By Tiya Cunningham-Sumter
Sadly, as my circle of married friends shrinks my frustration grows. BMWK family, I have been with you long enough and I feel comfortable enough with you to vent. What I am most disturbed about the dissolution of my friends’ marriages is the reasoning behind the decision.
Infidelity and abuse (physical, emotional or substance) I get. Even with therapy and counseling some of those relationships are difficult to save. But those couples who state they are divorcing because they have outgrown each other puzzle me. How does one outgrow a person at one point they didn’t think they could live without? I keep wondering what changes in the relationship or for that matter what lack of change in the person makes divorce the only choice.
How does a couple get there? How does a marriage become vulnerable to the possibility of outgrowing? Who had to drop the ball or which one put their guard down and left their marriage open? I applaud those individuals who were willing to fight for their marriage no matter the end result. I recognize that one partner can’t save the relationship alone. People change, yes I know, but they don’t change overnight. This gives us the opportunity to catch our marriage before it falls.
Today it seems too easy to walk away. In my opinion many of these reasons are simply selfish. Are children considered? What about the vows, the promises made before God? Don’t they mean anything? Are we really okay with being added to the statistic? Another black family torn breaks my heart. And when asked why the divorce, is “outgrowing each other” an explanation one could really justify?
I know it’s easy to say it will never happen in my marriage and I honestly won’t use the word never, but my job is preventing it. Here’s my plan:
I will step down from my soapbox for now. While I recognize this post is too late for those friends that split, I do hope it reaches those who are on the verge of calling it quits. If you would lend me your ear, I beg you to consider what you have to lose. Ask yourselves how you got here and more importantly how you get back.
Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, Founder of Life Editing. Tiya was featured in Ebony Magazine in the October 2008 and November 2010 issues. Tiya recently created and launched (Tuesdays with Tiya) Life Editing Radio show on blogtalkradio.com. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two children.