Is Divorce Genetic?

divorceI guess this could go the way of the infamous Twinkie defense but I think it’s a topic worth discussing.

For starters, I am currently going through my second divorce but I myself don’t come from a family of divorce. My parents have been married for more than 45 years. Both sets of grandparents were married for over 55 years. You could say that I am either the redheaded stepchild of the family or I have an uncanny ability to choose poor marriage partners (and the second assumption is pretty darn good). But I think it’s interesting to look at both my former spouse and current (but not for long) spouse.

Spouse Number 1 came from a family of divorce. His father was married five times, his mother three or four. He was left alone quite a bit as a young child. He didn’t have a solid family unit, or parental unit, to show him commitment, responsibility, nurturing or how to work through difficulties.

Spouse Number 2 comes from a family of divorce. Father married four times (so far), mother married three (so far). He was left to his own devices, it seems, quite a bit with his father working and playing and stepmother handling the household. Obviously no solid marital unit to show him commitment, responsibility or how to work through difficulties.

So did either Number 1 or Number 2 have any chance at all of a successful marriage? It wouldn’t seem so, not if you base your opinion on their backgrounds and family history.

This begs the question of whether ornot history is destined to repeat itself . . . and what to do to prevent that.

Obviously, neither you nor I can prevent others from choosing to do what they do. Number 2 wasn’t willing to go to counseling or do whatever it took to attempt to save the marriage. I think he would rather just be done with it and jump into an exciting new relationship than really work at it – – because he’s an ass. Number 1 was wary of counseling, mainly because he thought the counselor/therapist would tell me to leave him. I think both Numbers were also afraid that a counselor would hit on exactly what their issues and dysfunctions were, which is probably scary to someoen who has those issues and dysfunctions and doesn’t want to admit it.

With hindsight, I should have really thought more about entering into a committed relationship with Number 2. But I was in love and he told me that he recognized the problems his parents had, especially his father, and he wasn’t going to make the same mistakes (which of course he has made by the book). What do you do in that instance? Do you hold the person’s family and parental actions against them?

What do you think? Is divorce genetic? Are we setting up our future generations to be multiple marrieds?

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