I was divorced 13 years ago. When people would ask me what the reasons were for
the divorce, my answer was because my wife wanted to... and it was as simple as
that. No other reason was needed by the court nor did they care. I agree
completely with the author of this article. No fault divorce has been disastrous
on the family. Too many people are divorcing these days because they want to -
taking no or little concern for how that will affect their children. When the
marriage gets rocky, (and what marriage doesn't at one point or another?)
or things aren't panning out quite like they were envisioned, people are
bailing - looking for greener pastures that rarely present themselves. And the
children suffer - big time. It is harder these days to get out of your cell
phone contract than your marriage and that is fundamentally wrong.
A good article with some valid observations. The decline in marriage is due to
long-term changes in many parts of society. More counseling before
marriage would help. Understanding that gender roles are an
artificial construct. Trying to keep family roles in the 50s while society is
more egalitarian is a major problem - in other words, men can cook and clean and
care for children as well as women, so be equal. This argument also
supports the need for SSM, to add stability to families headed by gays and
lesbians. Same-Sex Marriage would benefit marriage and society as a whole.
"Happy, healthy marriages and families should be on everyone's agenda,
..."When you make it impossible for some people to marry when
these people would love to marry, you are telling other people that you want to
marry that marriage isn't really all that necessary. That they should just
'live together' and be happy with what they have.People
are far more likely to listen to what YOU DO, than what you say.
Government should get out of divorce. If two persons want to marry they should
enter a private contract with church or organization. Then that church or
organization will be responsible for the Divorce. In Utah get married by the
Bishop and he is in charge of divorce. The County doesn't need the small
fee and have to pay for divorce judges.
@Ranch - you make a great point. The right really is driving the idea that
marriage doesn't really matter. @one vote. The
state is involved in marriage because of the myriad laws and protections and
benefits conferred by marriage. Remove the "civil" aspect of marriage
and all that goes away, from a free name change at the start to inheritance
benefits at death and over 1,000 benefits in between. People
pontificate about the religious fluff of the ceremony, but most will form a
lynch mob if you try to remove the civil protections.
@one vote;So, you'd be switching the "small fee" over
to the church? Way to make the churches even richer - you KNOW they'd
charge a fee for the service.Get churches out of the marriage
business; they have no business telling you that you may/may not marry or you
may/may not divorce.
What stuns me about this argument is the complete lack of concern for the act of
entering into a marriage. It's just assumed two people "fell in
love" got married and now we should save this agreement. You're not mature enough in this state to drink until you're 21 but
in our infinite wisdom we're sure that you are emotionally mature enough
for marriage at 18. In most areas you can enter into the contract of marriage
before you can buy a car on your own. Maybe rather than trying to
patch together dysfunctional relationships that the author says will have all
kinds of harmful consequences if allowed to split, we ought to spend time
figuring out what mistakes were made in the first place in forming the
I have been divorced 4 times now. I thought I was marrying
pscho-crazy-women. Turns out I'm actually a jerk to live with.
Everyone wants to improve conditions for children, and there are certainly
divorces that occur on flimsy grounds. Making it tougher to get divorced would
certainly buttress marriages that already exist, and perhaps prevent some future
divorces, but also prevent some future marriages.Employment
uncertainty is the biggest underlying problem with marriage. This is the
elephant in the room. We're moving to a shorter term "jobs"
reality and much less a "career" reality, as economic change picks up
speed.As the economy moves toward accelerated upheaval in
employment, young people concluding that getting married and having kids is a
much bigger economic risk than their parents faced. Some younger women will
decide to have children on their own, as their biological clocks tick away, but
economic anxiety will continue to dampen the overall marriage rate and the birth
rate.Not rocket science, folks.
I don't know what to think about this. On one side I see the need for
people to be able to obtain a divorce easily and on the other I understand that
we should work to lower divorce rates. I guess I'm just not sure how much
changes in divorce law would help but I readily admit that I don't know.I do know that our society has a real need to change how people get
married. I know that growing up in this culture I believed in the fairy tale of
marriage. Nothing I had learned growing up from my parents, or church, or
anything else prepared me for what marriage really was. I think we need to work
on preparing people for the realities of marriage in addition to divorce reform.
People are getting married expecting a certain type of life and have no idea
what the reality will be like.
I've been divorced and trust me, it was a sad and exhausting experience.
Trying to justify it to the government wouldn't have made it any easier and
it wouldn't have saved my marriage. It never fails to amuse how many who
rant about getting the government out of people's lives have no problem
with striking down no-fault divorce. The reasons a couple decides to split is
nobody's else business but theirs.And pragmatistferlife has an
excellent point: maybe Mormon culture needs to slightly less gung-ho about two
kids getting married as soon as they can if they're really serious about
battling divorce. I went to BYU-Idaho (Ricks back then) and the
meet-in-September-married-by-Christmas thing was very common...
