Breaking your vow

​We’ve all heard it bandied around: 50% of all new marriages end in divorce. A quick search, however, disputes that. Most of the estimates are lower, stating that somewhere between 10% and 40% of all new marriages end in divorce. Not 50%. That seems more reasonable.

Still, it’s not unusual for people who say “Til death do us part” to break their vow and be parted by something other than their mortality. But what about people who marry themselves to something else? What about individuals who swear an oath of fealty, not to another person, but to their craft or art? 

I’ll give you an example. Phronetic is a daily blog. I’ve written about how one of my writing principles is “Every day. For Decades.” Essentially, I’ve made an indefinite commitment to keep doing this. And my intention is to only allow that commitment to be broken by the Grim Reaper tapping me on the shoulder. I’ve looked this creative life in the eye, held its hand, and said, “Til death do us part.”

So what about the divorce rate for those who marry themselves to what they love? I wonder how many make honest commitments, like I have, to keep doing something they love, only to have their vow broken by the events of existence? And why do they allow themselves to separated from something they once swore they would never be separated from? Do they, as in normal relationships, experience a change of heart? Does a significant blow or windfall from fortune alter their perception and make them renege on their commitment? I really don’t know. I’m just wondering. 

But I do know this. Whenever these sort of commitments are made, they’re made with sincerity. They’re made with the best of intentions by people who look into the future and see their commitment enduring. But as they move into the future, the bonds loosen. We make a commitment under certain circumstances, but those circumstances change drastically, and then the question becomes, “To what extent must I be loyal to the past?”