With Valentine’s Day coming in a few days, I wanted to share some thoughts on the holiday, and love in general. The conventional version of Valentine’s Day focuses on intense romance: gushing, heart-pounding, knee-weakening love. But, as an experienced divorce lawyer, I truly know the reality of love and all its complexities.
The institutional take on love is, of course, marriage. Marriage in America is, however, a failed institution. There is a statistic that one in three marriages in America ends in divorce. But if you add to that number the married couples who live apart—for which there are no confirmed statistics—and those currently in divorce court--so not part of statistics either, at least for the moment—the number is absolutely massive. And then there are the couples that stay in unhappy marriages for the sake of their children—as the cliché goes—or economic reasons. That takes the total amount of failed marriages in this country up to well over 50%.
This all makes me see Valentine’s Day as something truly contrived. Love is great while it lasts, but if and when relationships change, life is too short to stay in a stagnant or painful relationship. Divorce is an empowering way to improve your life and daily happiness.
For those who have left relationships that simply don't make them happy, Valentine’s Day really is a time to celebrate.