Statistics are pretty grim when it comes to American divorce rates. According to the American Psychological Association, between 40 to 50 percent of American marriages end in divorce. The data is even more interesting when we look at Black American marriage and divorce patterns.
According to Black Demographics: “… we can see that although fewer Black women are “now married”, more Black women than Black men have been married at least once. This is because a higher percentage of Black women are divorced and widowed than men.”
With more Americans, across racial and social-economic levels, getting divorced, some of us have actually given up on love. It is a reality for many of us whether the divorce was amicable, contested, or some variation thereof. Yet, just because one marriage didn’t work, doesn’t mean that we should give up on the institution of marriage, prematurely that is.
Like some of you who are reading this, I was once a divorcee. I came from a household where my parents had been married for almost 50 years, so I never, ever imagined that my marriage would end, but it did. Although my marriage didn’t last very long, it did leave me questioning whether marriage was for me.
In fact, I was so ambivalent about marriage that for a few years, I immaturely boycotted weddings and televised wedding-themed shows. I also said that instead of marriage, I would go the Oprah and Stedman route. In other words, give me the man, but keep the ring.
But as the months turned into years, I realized that I needed to reevaluate my attitude. I needed to think about marriage the same way I did other things that did not go as planned—be open to trying again.
I started dating and believe me, dating over 40 is a topic worthy of its own blog. I seemed to meet three genres of men: 1) Can I marry you right now? 2) I am in a situation (code word for married), but can we still date? 3) I am not ready to settle down, but can we still do a Netflix night at your house?
To say that I became jaded is an understatement. Yet, somewhere along the way, I finally realized that I needed to do some deep soul-searching as to what I really wanted. I discovered that the problem wasn’t just with the men that I was attracting; it was also with me.