July 5, 2008

Half of the Group

William went to a kindergarten where the pick-up policy is that the parents wait outside the classroom and the teachers send the children out---so you had to be there a little early. This meant there was some stand-around time before the class dismissed, and it was a fun time for chatting with other parents. Some of us started arriving even earlier, on purpose.

Statistically speaking, about half of the families on a class list are going to split up. Out of the twenty families with kindergartners in the class, only two had split up so far. Once this had occurred to me, I had several times when I would be looking around at all of us, thinking, "Which?"

Recently the same thought occurred to me about the blogs I read. Some of us are divorced and some of us are divorcing, but not as many as statistics estimate WILL BE divorced. Over the years, if we all keep hanging out, it's going to keep happening. Pa-chow. Pa-chow. Pa-chow. Some of us may already have an inkling that we may be in that group, and others of us are going to get blind-sided.

I don't even find it depressing so much as interesting. Like looking around your graduating class and thinking, "Some of us are going to be happy, and some will be successful, and some will struggle their whole lives, and some will have sad tragedies, and some...." etc. It's that feeling of knowing the future but not yet knowing how things will be assigned or how they'll happen.

Well. *brushes hands briskly* Enough of that! Carpe etc. Gather ye etc. Eat drink etc. Don't borrow etc. Sufficient unto the day etc.

23 comments:

Kate said...

I'll admit that is a disturbing thought. We were almost the last of our friends to get married and now everyone else seems to be on to the next phase. For most, that's kids but there have been a few divorces. Hopefully we'll be in the 50% who stay together.

jen said...

wow, that was totally random!

It is kind of depressing and the urge is there to say "not me!"

Nic said...

It's true. It's scary. I'm in the marrying stage of life with my friend groups and I wonder who will split up. I mean, people don't get married with the intention of getting divorced, do they? But then I remember my days of wedding planning and some couples are just ill-matched. Some spouses are pressured into marriage. And sometimes, it just doesn't work. But what worries me more than the divorce statistics are those of how few couples are happily married.

Angella said...

Oh, I have been brewing on a post about this subject all day after reading a post where someone told me that they purposely left "forever" out of their vows because they could not commit to that.

I FIRMLY DISAGREE.

This post was confirmation that I need to get off my ass and post my thoughts already.

I need to get it out before my head explodes.

Leeann said...

What a relief to know that I am not the only one who thinks and wonders about things like this.

It makes me feel very melancholy to think about it, though. LIke I want to put up an invisible force field of protection around my husband and my family.

On the other hand, thinking about things like this can make you focus more on the care and upkeep of your own family.

In fact, I think I'm gonna log off and go jump my husband!

Leeann
niccofive.blogspot.com

desperate housewife said...

Leann!!! Hmm, nice to know that somewhere out there, someone's getting lucky tonight.

It's weird you mentioned this topic; just last weekend we were at a party for a bunch of Jim's old classmates and their families, and I was looking around thinking, "What are the odds that ALL of these couples, all of whom have kids now, are going to stay together? NOT GOOD, that's what they are. Huh."

Kali said...

No, one does enter marriage with the thought of divorce looming. Many are in denial and frankly that can work while you are working through some rough spots.

There are so many unrealistic illusions about marriage: what it is and what it is for, what it can do and what it protects you from, things like that.

I do not regret my former marriage. I still feel love for the man. But it is the man I am married to now that I most cherish, because he takes the commitment to work together for our individual and couple goals very seriously. He may not always understand me, but he always supports my dreams and both in words and actions, appreciates what I do at home and in the workplace.

Divorce can sometimes seem contagious when one after the other of your friends and acquaintances split up. It isn't. It's growing up and unfortunately, sometimes that means apart.

Kelsey said...

I think you need to spend some time in your happy place!

I don't always know what to do with statistics like those. When I think of my group of close girl friends from college, half of us are married, and I really cannot fathom any of us getting divorced.

There are plenty of things I would not do if I knew, for a fact, that I was going to get a negative outcome half the time, but I never thought about marriage that way.

Banana said...

I was married two summers ago and I knew three other couples around the same age as us who got married as well. Only two couples remain married (I am in the still married camp). Our little fourosme took care of that statistic right away! I thought about it when we all got married, but I certainly didn't expect such quick results.

