h2>Dating : They told you there are failed marriages and you took it for granted. I tell you there are none.
For failed marriages to exist we need to believe that marriages can fail. And that’s what most of us believe. I too, until recently, was in that overwhelming majority of people who believe that marriages can fail.
When does a marriage fail? According to the conventional understanding of what marriages should and what they shouldn’t be a failed marriage is a marriage which doesn’t fit the description of a successful marriage. A successful marriage, on the other hand, is a marriage which didn’t fail. That’s how one shouldn’t explain things to people for the people to whom you explained a certain thing or concept know no more than they had known without your input.
A marriage which is successful lasts. A marriage which is unsuccessful (a failed marriage) doesn’t last. That’s more or less the whole idea.
When two people were married and then they divorced, we describe their marriage as a failed marriage. A failed attempt. Similarly, when we talk about relationships (two people forming a couple, but not married) we also talk about successful and failed relationships.
What if we changed that? What if we started to claim that there are no failed marriages and relationships? What if we went back to the time in our history when there were simply marriages and relationships. Was there such time? Before any of us knew the concept of a successful marriage or relationship.
To me (after I very recently rejected the most widespread idea that marriages and relationships can succeed, and, vice versa, can fail), there are no successful or failed marriages or relationships. There are simply marriages and relationships.
That’s because I won’t let anybody tell me what is and what isn’t a success (in any aspect of our lives).
It seems so natural to most of us that marriages or relationships can fail. It seems natural to most of us because that’s what most of us took for granted. Because nobody ever questioned that concept. Does it mean I am the first person who ever questioned it? How can I know such thing? Maybe there was somebody who questioned it but he or she never shared his or her thoughts with anyone (for fear of being ridiculed, or hated upon, out of sheer shyness, or without reason)? Or, perhaps, there is an article, or a book, or a video in which someone undermines the idea of a failed marriage (relationship) but I never chanced upon them (and never will)? Who knows?
I will describe both a marriage (relationship) which didn’t last and a marriage (relationship) which lasted until death as simply ‘a marriage’ (‘a relationship’). Because as a free person I can do that. Because I loathe the fact that we are being told what is and what isn’t success. Because I have the right to question every theory, idea or belief, and, if I don’t like it (if it doesn’t speak to me for some reason), also reject it.
But why view both marriages (relationships) equally, when one did and the other didn’t last?, someone would ask. Because that’s my right, would be my immediate response. But also because I no longer share the most common, most widespread expectation that a marriage (relationship) should last. I say it’s also OK when it didn’t last.
Most view it as a great tragedy when a marriage (relationship) didn’t last. Why? Because the expectation in them was (still is) that it should last. Because that’s the expectation in the culture we’re part of since our birth. I don’t view it as this great tragedy anymore. Why? Because that’s my right, would be my immediate response. But also because I think that it’s a better way to look at marriages (relationships).
We’re used to glorifying marriages (relationships) which lasted, and consequently, stigmatizing the ones which didn’t last. That’s the way our culture views it. As a result, when we enter a marriage (relationship) we wish it was lasting, we hope it will last, and we dread the prospect of being in a marriage (relationship) which will not last. We fear being viewed by the rest of people as those who failed. And because the vast majority of people in our culture bought into the same idea (has the same conviction), as those who failed we will be viewed.
I believe there is nothing wrong, or evil, with having an opposite view, i.e. not expecting that a marriage (relationship) should last, and thus with treating a marriage (relationship) which didn’t last as something completely normal, OK.
I think it would be way better for people (especially for their mental health) if they didn’t expect that a marriage (relationship) should last. They wouldn’t be so stressed. They wouldn’t feel the stigma and the sense of shame whenever their marriage (relationship) didn’t work out. And there is always a chance that it will not work out. Nobody can guarantee us that it will work out.
They wouldn’t think of themselves as failed human beings. Their children wouldn’t be viewed as children of human beings who failed. The parents of such people also wouldn’t think that their adult children failed in this aspect of their lives and they would not be so downhearted each time something didn’t pan out. Of course, parents not always treat it as a bad thing when their child ends a relationship or dissolves a marriage (there are instances of home violence, disrespect, etc.), but the thinking in most people that it was a failure remains and thus also the feeling of shame. People usually need time (a lot of it) to be able to cope with that, to talk about it as if it was a normal thing, to feel OK after it.