The divorce rate passed the 50% mark several years ago. That means if you make it in your marriage, you’re officially in the minority. You’re in the small side of the numbers.
I seem to hear a lot of talk about how tragic this statistic is. I hear a lot of people spout a lot of different reasons for why the divorce rate is so high. What I don’t seem to hear is a lot of people who have real ideas or solutions to fix this problem. And with reason. Divorce is one incredibly complex topic and no single factor is even close to universal.
I really hate being a statistic. I hate that I’m on the big side of the numbers.
But even more than that, I hate that I was too weak to have done it any differently. I hate that I didn’t know enough about myself or about life to make very many good decisions. I hate that I was very broken and burdened when I decided to get married at such a young age. And most of all, I hate that I had no idea that any of that was the case.
And so I wonder. What would have changed things for me? What would have put me on the small side of the numbers? What would have brought me success?
Looking back, there is one thing that I think could have made all the difference when I left home and tried to make it on my own.
I needed to develop a love for introspection when I was young.
I needed to learn how to examine my own mental and emotional state.
I needed to learn how to look within myself and find what was lurking, what needed strengthening, and also what my true desires and passions were.
I survived junior high. That’s the best thing I can say about it. High school was not without its drama and difficulties. And, I know that there are a lot of people who feel the same way about their experience in school.
Growing up has a way of messing people up. Plain and simple.
In the school system, we put so much focus on academics, sports, extracurricular activities, and the arts. As adults, and as we create the curriculum for our young people, we think to ourselves, what do our kids need to learn to have a successful life? What can we give them now that will benefit them when they’re older? What skills can we give them so that when they leave this place they won’t be met with failure? And then we build our children’s curriculum based on that.
So what if, when we ask those questions, we also were to factor in the mental health of our children? What if every kid was required to take a “this-is-how-you-fix-yourself” class every year? A class that taught children how to find the root of their emotions, how to handle pain and hurt effectively, and how to get rid of past demons. A class that taught them the dangers of pushing those we love into particular molds. A class that taught kids how to be real about what they are experiencing and facing as they near adulthood. A class that taught them when they might need to seek professional counseling and why doing so makes them strong, not weak.
A class that teaches how beautiful imperfection really is.