I am divorced. It wasn't how I planned it, but it is what it is.
My girlfriend is divorced. Not how she planned it either.
I know four couples who are currently getting divorced.
I know others who have been there and done that. I can't really speak as to what their plans were.
Sometimes, especially lately, I find myself wondering what's been happening to marriage. As a person who also happens to be gay, I have heard that I somehow have something to do with the disintegration of marriage in this society.
I don't think so.
In the case of my friends who are going through divorces, their decisions to end their marriages has nothing to do with anyone who is gay. It has to do with a lack of commitment, a lot of selfishness in the one case (but to spare you from a moment of epic profanity, I won't go into it further), and variables that I have no knowledge of. Rightfully so. What happens in someone else's marriage is really none of my business.
Most of you are aware that New York just voted in favor of marriage equality. In listening to Governor Cuomo's comments on Anderson Cooper, I was really impressed with him. He said something about marriage equality that I thought was especially true:
"Marriage Equality. I said to the legislators, 'you look at the first word, marriage. It's really about the second word, equality.'"
I would bet most people only focus on the first word. They're so intent on keeping marriage between a man and a woman. But I would think that if they were really wanting to preserve traditional marriage, maybe they could teach that man and that woman that divorce shouldn't be your first response when things don't progress in a fairytale-like manner.
I thought that once I got married, I would always be married. I was wrong in the case of my ex-husband. I admit that I am better off not being married to him. I know he's better off not being married to me. And I know that there are circumstances where the benefits of separating outweigh the complications of staying together. I wish my ex the best. I really hope he's happy now.
If I was to get married again, that would be it. There would never be another option. I would be married, I would be committed, I would work to keep my marriage as happy, wholesome, and strong as I possibly could. I'm not as young as I was when I was first married, which is probably why I would also make sure that I was ready to be a wife again.
As of this moment, I know that I'm not ready to be married again. Neither is my girlfriend. But it's sure nice to know that if there ever comes a day when we are, there's one more place we can go that will accept us and our love just as we are. That gives me hope. Most human beings want the same thing when it comes to love. We want the chance to find that one special person. We want to have that relationship that is so amazing, we never want to see it end. We want to keep it and nurture it and help it grow. We want to love and be loved.
Some say that gay marriage can't work. These days, it seems like straight marriages aren't working either. But still, I have hope for marriage, marriage of any kind. I hope that one day it will be an option for me that won't inspire such a rowdy debate. I hope that the current divorce rate starts getting lower instead of higher. Marriage does and should mean something. In my opinion, it shouldn't be something that you just cast aside.
On the day that New York voted yes, I had a table at work that came to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary. They hadn't run out of things to talk about. They held hands across the table. I could see that each of them was looking at the person who was most important to them. I thought that was pretty awesome.
In August, my girlfriend and I will be celebrating two amazing years together. My biggest hope is that we make it to 58...or more.