Tessie said...

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. A favorite.

Well, half of the group means the glass is half full too, eh? So, hope, I guess?

Michelle said...

Well that was uplifting, wasn't it? ;)

Shall I go in with the "Not us!" crowd? My husband was divorced before I met him after his wife cheated on him and has vowed to never let anything interfere with this marriage, and I have no interest in divorce without some seriously destructive behavior (drugs, alcohol, abuse) that I don't see as possible. Phew!

Kelley said...

Scary that I read about 2 of my internet friends separating in the last week.

And then I come here.

We have had some hard hard times my husband and I, but I hope we are not in that half...

d e v a n said...

I think about that too, in my mom's meetup group. There are 90+ members and, so far, only one couple has gotten divorced since I've been in the group (2.5 yrs) though some were divorced before, or aren't married (not many) or can't get married.
I often look around and wonder, who's next...

Chraycee said...

My parents recently told me that someone (they can't remember his name) from my very small high school is homeless and living in a park in a nearby town. I cannot figure out who it could be, like I said VERY SMALL high school- I would like to offer help, but other than standing around in the park he talked to them in I'm not sure how to find him.........

I can much more easily imagine the people I went to school with divorced than homeless.

Kristi said...

I think about that topic when in large groups too. We all like to think "I don't believe in divorce" and that OUR marriages are not contenders. The truth, as you well know, is that you have to work on it every day, and it's frightening how quickly it can dim when it's not paid enough attention.

Thanks for the reminder Swistle.

Whimsy said...

I totally know what you mean - and I had a similar thought at our birth and labor class re: c-section. (Thinking: the statistics say that 30% of us will have a c-section. Who is it gonna be? And then it was US.)

Maggie said...

I always find statistics like that interesting - and like everyone else, I wonder who will be part of the XX (fill in unfortunate circumstance here) group. But then sometimes I look at a group of people and think "wow, look how happy/great/whatever everyone is" and think - that's sure awesome that everyone fits in that mold. But it does make me wonder if there is another group somewhere that makes up the unfortunate half of our happy group.

Kate said...

I think that while there are some people who might actually go into marriage with a if-it-works-out attitude, most people don't. I don't know if everyone has the tools they need to stay together. Or continues to use them. I'm hoping we make it. And thanks to your post, I shut down my computer last night and did a little Saturday Night Marital Maintenance. ;) Sometimes you just need a little reminder.

EMama said...

I'm with Michelle. My husband was divorced when we met. In fact, everyone in his family has been divorced at least once. On the other hand, my family are not divorcers.
We had the crappiest first year you could imagine (details not internet-appropriate), but there is NO WAY we're getting divorced. Ever. The end. Feel free to check back in 50 years. :)

Heather B. said...

Wow between you and Slynnro, I might never get married. That's a little hyperbolic of course but still, even as a child of divorce that is still a tad unnerving and just plain sad. I'm not a romantic in the least but I'd like to believe that there's some chance of "forever". Then again, there is a chance. A 50% chance.

Jen @ The Cubicle's Backporch said...

I came over from slynnro's depressing post, and you're right about the divorce thing.

I look around at my siblings' softball/baseball games at the parents and wonder how many of them are happy. How many are cheating? How many want to cheat? How many feel lonely?

I think I do it b/c I'm nosey, but it goes along with your "50% will be divorced".

I'm like emama... my parents are still married and there's not much divorce on my side. But Mr. C's mom has been married three times, and I think his dad has too.

squandra said...

I've been thinking about this statistic a lot lately. We're young, and have seen about four couples we're close to tie the knot. Honestly, I could see which 50% would split from a mile away. It's sad, but compared to hearing the statistic without having any real-life examples to apply it to -- it does offer some bizarre comfort re: my own very happy couple someday falling into the "blindsided" group.

velocibadgergirl said...

I'm on a really close-knit message board of about 25 girls who met online when we were all planning our weddings about five years ago. Sometimes I wonder if the 50% divorce trend will hold true on our board. I can't imagine half of those girls splitting up with their husbands, but the statistics are pretty sobering.