The world is a highly unpredictable and hectic place. You must have heard this phrase thousands of times already. However, have you ever thought about its implications on relationships? Today, the arrangements of married couples have changed compared to the situation several decades ago. Divorces are more acceptable in society, some people choose to be single parents, and some decide they do not need to be married to have a family. Does this mean that society does not respect any relationships anymore? Does this mean that our future relationships are doomed to fail? Today, I will explore the topic of broken relationships and try to answer those questions.
The term “broken relationships” can mean many things to many people. How do we define them? For some, these might be relationships that were deemed to fail from the beginning: the age gap between the couple was too big, their interests were too different, or they were simply “not a match.” You might look at these types of couples and think, “what do these people talk about?” Another type is relationships that seemed to work, but as time has passed, some things were just not meant to be for those couples.
From older generations, you must have heard that the institution of marriage is declining. Younger people are divorcing at an all-time high rate. There is no sanctity of marriage anymore! This is a phrase young people tend to hear, maybe not so often now, but still. The numbers also may indicate that this is true. According to Pew Research Center, about 67% of married people under 50 are still in their first marriage, in contrast to 83% in the 1960s (2015). This, of course, affects children. Nowadays, only 62% of children live in two-parent households, and not all of them live with their parents in their first marriage (Pew Research Center, 2015). Other factors play a role in family structure, such as race, education level, and class.
Indeed, for most people, divorce is not their first choice. How many people do you think are getting married with the thought of divorcing their significant other? I would bet that not so many. This is a painful and costly process for the majority, and not everyone wants to go through with it. People marrying for love always hope that their arrangement will last forever. However, numbers show that there is still a vast risk that hopes alone will not get us anywhere. So, what can we do to prevent this possibly? Is it even possible to prevent it?
Firstly, we can listen to experts on relationships. Psychologists, counselors, therapists. People with education have devoted their lives to understanding other people and their interactions. Secondly, we live in an era of accessible information, and we can use it! We can use it for self-improvement, use it for building healthier relationships, and be closer to other people. Humans are social creatures, and this amount of information is our chance to understand others, build strong relationships, and be a better version of ourselves.
To conclude, I do not think that our relationships are necessarily doomed. Despite the rise in divorces, there is no reason our generation cannot work on ourselves to build healthier relationships and change this dynamic to omit consequences that future generations have to bear.
Pew Research Center. (2015). The American Family Today.