Marriages today just don’t work.
The million dollar question? Why not?
It’s a pretty simple concept — fall in love and share your life together. Our great grandparents did it, our grandparents followed suit, and for many of us, our parents did it as well.
Why the hell can’t we?
I’ve been divorced myself. But I’m only one of the many people today that have failed at marriage. And while some of us have gone through a divorce, others stay in their relationships, miserably, and live completely phony lives.
I’ve spent the better part of the last three years trying to understand the dating scene again. Back when I met my ex-wife in 2004, things were just so different. Social media had yet to explode. I had this desire to ask her about her day simply because I didn’t know.
Texting was just starting to make its way into mainstream society, so if I wanted to speak to her, I had to call her. If I wanted to see her, I had to drive to her house and knock on her door. Everything required an action on my part, or hers.
Today, things are different though.
Looking back nearly 11 years, I began to wonder how different things were for the older generations. More importantly, I wonder how different they will be for my children.
Our generation isn’t equipped to handle marriages — and here’s why:
1. Sex becomes almost non-existent.
I don’t know about you, but I am an extremely sexual person. Not only do I believe it’s an important aspect of a relationship, I believe it’s the most important. Beyond being pleasurable, sex connects two individuals. There’s a reason why it’s referred to as “making love”.
I’m baffled by couples who neglect having sex, especially younger ones. We all desire physical connection, so how does cutting that off lead you to believe your marriage will be successful?
Instead, we have sex once every couple weeks, or when it’s time to get pregnant. It becomes this chore. You no longer look at your partner wanting to rip their clothes off, but rather instead, dread the thought. That’s not crazy to you?
2. Finances cripple us.
Years ago, it didn’t cost upward of $200,000 for an education. It also didn’t cost $300,000-plus for a home. Today, you need to find a job to pay for student loans, a mortgage, utilities, living expenses and a baby. Problem is, it’s extremely difficult to find a job that can provide an income that will help you live comfortably while paying all of these bills — especially not in your mid-20s.
This strain causes separation between us. It halts us from being able to live life. We’re too busy paying bills to enjoy our youth. Forget going to dinner, you have to pay the mortgage. You’ll have to skip out on an anniversary gift this year because those student loans are due at the end of the month. Vacations? Not happening.
We’re trying to live the way our grandparents and parents did in a world that has put more debt on our plate than ever before. It’s possible, but it puts us in an awful position.
Part of life is being able to live. Not having the finances to do so takes away yet another important aspect of our relationships. It keeps us inside, forced to see the life everyone else is living.
3. We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time.
Let’s face it, the last time you “spoke” to the person you love, you didn’t even hear their voice.
You could be at work, the gym, maybe with the kids at soccer. You may even be in the same room.
You told your wife you made dinner reservations… through a text message.
Your husband had flowers delivered to your job… through an app on his phone.
You both searched for furnishings for your new home… on Pinterest.
There’s no physical connection attached to anything anymore. We’ve removed human emotion from our relationships, and we’ve replaced it with colorful bubbles. Somehow, we’ve learned to get offended by text on a screen, accusing others of being “angry” or “sad” when, in fact, we have no idea what they are feeling. We argue about this — at length.
You want to know why your grandmother and grandfather just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary? Because they weren’t scrolling through Instagram worrying about what John ate for dinner. They weren’t on Facebook criticizing others. They weren’t on vacation sending Snapchats to their friends.
They were too preoccupied loving and respecting one another. They were talking to each other at dinner, walking with each other holding hands instead of their phones. They weren’t distracted by everything around them. They had dreams and chased them together.
4. Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved.
Social media has given everyone an opportunity to be famous. Attention you couldn’t dream of getting unless you were celebrity is now a selfie away. Post a picture, and thousands of strangers will like it. Wear less clothing, and guess what? More likes.
It’s more than that though. What about the life you live? I see pictures of people decked out in designer clothes, posted up in some club with fancy drinks — people I know that are dead broke. But they portray themselves as successful because, well, they can. And they get this gratification from people who like and comment on their statuses or pictures.
If you want to love someone, stop seeking attention from everyone because you’ll never be satisfied with the attention from one person. Same holds true for love.
Love is supposed to be sacred. You can’t love someone when you’re preoccupied with worrying about what others think of you. Whether it be posting pictures on social media, buying homes to compete with others or going on lavish vacations — none of it matters.
5. Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you.
We’ve thrown privacy out the window these days. Nothing is sacred anymore, in fact, it’s splattered all over the Web for the world to see. Everywhere we go, everything we do — made public. Instead of enjoying the moment, we get lost in cyberspace, trying to figure out the best status update, or the perfect filter.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing moments of your life. I do it myself. But where do we draw the line? When does it become too much?
We’ve invited strangers into our homes and brought them on dates with us. We’ve shown them our wardrobe, drove with them in our cars, and we even showed them our bathing suits. Might as well pack them a suitcase, too.
Marriage is sacred. It is the most beautiful sacrament and has tremendous promise for those fortunate enough to experience it. Divorced or not, I am a believer in true love and building a beautiful life with someone. In fact, it’s been my dream since I was young.
I do fear, however, that the world we live in today has put roadblocks in the way of getting there and living a happy life with someone. Some things are in our control, and unfortunately, others are not.
People can agree or disagree.
I’m perfectly okay with that.
This post originally appeared on app.com.
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