About a decade ago, it seemed like everyone I knew was getting married. One summer, I attended eight weddings. Then, a few years later, it was baby showers. I went to dozens every calendar year. And now, the divorce phase seems to be crashing on shore, with lots of couples I know going under after seven, 10, even 13 years of marriage.
Is there a ripple effect when it comes to lifeâ€™s phases? Are these milestones contagious?
Starting with the weddings, it seems that once a couple or two get engaged, the idea sparks in lots of peoples' heads. Some couples are a great match and truly in love, but for others, the love is more of a fondness, dependence, lust or response to a pressure that "everybodyâ€™s doing it" so it must be time to settle down.
Later, these are the couples that will do one of three things: stay together unhappily, stay together and busy themselves in kids and / or activities, or move on in seek of more.
The latter is difficult to do. Itâ€™s much easier for some friends and family members to understand -- and not judge -- divorce when someoneâ€™s, say, being abused. However, itâ€™s more difficult for some people to wrap their minds around a separation that resulted from boredom, lack of passion, lost communication or the realization that one wasnâ€™t really in love with their spouse / the idea of getting married but did it anyway.
And like marriage, when one couple finally admits they're done, they usually pave the way for at least one or two more couples to step forward and do the same.
It's arguable that 'these days," some people are more in touch with their emotions -- through mainstream acceptance of therapy and New Age-ish books and films that get people thinking -- and therefore they are not as willing to fake it or live inside marriage myths that perpetuate the lie that there is always a honeymoon phase that fizzles out or that married people donâ€™t have as much sex.
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