Royalty all around us is taking the marital plunge. Princess Victoria of Sweden recently wed her former-fitness-trainer boyfriend. (You just have to love the Swede’s nature of equality.). Prince Albert of Monaco announced he’s getting married. And, of course, the speculation around Prince William of England getting engaged to Kate Middleton continues at a fever pitch. Will he pop the question soon? I mean it’s been nine years already.
At the same time, Husband and I been having a similar bout of marital changes in our sphere, but mostly around break ups.
Divorce is hard no matter which way you cut it. I haven’t gone through one myself, but Husband has. So, have my parents (more than once). And, many friends are now grappling with that decision. In our life, we’ve had several couples in our midst break up in the last year or so.
We are also about to experience two re-marriages, which has been most heartening. Both of these friends were over 40 and found, what they call, “true loves” after suffering too many years through unsatisfying relationships. So, for anyone believing love has passed them by take heart. In the words of my mother who found marital bliss after age 60 – it ain’t over ‘til its over.
As a relatively newcomer to marriage, albeit later in life, I have mixed feelings about these changes. I find these breakups – even the ones that are being reborn in the form of new and better relationships — both distressing and heartening.
First, we all want our friends and family to be happy. If something is not making you happy, then go forth and change something.
But, we also like it when the band decides to stay together. We form friendships with each other that include spouses and partners. When it changes as drastic as divorce demands, it changes the touring schedule (if you know what I mean). Who do you invite to what? Where is the couple in the breakup curve (talking, not talking, awkward, angry, settled?) How do we console them? What do you say that will not sound like a bumpersticker? Can we invite the “ex” when they might run into the “new one?”
Recent research shows that divorce is actually contagious. Another unsettling fact. When it comes to divorce, according to the study, friends have even more influence than siblings. The study goes on to report that people who had a divorced friend were 147 percent more likely to be divorced than people whose friends’ marriages were intact.
Thankfully, Husband and I never really fit into statistics, the usual molds, and patterns. We actually feel more committed than ever. But, it reminds us to stay vigilant. Stay the course – our course. A good reminder for all – your marriage is your own. Keep it that way. Prince William obviously has.