At That Age

At 21 I was “at that age” when all my friends were graduating college. From 24-27 I was “at that age” when a lot of friends were getting married. Now I’m 29, and I thought I’d be “at that age” where everyone was having babies. But today it seems like I’m “at that age” where everyone’s getting divorced. Aren’t we too young to be having divorced friends already? It breaks my heart that these marriages didn’t work out. I now have 3 college friends who have been married and divorced.

At the same time, I have two of my best friends getting married – one tomorrow and the other in 5 weeks. And I’m having a baby. Maybe I’m “at that age” where I realize that no matter how old we are, life goes on, and the good times don’t always outweigh the bad.

Relationships are difficult at the best of times. Especially relationships in which one partner sacrifices so much for the other. I know I am lucky to have a husband who would move to the other side of the world for me, but I sometimes wonder if one day he’ll resent his decision to do so and blame me. The only thing that stops me putting so much pressure on myself about that is knowing that if moving back to the US meant that much to him, I would do it in a heartbeat. That’s what marriages are about.

Its easy to be the one to take in a relationship. For some its even easy to be the one who gives. But eventually if there isn’t give AND take, the relationship is going to fall apart. You can only give so much of yourself. And you can only respect and love a giver for so long.

I know people don’t get married with the intention of getting divorced. But what do you do when one person wants to move on with their lives, and the other is left behind, bewildered by this one-sided decision to end the marriage?  What do you do when your partner doesn’t want to fight to make the last 5, 10, 20 years count for something?

I  used to be so scared of marriage because ultimately I was so scared of divorce. But I eventually came to realize that divorce doesn’t have to be the end of the world. There is life, and happiness, and love after divorce. I don’t think you should dwell on the past, but I do think you should learn from it and take those lessons with you.

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