marriage than just a business arrangement and contractual obligations. Making a plan that does not account for reality has been, historically, a piss-poor recipe for success.

Is everyone getting what they want here? [4] Millennial women, as voiced by the author Jessica Jacobs, would seem to say they are not. Millennial men, as voiced by statistics [5] and anecdotal accounts [6] would also suggest a growing dissatisfaction with the way things are. All of us here in academia are free to debate the causes, but it’s clear that the vast majority are going to move on and find their own solutions whether we agree about why it’s happening or not. We’ll be unable to instill vital information in the latest crop of college entrants about the world the education system is self-tasked with preparing them for.

That’s a problem.

 

 

 

[1] http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/women-now-committing-adultery-same-rate-men

[2] http://www.bentley.edu/impact/articles/nowuknow-why-millennials-refuse-get-married

[3] http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/02/how-many-people-in-america-get-remarried.html

[4] https://acculturated.com/millennial-women/

[5] http://www.businessinsider.com/statistics-unemployed-men-drop-out-workforce-video-games-2017-3

[Featured Image] Huffington Post: The Five Best and Worst States for Getting a Divorce

Calling it quits

It’s no secret that Hollywood seems to be the spot where on screen romances are born and real-life love stories go to die. From Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston to Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds, seemingly perfect relationships are crashing and burning all the time.

A few days ago, “The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco and her tennis star husband, Ryan Sweeting added their names to the ever growing list of failed celebrity marriages. While sources have claimed that the couple had been unhappy for a while, most information regarding the divorce is being kept under wraps with both Cuoco and Sweeting asking for privacy.

This news has left one burning question on many people’s minds: what goes so horribly wrong in celebrity marriages?

While examining her failed marriage with fellow actor, Ryan Reynolds, Scarlett Johansson explained to Parade magazine, “Acting is a very strange world to be co-existing in. It’s very volatile. There’s always going to be the more successful person. It’s related to rejection. Because actors, if they’re not having success, connect it directly to unpopularity — to the fact that nobody wants them. It’s not necessarily true. I’m constantly rejected.” Johansson when on to say that she found true happiness with her new husband, a journalist, because they are both in very different fields which takes away the competition and by extension the resentment and jealousy.

Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting before they called it quits. Graphic from People
Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting before they called it quits. Graphic from People

Psychotherapist M. Gary Newman has another perspective. In his article, “Why Do Celeb Marriages fail?” Newman referred to some research he had conducted earlier on women’s happiness in their marriages. He explained that he had discovered that “Women who were happily married reported spending a daily average of over 30 minutes of uninterrupted time talking to their husbands. Unhappy women reported a daily average of less than 30 minutes, and 24 percent of those unhappy reported that they spent less than five minutes a day talking to their spouses.”

Of course, being married to celebrity practically guarantees that little time will be shared solely among spouses. Newman also suggests that the personal fulfillment that fame brings alleviates the need for couples to care for each other because they can create their own happiness by themselves:

“The individuals no longer truly need the other to live happily. Instead, they just like being together. Yet a couple needs to feel that life without the other is quite impossible. If a spouse does not feel a need to have the other in his or her life on a daily basis, that is a short step away from separation.”

Of course, while Johansson and Newman’s theories hold a lot of weight, there are also more obvious reasons for divorce such as cheating. High profile cheating scandals such as Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s back in 2005 and more recently, golf legend, Tiger Woods’ are usually what the public jump straight to when word of a new celebrity divorce surfaces. For Aniston and Pitt, their relationship ended when Pitt cheated on Aniston with his “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” co-star, Angelina Jolie.

While rumors swirled about Aniston and Jolie’s rivalry due to Pitt’s infidelity back in the day, recently Aniston has spoken out saying, “Nobody did anything wrong. You know what I mean? It was just like, sometimes things [happen]. If the world only could just stop with the stupid, soap-opera bulls–t. There’s no story. I mean, at this point it’s starting to become—please, give more credit to these human beings.”

There are so many reasons why a marriage can fail- add adoring fans, crazy work schedules, and insane amounts of money and these reasons seem even more evident. Hopefully as Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting move forward with their divorce, they find the closure that so many of their fellow stars have found.

Kardashians Face a Khaotic Year

It’s certainly been a tough few weeks for the Kardashians. Marital issues, a drug addiction and significantly lower television show ratings are among the problems posed for the famous family.

While I thought everything was going perfectly for the Kardashian family after the highly anticipated June 15 birth of baby North West, things quickly went downhill for the Kardashian crew.

Continue reading Kardashians Face a Khaotic Year