breaking down marriage part 2: Mexico

Mexico just passed a new law that after two years a couple has the option to end a marriage as though it didn’t happen.

yeah.  take that in for a minute.

have you heard about this?  they figure since the majority of marriages end within the first two years, may as well just let everyone have the option of pretending like it never took place.

here’s the Reuters story about it.

i haven’t heard an idea this bad since Crystal Pepsi.

the idea that letting people off the hook at two years will cut down on the divorce rate is like saying lowering the drinking age will cut down on underage drinking.

dumb.

a big chunk of marriages end within the first two years because people panic and convince themselves they made the wrong choice.  it happened to Craig and i.  our lowest moment was right at the two year mark.  it went something like this:

Craig: “i’m going to go take a bath.  if you’re still here when i get out, we’ll talk.  but you need to decide.”

i was still sitting on the couch in the same spot he left me when his water got cold.

i was 22 and immature.  i was an idiot for ever making him have to throw down like that.

what happened with us was hard, but not uncommon.  something about that second year sends people into freak out mode.  happens all the time.  allowing a marriage to disappear at that stage is more foolish than i have words to describe.  i can’t say i could get behind any time frame for this type of thing, but two years is the worst possible timing.

Craig and i stayed together because the respect for marriage my parents instilled in me finally kicked in at the last second and i knew walking out on my commitment was not an option.  i can’t say i wouldn’t have taken Mexico’s loophole had it been offered to me.  it would’ve been too easy and awfully tempting. 

and utterly selfish.  Craig hadn’t done anything to deserve what i put him through. 

laws like the one in Mexico send a clear message that marriage doesn’t have to be taken seriously.  the truth is, if you can get past the first two years, it’s much easier to stay together.  you learn to compromise, to talk, to respect and to breathe.  setting a trial period on marriage is a joke.  and not a funny one.

i’m going to write another blog at some point about dealing with the first two years of marriage because that needs its own page time, but for now i’m just going on record as being absolutely 100% against this Mexico marriage massacre.  divorce should be made more difficult, not easier.

now if you’ll excuse me, i have a soap box to burn.

anyone else experience trouble in the first two years of marriage?  how did it work out?

those not married yet, have i completely freaked you out?

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29 comments on “breaking down marriage part 2: Mexico

  1. Tori Glass says:

    I’ve been married for 13 months on Sunday. It’s been the best 13 months of my entire life by a LONG stretch. But then again, I was 26 when we got married. I was engaged at 21 and if I’d married that guy? I think the first two years would have been hell.
    This law Mexico has passed is a travesty. If they want to cut down on divorce, the wisest option (as far as I can tell) is to make it harder to get married in the first place. That would dissuade some of those who go in thinking, “Oh, I can just bail if stuff gets hard.” Stuff ALWAYS gets hard. It’s called life. And it’s not an excuse to bail on your marriage.

  2. Donna says:

    I’m a lurker here, and getting married in T-17 days, to the love of my life. I’m 27 and he’s 33, and it’s the first marriage for both of us, and we’re totally stoked about all of it. Just wanted to leave a note to say I’d be super grateful for your first two years of marriage post oh, you know, within the next 2 weeks or so. No pressure of course ; )

  3. Mandy Rausch says:

    For us it was the first year. We’d been together 5 years before he proposed (can’t believe I waited for him that long!) (I’m kidding) (mostly) and 6 by the time we got married. I think that our problem was that we thought that, since we’d been together for so long, nothing would change once we got married. It’d be all the same, it’d just be legal.

    WRONG.

    That first year was terrible. I still hate thinking about it because it makes me so sad that we treated each other the way we did. If we’d been in Mexico, we may have taken the option to opt out, too. We just celebrated our THIRD anniversary (that’s 9 years together almost, for those of you doing the math) and already we’re in so much more of an awesome place of honesty, friendship, intimacy and a bunch of other awesome things that I can’t wait to see how much more we grow together.

  4. JBen says:

    “the idea that letting people off the hook at two years will cut down on the divorce rate is like saying lowering the drinking age will cut down on underage drinking.”

    Brilliant

    I was about to come to mexico’s defense since I am going there on my honeymoon but then I actually read the article. I agree with you completely and hope that I am mature enough to handle the hard stuff that will come our way.

    This blog may be the single greatest tool we have for setting up a good marriage.

