My mom used to say to me, "The more things change, the more they remain the same." Of course, I used to roll my eyes and think, "OK Mom. That makes as much sense as 'Marry in haste; repent in leisure,' or 'A stitch in time saves nine.'" All these tru-isms are wasted on young people. These little nuggets of wisdom are like soaking raindrops falling on an impervious plastic surface. No point in wasting the water, really. I suppose the wisdom emerges in your child when your child becomes an adult but by that time, they've made many of the same mistakes we did. What's the point in that??
Had lunch with my niece today. She's beautiful, smart, funny, a great mom, and she's in the middle of a divorce. That doesn't make sense to me. She's married – for now anyway – to a guy she met in college. Solid earner, nice looking guy, but not much into monogamy. They have two beautiful, bright, way-above-average kids. And the family is shattered. It makes me very sad. And all because the grass looked greener on the other side (There's another one. Thanks Mom).
What is it in us that stirs unrest and dissatisfaction? Because it is in us, not the other person. My niece could no more have prevented his straying than she could change the tide patterns or alter the jet stream. The dissatisfaction was within him; it was with himself. He will repeat the behavior until he figures that out and fixes the problem. I think it's sad when a marriage is torn for this reason. It's preventable, so it's sad. I never really knew the guy so I can't say that I like or dislike him. I've just seen it before. The more things change…
Now in my case, the ill-fated marriage was nuked by personalities that were (are) diametrically opposed. Mine is great, and his is horrible. J Two different cultures, two different philosophies on life and on children, two people who blended like oil and water. A marriage like that should never have happened in the first place. Two beautiful children resulted, but they paid a price for our selfishness. Should we have stayed married? NO. They would have paid an even greater price, and either my ex-husband or I would be in jail serving a life sentence.
I hope I have instilled in my children a sense of worth apart from another human being, A sense that, even if they never marry, they are of the highest value. A sense that, should they someday marry, they and their partner should complement each other, enhance each others' lives. Too often marriages start off at their peak, and the two spouses spend months and years tearing down the foundation, stealing from one another until there's nothing left.
What's the white trash connection here, you ask? Don't bother to get married in the first place! Just pass from partner to partner, reproducing with some, pinning the responsibility on others…no messy divorces, no pride or self-esteem, no complications. In fact, there may be times during which you all live together under one roof – it's all good. Try unraveling THAT ball of string! You can't my friend, so have another beer.