This post is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it is also quite serious.
I was inspired to write this post after rereading an article that stated that divorce was contagious. That was not even the first post that made that assertion. I must have first come across that idea at least 10 years ago, if not longer. Many people will be aware that if your parents’ marriage ended in divorce, that fact significantly increases the likelihood of your own marriage also ending in divorce. But apparently this holds true not just for parents, but even for family or close friends, or work colleagues. Accordingly to the article I recently re-read, you are statistically 50% more likely to get divorced if your work colleagues get divorced. When a sibling gets divorced, it increases the likelihood of your own divorce by 22%.
Wow. I was quite surprised that people seem to be so much more vulnerable to a colleague’s divorce than a sibling’s divorce. But that is probably because people will spend so much more time with their colleagues than with their siblings. And then I guess that if you are in a work environment that prizes overwork to the extent that that then puts pressure on a colleague’s marriage, then those same overwork pressures will also likely be facing your own marriage too.
Anyway, reading that post strongly reminded me of this: that attitudes are catching. When you spend lots of time with someone it is really easy to catch their attitudes.
This blog, Finding Mr Huggie-Wuggie, is full of feisty feminist attitudes. I’m thinking that as a woman being exposed to this type of thinking is great before marriage because learning to think this way could prevent you tying yourself down to a marriage where you as the woman are taken for granted or treated badly.
However, if you are already with a husband who is perhaps not as amazing as what I am holding out for but all the same you are content with him, then reading this blog is possibly not such a good idea, just in case you catch my feisty attitudes and you grow dissatisfied with your man.
Man, I so wish I could catch every woman on the verge of marriage and shout to her “Don’t do it – until you’ve had a very very good, hard think!” before she happily dances off into marriage. If I were to do this, it would not be because I dislike you as a woman, or I am jealous of your happiness. What I would really want for any other woman is exactly the same thing I want for myself: to find true happiness, love, honour, respect and intimacy in marriage. Which is why I would encourage every woman to sit down and think very, very carefully before marriage, to read up on what marriage generally looks like, to see the various ways dreams of marriage typically tend to manifest themselves into reality. The idea is not to know everything, of course, not least because that is not possible. But at least to know enough, to be able to make sure that this man that you might be about to marry will really be worth it. I’m sure that in most cases marriage will never, ever look like what we have dreamed of. However, if we make a good choice, the reality of marriage might still be worth it, even if it turns out to be very, very different from what we dreamed of beforehand.