  5. True story. I love your viewpoint on this. I think it is incredibly accurate.

  6. thekateway says:

    I’m 23.
    My older brother (27) had a marriage fall apart 6 years ago.
    He is getting ready to marry bachelorette #2 in a few months.
    My parents marriage is in the dead freakin middle of falling apart right now. They had 32 years. The divorce is final next month.
    If I can find a dude who won’t mind me calling him dude, will play golf with me, and will love Jesus more than he loves me and he decides he’d like to hang out for a lifetime, I’ll be the first one in my family to have a marriage that worked. That scares me more then the fact that my grandparents are allowed to have a Facebook.

    I guess we aren’t the typical pastor’s family. It feels like we’re they typical American family, though.

    My brother trying again, my parents trying for so long, and my obvious fear because of those all lead me to the same conclusion.
    There has to be something about that relationship that’s worth it.
    There has to be something some really special that it makes one person try again, two people try for so long, and one person to worry if she’ll have it.

    I’ve never been close to married. Awkwardness seems to be my love language and 98% of the guys I’ve met don’t speak it.
    I can’t help but believe it’s worth it though. Why else would people risk so much?

    • Sounds like you’ve got some really good conclusions out of some bad situations, Kate. Speaking as a nearing 35 and also not close to married*, but whose parents are closing in on 40 years of marriage, it’s definitely worth it.

      I find when you’re a ‘thinker’, and not involved with anyone, you spend a lot of time looking at relationships around you to see why they do and don’t work (caution: telling them why they don’t work unsolicited can be dangerous). Turning that into analyzing your own potential problems can be good if it leaves you better equipped to catch them in the real thing; it can be bad if it leads you to fretting over whether you’re marriageable because of them. I get the impression you’re seeking to learn from bad examples and good examples both, which is definitely a positive plan. I’m trying to do the same myself. I’ll definitely still mess up in stupid ways I already knew better than to do, because that’s human, but I’ll have a clue what I ought to have done afterwards.

      Unfortunately, you’re definitely kinda typical for American families today, and even some pastors’ families. Fortunately, God knows our typical and can deal with both our sins and our mistakes in His own way if we let Him. It sounds like you’re walking on a good path so far.

      * – unless you count discussing marriage possibilities with a girl I’d never dated, which Sharideth thinks is weird for some reason, and not something normal people do *cough*.

      • thekateway says:

        I’m not sure how much experience you have with being put in time-out. I can assure you that my resume lists me as a professional in the area, though. Such expertise allows me to know that the thing you can almost guarantee hearing after the words “you go sit in that corner,” are “and think about what you’ve done”

        I can only assume that the combination of being told that so often and the fact that I wore sweater vests more often then any child should (and still do) must have earned my one way ticket to “thinker”ville. It’s not such a bad place to be, I guess.

        I get why the unsolicited advice of why a relationship isn’t working could be labeled major failure. I hate when people in relationships tell me why I’m single or how to not be single or why I shouldn’t be single and I feel like that is the situational reverse equivalent.

        Depending on what day of the week you ask me, how many Ke$ha songs I’ve had to switch the radio station because of that day, and how many panera cinnamon crunch bagels you’re bribing me with, I jump between feeling better equipped and feeling less “marriageable” as you call it. I realize that’s a self-worth issue, though and not one that anybody, male or female, can solve other than the One who knows its extent in the first place.

        My 9th grade teacher had a blue banner with orange letters on it that said “Mistakes are only dumb if you don’t learn from them.” It had a really confusing interaction between a platypus and an armadillo on it, along with a circus border around it. I think the advice on it is solid. Everything else I’m still confused about.

        What normal people do? I struggle daily with the fact that during life orientation I missed the class to get my “normal” certification. Maybe you missed that class, too. (You’d be hard pressed to convince me that Sharideth didn’t miss it as well, or at least fell asleep in the back while it was going on 🙂 We seem to manage pretty well, though.

        • I didn’t get many timeouts. I got spankings mostly. Lots of them, for a while there. However, they were usually preceded by being sent to my room so he had time to cool off before applying them, and followed by discussions of what I had done wrong. So I can relate. The spankings got my attention through the stubborn, but I think I dreaded the talks more. :>

          I had to ask Google what a sweater vest was, not because I’ve never worn one but because I’ve worn so many types of sweaters that my brain refused to sort out the defining features of the sweater vest. Most of my sweaters had sleeves, but I have worn a sweater vest or two, yes. I miss my sweater with the little dragon logo. What was that, Izod brand maybe?

