Divorce offers baby boomers second chance at freedom

Being a baby boomer is strange. I don’t think our parents went through what we have gone through. I definitely tip my hat to anyone in my generation who has been able to hang on to their marriages.Many of us grew up in households where our parents had lived through the Depression. One thing was for sure back then; kids were meant to be seen and not heard. Discipline within the family was prevalent against our parents. There was no sparing the rod.

Our parents grew up with that mindset so when we were young we got clobbered when we did something wrong and therefore we couldn’t wait to get out of the house and on our own as soon as we could — none of this staying home on our parents’ insurance until 26. I was no different than my peers. I was on my own the minute I graduated from high school. I was still 17.

With our newfound freedom coupled with an angry sentiment about the world around us due to the Vietnam War, many decided that life after 30 was for old folks. Throughout our late teens and mid-20s, we men figured we were going to get drafted and killed in a war so far away.

We consciously or subconsciously decided that we might as well live life to its fullest since it may be a short one anyway. We took to experimenting with drugs. We weren’t drug addicts; we were just trying to find ourselves. With a laissez-faire attitude we lived a life of free love. As Stephen Stills sang: “Love the one you’re with.”

Baby boomers eventually put those free love thoughts on a back burner. We acknowledged that our parents had stuck out marriage even if they were unhappy. There was a stigma to divorce in our parents’ generation. But, as we BBs aged and raised our families and then sent our children out into the world we looked at our spouses and mumbled: “Is this all there is?”

After 26 years I had a marriage end not in acrimony but with pats on each other’s backs for a job well done raising our kids. But we decided not to emulate our parents.

Most of us decided it was time for each other to fulfill the wishes of our past and to live out life to its fullest with a sense of freedom. I think our generation is now considered the most divorced generation that has ever lived.

We are reverting to our youth and looking for peace and adventure. And, during the adventure we are linking up with others who are living the “love the one you’re with” attitude all over again. And, oddly enough, we are still great friends with our ex-spouses too. Strange, but not bad, and good for the kids too who are now adults.

I, too. am on Match.com along with about half of my generation and you know what? I’ve come to realize that no one really wants to find their soul mates because if they do, they’ll have to settle down again. There is a lot to say about complete control of your life. No compromises, no concessions, but no real companionship either. Two out of three isn’t bad.

Those boomers on Match.com are pretty well set in their ways. Trying to wedge someone new into the routine is pretty tough. Besides, freedom is precious so we’re talking to a lot of the opposite sex. We can almost be called “players” because we practically have to keep a blackboard with names and faces to remember who is who and what has been said to whom.

What a dilemma especially when no one really wants to give up their freedom. Yes, freedom is a very precious thing and it is also something we don’t want our kids to read about in history books in the future either.

They say that generations skip. That means our kids will likely be like our parents. They’ll probably get married and stay married for the long haul and even spank their children. But our generation is singing Crosby, Stills and Nash songs and reverting back to our youth. What a strange way for us to find peace.

In closing, my daughter’s and my book has just come out. It is called “Answers: Bridging the gap between Christianity and Spirituality.” I hope you’ll have a chance to buy the book or borrow it from someone who has. My daughter and I have some pretty eye-popping stuff in there.

In the meantime, I’ve got a bunch of e-mails from Match.com to answer from ladies who aren’t going to have any real interest in me anyway. It’s like the greyhound our family had when growing up. She would chase skunks and then pay the price after catching the darn thing. We, too, are on the chase but don’t want the prize either. What a goofy life.

 

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