Thursday, May 29, 2008

Happily Ever After

In my opinion one of the most realistic shows on television is "Divorce Court". Many people including myself have an unrealistic view of marriage. Growing up, I believed that once you get married, you can live "happily ever after." This is not the case. As a divorcee, I can testify that "happily ever after" is a myth perpetrated by Hollywood. When we go to the movies, we want to see a happy ending. We want to watch the characters resolve their issues and end up happy. When I was in London, I watched a play "Blood Brothers." It was an excellent play. The ending was tragic. There wasn't a dry eye left as we exitted the theater.

Many of the couples in Divorce Court were only married for 1-3 years. You rarely see a couple that was married for over 20 years and decided to divorce. I have seen episodes where a couple split just one month after they were married. The point is that people are not staying together. So what happened to getting married and living "happily ever after"? Reality bites. When you get married, you change. Your spouse changes. Having children change your marriage and your relationship with your significant other. Your weight changes. Debt, finance, unemployment, drastically alters marriages. Lack of communication and finances are two of the biggest reasons couples divorce.

It is not one spouse's fault that the marriage changed. It takes two to tango and two to make a marriage work. Divorce Court demonstrates this. Oftentimes petty differences may cause a couple to part. A couple may argue over dishes in the sink and one may want out. Many times there is an underlying issue that is bigger than the dishes on the sink. Oftentimes the woman may gain weight due to having children and the husband cheats or indulges in porn via the Internet. This can ruin a wife's self-esteem which has dire effects on a well-intended marriage.

Lynn Toler is the judge on Divorce Court. At the end of every episode she gives the couple a lecture. She calls out cheating spouses and gives them a piece of her mind. She doesn't solve their problems, but her advice is very good.

There is one other divorce myth that I would like to set straight: Most people do not get married wanting a divorce. Divorce is hard and takes a toll on your personally and emotionally. Going through a separation and a divorce were some of the darkest days in my life. I have a lot of single friends who often tell me "When I get married I will never get a divorce." Never use the "n" word. Life is ironic.

Singles who want to get married should watch Divorce Court. I know that there are many shows on the WE channel and The Fine Living Channel that focus on the wedding day. But Divorce Court can fill you in on what happens during the marriage.

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