What has happened to the sanctity of marriage? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the divorce rate of first marriage is around 50 percent; second marriages are at 60-67 percent and third marriages are at 73-74 percent. I knew that the divorce rates in the United States were pretty high, but I didn’t think they were this high. It makes me sad to think that this is what marriage has come to. Apparently, the concept of “til death do us part” has become “til we decide to end things.”
As a helpless romantic myself, I always thought that marriage expressed the highest level of commitment. But now, the fact that a marriage can be so easily terminated by two signatures on some divorce papers really diminishes what that commitment means. It would seem that society doesn’t hold marriage at the same sanctity as it once did. People get into marriages too quickly or for the wrong reasons or maybe without true understanding of the life-long commitment. This then leads to problems down the road. Then consequences like broken families and negative emotional effects on children could result. That’s not always the case, but it’s certainly a possibility.
Popular culture and media only make matters worse. In the world of Hollywood, celebrity couples get divorced left and right, like it’s no big deal. What happened to wedding vows? Don’t they mean anything? In Bruno Mars’ song “Marry You,” he suggests spontaneously getting married as “something dumb to do.” Then there’s Kim Kardashian who was married for 72 days. Marriage shouldn’t be game or some impulsive that that you can just magically undo. It should be about seriously committing yourself to someone through love and support. If someone isn’t completely ready to take that path, then they should think twice before saying “I do.”
I do understand that sometimes there are extenuating and unforeseen circumstances where divorce could possibly be acceptable. Things happen and people change. But even with things like infidelity or irreconcilable differences, there’s still the chance of making things work. The couple made a commitment so they really should try to maintain it. I think things would be better if the institution of marriage was restored to what it was meant to be, untainted by high divorce rates. All couples should take their wedding vows to heart and remain faithful and loving until death. Sure, sometimes it gets hard, but if the marriage contains the love and commitment that it should, nothing is impossible to overcome. Less divorce, less broken hearts, less broken families, more love.