An Open Letter to Kim Kardashian

Dear Kim,

Usually I peruse the celebrity gossip sites and immediately move on from what I’ve read, but your divorce has stuck with me. Perhaps it’s the daily news stories analyzing every detail of your short marriage, press releases sharing family comments or the fact that Kim’s Fairytale Wedding has still been airing frequently on E!. Whatever the case, it has stuck with me and, to get it out of my head, I have decided to speak my peace.

I had hoped your marriage would succeed. From the few episodes of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” and gossip articles I have read, it seemed like you were desperate to find love and I am always happy when someone finds what they want. Never was I jealous of your fame or annoyed that you and your family have branded yourselves in such a way that you can rake in millions of dollars and, therefore, prone to thinking that you didn’t deserve something as wonderful as a successful relationship and happy marriage. Being a Christian who believes in the commitment that is made when a couple marries and who is appalled by the increasing divorce rate in our country, naturally I did not want to see another marriage end quickly, especially in an industry where divorce seems to be the cliché approach.

After reading about possible reasons for your marriage, I also want to offer some wisdom. My husband and I married on September 6, 2008, approximately one year and one day after we met (on Myspace, believe it or not). While not quite as quickly as you and Kris Humphries, we married four months after getting engaged in anticipation of him being relocated by the Navy. That first year, my husband and I spent a lot of time apart. He ended up not being relocated, but our work schedules clashed so that I could go as long as two weeks without seeing him. It was hard and I occasionally had second thoughts, but not once did I consider filing for divorce. This year his schedule trainings and deployments will have us apart for 30 weeks out of the year, but I will still be with him at the end of it, even though I’m sure I will resent him, feel enormous amounts of stress and occasionally wish things were not the way they are throughout those 30 weeks.

My husband is not perfect. He embarrasses me a lot of the time with his desire to throw on whatever he can find on the floor, his odd sense of humor and his lack of common sense, despite the amount of scientific and random knowledge he has in his head. He is horrible at choosing gifts and opts to ignore holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day. But desire all of this, not once I have I considered filing for divorce.

When we married we talked about where we would live someday, but with the Navy prepared to consume the first 6 ½ years of our marriage, we left it open-ended. My family lives in Ohio. His family lives in Washington. Since the Navy recently transferred him to Washington, it looks like this will become our permanent home when his stint with the Navy ends in 3 ½ years. Am I happy with it? Not particularly. I love my family and have trouble coming to grips with the fact that I may never live within a reasonable distance from them again. But I also understand that marriage is about sacrifice. My family has the means and ability to travel to visit and visiting them has become a priority for us too. I know if I really wanted to move to Ohio in a few years, my husband would make that sacrifice for me, just as I will make a sacrifice and stay here instead.

Except in cases of infidelity, and even then it’s hard to imagine that enough could happen in 72 days to end a marriage, or cases of physical abuse (and extreme verbal and emotional abuse), there seems to be little excuse to end a marriage without even trying. There are days when I don’t like my husband very much and other days when I couldn’t imagine myself being more in love with him. A few times in our marriage an old flame has contacted me and I have wondered how I’d feel if things could be different, but sometimes we need to re-direct our heart. To some extent, I agree with following your heart, but your heart does not always contain logic and may need to be re-trained so that it can develop extreme satisfaction with the way things are.

I don’t agree with popular opinion that your marriage was a sham or that you didn’t marry for love, but I find it difficult to believe that in 72 days you fell out of that love enough to know it was worth permanently ending the commitment you made to one another – the commitment that still airs multiple days a week on E!. Instead of falling into the selfish desires of the heart and the cliché that has become Hollywood divorce, give your marriage a chance. You may be surprised by the outcome.

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