Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cheaper to keep Her

Much to my horror, my husband has counseled several men on the "its cheaper to keep her" line of thought. I used to argue about the images that would come to any mans mind when you talked about keeping his wife, because it is, well, "cheaper." The more he would explain his concern for the emotional, spiritual and financial future of people who discarded marriage too easily - the more upset I would get that he didn't talk in terms of "love, family, covenant.........." - he's a guy.

I stumbled on these pictures over a 2 year period and I regret to say - I'm starting to fully understand my husband. With all of the media coverage focusing on "How much did Juanita Jordan get?" - I was starting to have a "it's cheaper to keep her moment." Insert new idea, "it is not cheaper for her to keep him."

I imagine that for many wives, not unlike myself, marriage can be a roller coaster ride. Early in our relationship I didn't know what to expect or how to communicate, we were 2 workaholics heading for a dangerous spiral. Twelve years and three kids later, our marriage is still a work in progress. Wonderful news is - we work and we make progress. We are a5 very blessed people over here in this household.

I try to avoid posting regularly about pop culture or issues that are disguised as news on any given day - but this whole issue of celebrity divorce is getting on my one last nerve. Marriage can take its toll. When I look at the pictures in this entry, I see a woman in transition. A woman who had to make a decision for herself what she wanted the future to look like. A woman who had lost herself in being a wife and mother, and who ultimately had to look in the mirror and decide on something new. I believe you can have everything in life - but I do not believe you can have it all at the same time. I strive for home/work/life balance - and I'm starting to like that picture of the future. Nonetheless, there is lots of work to be done.

When I hear media outlets talk about the Jordan's with the horror that Juanita might get over $150 million - my skin crawls. As a culture, we love Michael Jordan. His basketball prowess, his story of undiscovered talented done good, his work ethic, his court presence, his everything. What people seem to fail to understand is that all of the decisions in life have a price. I tend to look at "Mrs. Jordan" like I look at the wives of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Colin Powell, and others. I believe at my core that these women could have made the decision to be and do whatever they wanted to. Reality is, having a family does have its costs. When you are raising children and planning for the future - there are times when your dreams are deferred in order to prioritize first things first. This isn't a conversation about working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, this is a testament to all moms. All wives. All women. We are value added to the equation. Juanita has been working long, hard, I imagine often times alone, to do her job well.

My theory is this - Michael Jordan wouldn't be "Michael Jordan" without Juanita. His marriage didn't change his talent, but it would have changed his entire life make-up. While he was traveling, working, dreaming of higher heights - the woman by his side for that entire time was Juanita. I have no first hand knowledge of what did or didn't happen to lead to the decision for divorce, but for anyone that is a hard choice. While it may have been cheaper to keep her in his book - evidently the cost for her got to be too much. Her emotional, physical and financial well being could no longer be tied to him. I'm saddened at the prospect. I disagree with the thought that her return on investment paid well. There are children involved and a lifetime of dealing with public scrutiny - but bottom line, this is the transition of yet another marriage covenant over. Couples in general are a dying breed.

So as Forbes does its research that basically looks like of list of "women who got too much," and publishes divorce statistics like we study trends in purchasing toys - I say enough already. Evidently one morning Juanita looked in the mirror, saw the writing on the wall, and made a decision that this isn't okay anymore. What comes out of her life investment can't be summed up in facts and figures. From one woman to another I wish her and her family well - as evidently the emotional, spiritual and financial costs are sometimes not enough to make either party stay.

Marriage commitment - Over a decade
Divorce attorney - Multiple millions
Divorce settlement - $150+ million
Embracing what life has to offer, next - Priceless

There is something about transition in life. Over at crazyhipblogmamas you can catch a few others, as they talk about transition (physical, emotional, spiritual) too!

1 comment:

Angelika said...

This is a great post!

I'm going to put it on my blog under "Best Posts from Other Bloggers". :-)

Rarely do people, even women, consider the fact that part of their "job" as a wife, is making life easier for their husband.

If she feeds the kids, washes his clothes, keeps the house, etc., she's making his life easier.

And she isn't getting paid for it.

Men like Michael Jordan WOULDN'T be who they are if they hadn't had a supportive woman standing with them!