This blog is going to be a tough pill to swallow for some, but it’s a topic that we often sweep under the rug.
HISTORY VS. HAPPINESS
Where should we start???? This topic came about when someone called me and wanted to talk about their relationship. This call completely rocked my world, because from the outside looking in, the relationship was going well. I would’ve never guessed this person wasn’t happy. They had it all; spouse, kids, house, and wore a smile every step of the way. Come to find out, this person was dying inside. It had been over 10 years since the person was happy within the relationship.
Personally, I couldn’t understand how someone could stay in an unhappy relationship for so long, but after that conversation, I began to see 4 different reasons why people stay in the relationship.
1. Loneliness/Lack of Options- I mean, who REALLY wants to be alone? I see this often in people who have become complacent in the relationship. They are just satisfied with having someone to come home to or having someone to call boyfriend/girlfriend. Let’s face it, no one wants to start over.
2. Children- I honestly believe adding children to ANY relationship can complicate things. A phrase that I hear often is, “I’m doing this so my children can have a two-parent home and not grow up like I did.”
This statement always makes me wonder if that’s a good enough excuse. Are you really helping your child? I believe that children can sense when things aren’t right with their parents once they get to a certain age. And what are you showing your children? Could you possibly be showing them that it’s okay to stay in unhappy relationships?
3. Church- This point is for the married individuals. The church that I grew up in was very traditional and will turn their nose up if you even mentioned the word divorce. Several different religions have their own way of viewing separations within marriage. I did a little research and talked to different people of different faith. Here’s what was said:
*Christians- 1 Corinthians 7:10-13 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her; she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
Matthew 19:1-12 ‘Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?” “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female. And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.
*Catholics- CCC(Catechism of the Catholic Church) #2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.
Islamic-Islamic Sharia Counsel- Due to the financial responsibilities which he must bear, the right to divorce in Islam is primarily given to the husband. A Muslim who wishes to divorce his wife is therefore advised – in the first instance – to ask for an arbitration meeting, arranged by elders of the couple so that a reconciliation may be reached. If such efforts fail and the man sincerely thinks he cannot live a harmonious life with his wife, he may divorce her either verbally or in writing. In both cases, it is recommended for there to be two witnesses present on the pronouncement of such a divorce.
A man should (a) divorce only once and (b) only during the time when his wife is not on her menses and (c) there has been no sexual contact with her since the time of her last menses.
Looking at all these stipulations, I can understand why the church society makes people stay in marriages, but does it make it right? If your Pastor approached the church and said that he was unhappy, and they have gone to counseling and things can’t be reconciled, what would be your response? I found that the responses to this question differed from age to age. My grandmother’s generation said it was a no go for them, but our generation is a little bit more understanding.
4. History- this one seems to be the biggest reason why people stay together and it’s the reason why this blog came about. I am a huge reality tv show fan. One of my favorite shows to watch is Black Ink Chicago. In the show there is a man who’s in a relationship and he is constantly messing up in the relationship. Each time he’s in the confession room he always says, “Jenn and I have history” and because of that history their relationship is always on and off. It even got so bad that he proposed because she wanted it and then left her at the altar. The history that they have in this relationship was the only reason they stayed together, and it trumped the happiness they both deserved.
Soooooooooooo…….. maybe it’s ok to be happy-ish???
Want my opinion? Happiness is the best way to go. It’s a wonderful thing when you are in a happy relationship inside and out. But if you’re in an unhappy relationship, stop to ask yourself “why.” What’s making you stay; and is your happiness really worth it. If you’re worried about hurting the other person feelings, I completely understand. But either way someone is going to be hurting; them or you…….