It's not only okay, but it's healthy to admit when we have failed. Admission of failure sets a more likely stage for potential future success. To claim that we have been successful when we really haven't is an affront to those who really have been successful. And it is an affront to ourselves and the expectations of self that we should have.
I suspect Hollywood is the epicenter of faux successes. This week's Parade Magazine illustrates one such failure that was branded a success. Actress Ellen Barkin, while admitting that she made a mistake by marrying her second husband, claimed that even though she divorced her first husband, that marriage was a success.
"A successful marriage doesn't necessarily last until you're dead."
Yes it does. If society is not to eventually devolve into chaos, then Barkin's statement cannot be considered true.
I don't fault Parade Magazine for reporting the story. Nor do I fault Ellen Barkin for claiming that her first marriage was not a failure. But it was. Because she is not married to her first husband anymore. Hollywood is on the vanguard of the changing societal attitude that a failed marriage was somehow a victory.
The vow of marriage is much more serious than most people take it. Hollywood has largely transformed the sacredness of marriage into a game fit to be depicted in a senseless Hollywood movie. Man and woman take their marriage vows in front of family and friends for the reason that the vows should be taken seriously. I am not particularly suggesting that Ellen Barkin's marriage vows weren't taken seriously. But despite that, and despite the possibility that the failure of her first marriage may not have even been her fault, her marriage was still a failure. What I am suggesting is that Hollywood, with its generally decrepit values, is the most likely place in which people would agree that failure is actually a moral victory.
Sometimes marriages don't work out. Sometimes it just happens, even if the couple has done everything they can to make it work. But under any circumstance, a marriage ended in divorce is a failure. A worse--and seemingly more common--failure is not to admit it.