Author: Derek Ciapala
Marriage: Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?
Have you ever wondered if life would be better if you weren’t married? Have you dreamed about being married to someone besides your current spouse? If the answer is yes, don’t worry. Many people think about how different their lives would be if they’d made different choices. This is one reason people get a seven-year itch.
The CDC in the United States estimates that nearly 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce. This doesn’t surprise me; it seems like every time I log on to Facebook I find a friend who has just separated from or divorced his or her spouse. The fact is that many people are becoming discouraged in their marriage relationships.
A week before my ex-wife left, she asked me whether I’d ever wondered what life would have been like if we hadn’t gotten married. I admitted that I had thought about it but that I loved her and remained committed to her. She started crying as she talked about the things she’d missed out on because we got married. We were in our eighth year of marriage when this happened. Although it wasn’t exactly a seven-year itch, the principals were the same. She was looking back at everything she hadn’t gotten to do before marriage and was rethinking her decision. She believed that her life would have been better if she had remained single or married someone else.
Many discontented individuals divorce, and 75 percent of those try again to find their “happily ever after.” However, the evidence proves that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 60 percent of second marriages and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce. When you consider that these numbers are higher than the divorce rate for first marriages, it should make people reconsider their options. Maybe it’s a better idea to save their current relationship instead of searching for a new one.
Second and third marriages have different challenges that affect them. Think about it: when you enter another marriage, you bring emotional baggage with you. When I remarried, I brought into this new commitment all of the guilt and insecurities that emerged after my divorce. I had a much harder time trusting my new wife, even though she had done nothing wrong.
Similarly, because my wife had also been married before, she brought her own fears into our marriage. She worried that I would eventually lose interest in her and then leave instead of fighting for our future. These are common issues that both partners in a second marriage deal with on a daily basis.
Many times, there are also children and exes involved in a remarriage situation. These factors affect – and usually complicate – a new marriage.
If you are married but mourning the independence you once enjoyed, perhaps the grass in the single pasture looks pretty green and inviting to you right now, but everyone needs companionship. That was one of the main reasons you got married in the first place, wasn’t it?
Unfortunately, it’s sometimes even more difficult to find companionship after a divorce. Years have passed, and most of your friends have probably married or started families, leaving little time to just “hang out” now. Dating post-divorce is harder, too; several women I knew refused to date me simply because I was divorced. The grass definitely wasn’t greener for me, and unless you’re willing to forgo the companionship you’ve grown used to over the years, it won’t be greener for you either.
If you’re thinking about ending your marriage, consider what life would truly be like, both as a single and beginning a whole new relationship and marriage. Being single has its perks: you can, for example, spend your time and money however you want without having to consider or consult anyone else.
However do you really want to live life knowing you failed in a marriage? Do you really want to face the loneliness that comes with being single again? Do you really believe another mate won’t have his or her own idiosyncrasies and annoying habits? If you want to get married again, are you ready to deal with the problems that come specifically with remarriages? These are the things you should consider before deciding that the grass is greener on the other side.
written for a variety of websites.