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Jan 20, 2011

Bad economy= Good thing???


by Kit Rodgers

The souring economy is affecting relationships and divorce rate on many observable levels.  Traditionally, bad economic times and the stress they brought were a major factor in leading couples to divorce.  Now, it is in fact the opposite: in light of tough financial times, couples are deciding to post-pone divorce and are opting to live in the same households.  Divorce is proving to be too expensive, and the prospect of having to finance two separate households is at best uncomfortable and at the worst, not feasible.  And the added fact that some divorces can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and eat up time and resources does not help either.  The result is forcing couples to face the possibility that they need to give their marriage a second try.  So, could the recession be a blessing in disguise?

This scenario reminds me of the movie “Couples Retreat,” where couples that had marital problems got away to a tropical paradise retreat and focused on each other in a comedic and bumbling effort to save their marriages.  While couples today might not be finding themselves in a tropical paradise, the situation of being stuck together because of reasons beyond their control can be powerful.  Many initially have the mindset of “the grass is greener,” which entitles them to pick up and leave when the circumstances are undesirable and head for “better” prospects.  In fact, this kind of thinking has so pervaded society that selfishness has come to mean assertiveness, and looking out for number 1 is a legitimate reason to break commitments.  Even so, when an individual comes to the realization that his circumstances are out of his hands, this gives him a sense of serenity and purpose, or even destiny.  And that can encourage him to dig deeper and try to see the hardships through.  The marriage can come to seem less like a choice that can be thrown out to a commitment that was destined to occur.  And with destiny is hope that everything was meant to be, and not just random chance or happenstance.  Maybe, just maybe, you were in fact meant to be with this person, and if you stick with her, you will finally come to understand what love really is. 

The horrible economic recession has left devastation.  Once comfortable lives filled with security and prosperity have been replaced with unknowns, fear, and harsh realities.  But perhaps that is why we have family and spouses, to have people to count on during the tough times that can get us through, and in whom we can find our identities when the world outside deals us a harsh blow.  This economic recession may be a way of the pendulum swinging back, providing a chance for us to reassess and reevaluate our own values and priorities.  So many people believe that love is a feeling or emotion, but truly it is not.  Love is a commitment that grows and is nurtured and affirmed through time.  And like a tower it is built slowly by the bricks of trials and tribulations, happiness and joy.

Kit Rodgers is happily married to his wife Dahlia.  While they fight at times and can holler real good, they were destined to be together.  And time will prove all things…