This piece was written for my Techniques of Media Writing class at Gardner-Webb University in the fall of 2011. It is an editorial column. Here is the link to the news story it’s based on.
Just a few days ago, the hash tag #ThingsLongerThanKimsMarriage was trending on the popular social networking site, Twitter, in response to Kim Kardashian’s announcement that her 72-day marriage was ending in divorce.
When looking for something to write about, Kim Kardashian was not at the top of my list. I do not follow the Kardashian drama on MTV and I do not care to buy any of the Kardashian products. I do not consider myself fashionable or at all up to date on pop culture. However, when a friend suggested that I write about Kardashian’s divorce, the wheels started turning. I may not be passionate about the Kardashian clan or any of their publicity stunts, but I am extremely passionate about marriage.
While Kardashian’s marriage is not the norm, it is a reflection of the value our society puts on marriage. Divorce rates are steadily on the rise throughout the world, particularly in the United States. We live in a society where divorce is viewed as an “easy way out.”
With a “quick fix” so easily available, couples often fail to consider all the ramifications of a divorce.
Divorce is expensive. The average divorce in America costs $20,000—that doesn’t even include child support and alimony.
Another heavy consequence of divorce is the emotional trauma it causes the individuals involved. This doesn’t just apply to the couple, but also their children and sometimes even their close friends or family.
Children should not be punished for their parent’s poor decisions. Unfortunately, when parents go their separate ways, children are left lurching in the middle. They are often plagued with guilt or loneliness. They can think that they are the reason that one of their parents left or that the parent that left is abandoning them.
Children that come from families with broken marriages are more likely to experience broken marriages themselves. This can point back to the fact that they may have never had a successful marriage modeled for them and also that they are more likely to see divorce as a normal occurrence.
My biggest issue with divorce is that I believe that your integrity is one of the most important things one can possess. Marriage is not something to be taken lightly. When you say “I do,” you are making a vow—a forever promise—“for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish, ‘til death do us part.” Divorce blatantly breaks that promise and makes a liar out of those who made the vow.
If we’re making that kind of permanent promise, we should put some serious thought into whether or not the person we are considering marrying is someone we can spend the rest of our life with—because that is the promise we are making.
Mutual trust and intimacy are key to a marriage that lasts. While physical intimacy is certainly an aspect of a healthy marriage, exclusive, emotional intimacy is crucial as well. True intimacy comes when there are no secrets and you are truly vulnerable with your spouse (or spouse-to-be). This is why it is vital that you don’t rush into a marriage, you have to work up to this level of intimacy and trust.