My parents’ marriage didn’t last, so what’s so great about marriage? It’s a fair question and one that loomed over me at a young age when my parents decided to break up. It was devastating to be torn between the two people that I loved the most in my world, and feeling split in half. I ended up being a casualty of their conflict, suffering along with them. I adapted, as kids are quite capable of doing. I’m thankful for the lessons I learned from the pain, and you can learn from other’s mistakes too. When done right, healthy long term relationships can benefit us in many ways, if we prepare for them.
No one ever plans for divorce, but you can plan for a good relationship. Relationships are complicated but worth our effort and we can start now. I know my successful marriage of 26 years to my husband is partly due to applying the lessons I learned from those challenging years of my life. I saw the devastation of family member’s break-ups after being sexually active and how it stole their peace. I learned that I needed to save my sexuality for my husband alone, and even after making some mistakes I could start over.
There is no shame for those of us who have gone through divorce, and there is hope for this generation instead. Studies show that divorce peaked in the 70’s and 80’s when I was growing up. My generation must’ve learned something from our parents’ mistakes because divorce has steadily been on the decline since then. Be encouraged that there is power in knowledge. Seek to learn new things that can help you grow in your relationships. Even though you are young, you can still think through things and make good choices for your future. Your choices will have a great impact not only on yourself, but your future families. What lessons can you learn from the hardships your parents or family members have gone through? It’s worth taking the time to think through how you can do things differently to set yourself up for a successful marriage.