          Analytical people, of which I am one, tend to be either blind to their own faults or overly obsessed with them. Frequently, they alternate the two states. I think this is one of the reasons they always used to say that statistically the profession with the highest divorce rate was psychiatrists. They attempt to fix each other till they eventually break the relationship. When you ‘know all the solutions’ you attempt to make the other person perfect, and eventually become as frustrated with your inability to make them perfect as they are with your attempts to do so. 😉 It is so easy to lose the distinction between helping someone to be their best and attempting to make someone be perfect.

          The really big, big secret is that no one is marriageable. We’re all selfish sinners. But God can build something out of that if both people are seeking Him before and after the marriage and willing to do whatever He asks. If we choose to control it ourselves, then He’ll often let us do so and see the consequences. The One who knows its extent, as you said. 🙂

          You should have taken pictures of this playtypus armadillo circus for posterity, because now I’m trying to picture it in my head.

          I was probably reading my history book during “normal” class. Maybe you were reading something more interesting too?

  7. Mrsbethyj says:

    I think with your blog we’ll make it through! Ha! After hitting the 4 month mark, we have had some things come up that we’ve handled pretty well. I’m glad I got married at 27, instead of 19 or 24. I wouldn’t have been as prepared to be a great partner. I’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way and now my marriage is my top priority. It is the one thing I’m most proud of. As a child that grew up with divorced parents from the time I was one, I wanted to be absolutely sure of what I was getting into and I take the vows I made very seriously. I can’t wait to see what comes our way because I know we’ve got each others’ backs. There’s no one else I’d rather go through life with. I sound sooo much like a newlywed!

  8. You can’t spell Mexico without ex.

    Seriously, though, I’m single and I think this idea is singularly stupid. You don’t lessen the problems of human nature by enabling the problems of human nature. Marriage isn’t a cell phone contract. If you’re not sure you’re ready to commit for a lifetime, then get sure and get ready or sit down and shut up.

    I especially like how they seem to think you can just dissolve the marriage, and because it’s disappeared legally it’ll somehow disappear emotionally. Like Syndrome said in The Incredibles: “Lame lame lame lame LAME!”

  9. Corrie Kolbe says:

    Stupid stupid stupid. And I hadn’t even heard about it until I read it here. (Which, by the way I found “here” from Jamie’s Rabbits. I think.) I digress. Maybe, MAYBE if they’d said like, 10 yrs or something. Something realistic. Not two.

    DH and I had our first baby before the one year mark (but within a reasonable time limit, if you catch my drift.) And were pregnant with #2 before our 2nd anniversary. Between that and simply KNOWING that divorce would never be an option, we did all right.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Holy moly, the first 2 years of our marriage was hell. New baby, new house, new jobs, bleh! All this while trying to figure out how to be married (even though we’d cohabitated for 3 years prior to the vows).

    The good news is after the first couple years, things calmed down a lot. We learned to work with each other instead of against/around one another. We finally figured out the concept of us vs. the world.

    This Mexico business is ridiculous. Frankly, I’m a little bit shocked, too. Mexico is still heavily Catholic, isn’t it? They’re still into big families and a strong marital base? This seems counter-intuitive to me. I think the mere implication that you can pretend a marriage never happened is a major blow to families everywhere. I think it also can make an already fragile new marriage even less security and reason to succeed. Sad, indeed.

  11. Nonstepmom says:

    Divorce rate would drop if there was effort required other than party planning…..Some basics like “financial planning” and “life issues” webinars. This may cut down on divorce, but I’m concern scenarios like : what happens when one spouse wants to “renew the contract” but the other says “nah, I’m taking a walk.” Lots of broken hearts unless these “marriages” are entered into with no deep love or commitment; which brings us to : Why bother !

  12. […] recently i railed against the “2-year marriage contract” being proposed in Mexico.  it sparked some conversation about what the first two years of marriage look like and why so many marriages end by the 2-year mark.  the first two years go something like this: […]

  13. […] TD Jakes Help the Devil's After My Home Part 5 :- Issues in marriage.?Part 2? Marriage Advicebreaking down marriage part 2: Mexico body { background-image: […]

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