Watching Ally McBeal on Netfilx at the crack of dawn. The eccentric, outspoken, career-wise successful female characters are contemplating the idea of marriage. I keep hearing the statistics about how fifty percent of marriages in the US end in divorce, so what's the point. I go to more reputable resources to double-check, the numbers are about right. Though there seems to be a huge difference in divorce rates between couples under 30 and over, but for right now that doesn't matter.
Having been divorced twice (once in the US and once in Europe), this got me thinking. The disappointment this seems to bring to people's voice. Fifty percent. FIFTY!
So, what. Is the glass half empty, or half full? Half of marriages end, but the other half won't. To me, that part is more shocking. Really? There are so many people out there who commit to life and then really stay together? Amazing! And that's only married couples. There are also many people who stay together till death parts them and never get married.
Why did I get married the second time when I should've known the chance is only fifty percent? Why was I not fearful and jaded, expecting the worst? Because the success of a relationship isn't about whether or not it will last forever. So, no, I think a divorce doesn't mean a relationship failed. Pain and regret and loss of faith in love mean that a relationship failed. Divorce can mean lots of things. I know it meant very different things in my two marriages. Which leaves me with a really good feeling about love, actually.
I personally don't care whether a commitment is made through marriage or any other means - commitment ceremonies, parties, promises whispered in the middle of the night. What I care about is that relationships have a pretty good chance at succeeding. A lot of it has to do with our perception. Most decisions we make in life don't have a very high sure-success rate. We apply for jobs hoping that even though there are hundreds of other applicants we'll be the one getting it. Fifty percent? Sometimes it's not even two. Still, we go for it. We find the perfect apartment and apply for a mortgage, or fill out a rental application. We try to get into the college we want the most. We run to catch the bus when it's already closing the doors. We are waiting in line hoping no one is going to take that last piece of pepperoni pizza.
Why? Because we are hoping that things will turn out okay. And no, sometimes they won't. Sometimes the bus will leave, and we'll end up with plain cheese pizza, studying at a semi-crappy college, heartbroken by the love of our life.
And so, what. At least we went for it.
This is what I like about commitment. Commitment of any kind. It creates a chance for something great to happen. It opens doors. Sometimes, literally.