Making divorce more difficult could also have an adverse effect on women in
I'll support making divorce more difficult to obtain only _after_ laws are
enacted to make it a lot harder to get a marriage license.Starry-eyed twenty year-olds, emotionally immature and generally clueless
about the realities of work, money, religion, child-rearing, sex, etc.... it is
in fact amazing that half of their marriages survive more than ten years. My hat's off to those couples who marry when they're barely
out of adolescence who stay happy and together for the rest of their lives.
It's wonderful, but we should acknowledge that it is rare and no more
"normal" than a teenager's face without acne.The time
for mandatory counseling is before marriage, not after.
Numerous studies indicate that having children out of wedlock, or trying to
raise a family of children on your own (after divorce)... is the biggest factor
in determining if your children will be raised in poverty.It's
worth trying to avoid it. The best way to avoid it is to make sure
you pick a spouse you can live with (not just temporarily). And a spouse that
is committed to pulling together, working together, giving up what they want,
and doing WHATEVER it takes to keep the family together... no matter what comes
up in life.It also helps to find a mate who has the skills and
interests needed to support the family. And one who can delay their own
gratification and focus on the needs of the family as a whole.Divorce doesn't make life "easier" (ask anybody). And starting
a family as a single-parent is not optimal. To give yourself (and
your children) the best chance at happiness... put serious consideration into
picking your mate, and marrying them, with the intent of staying together.Our culture today teaches children that divorce is almost inevitable, so
plan on it... that's sad...
Why plan for divorce? Why have a "parachute" ready, "just in
case"? Mature people can learn to work things out. They can learn that
everything does not revolve around them. They can "get over it",
whatever that "it" happens to be. They can learn to care more about
their children and their spouse than they care about themselves. But
self-centered people will fight instead of learning to work together. They will
demand that the world itself change to meet their expectations.After
having been married for more than forty years, my wife and I have learned from
each other. We've learned how to respect each other. We've learned
how to trust each other. We've learned how to care for each other.
We've have many opportunities to give up on each other, but we knew that
failure is not an option. I'm not saying that divorce is never
warranted, but too many people abandon ship at even the hint of a squall. The
squalls teach us to be sailors. Rough times in marriage teach us to trust, to
love, to understand. Give marriage a chance.
Re: ". . . economic anxiety will continue to dampen the overall marriage
rate and the birth rate."Actually, your cause/effect arrow is
pointed the wrong way.It's actually lack of marriage that
causes the economic anxiety.
Ranch: women or men in truly abusive relationships won't have any problem
getting a divorce under stricter divorce laws. That argument is a complete
misnomer and a scare tactic of those that want to bail whenever they want and
for any reason. For heaven's sake, when children are involved, let's
at least make the marriage contract harder to break than our cable or phone
Maybe instead of paying a small fee to the Government... they should have to pay
a HUGE fee to the Government. Because dissolving the marriage more than
doubles the chances that the children in this family are going to end up on at
least some type of public assistance (from their church or from the
government).The Government has a financial interest in the divorce
not happening.The decision to divorce is most likely going to cost
the government (meaning the tax payers) thousands and thousands of dollars in
assistance given over the years the children struggle to adulthood in a single
parent family.It's super hard for one parent to work enough to
support the children, AND be there enough to be both the parents. It's
just more than one person can do.It would be interesting to know how
much each divorce costs the Government....
I know many couples co-habitating for 30+ years.To be honest, they are
happier than most married people.Why?A friend told me
it's more the way things USED to be.100 years ago - the man
pretty much walked away with everything he'd earned.That
wasn't fair - so they changed the laws.In the years since - the
Pedulum has swung too far the oppostie way, It has slowly gone from a
50/50 split, to now -- when the woman gets to keep the house, the cars,
50% of his retirement, the children, AND he still gets stuck with her
Alimony and Childsupport!Today - a man is doomed if he gets
divorced, and the woman has everything to gain TO get divorced!Our Stake President is live'd right now, Sisters are looking for a
divorce for the Stupidest of reasons, and as a lawyer by Profession -- he
blames much of it with today's tipped scale.Being unmarried
balances everything back to that 50/50 split.So, looking at it
strictly from a financial/business/capitalistic stand point and not a religous
"sin" POV -- Why get married?It's a loosing
investment.A for-sure lost bet.BTW -- His view, not mine...
Mike,Would you stay married if you found out your wife voted for
Obama?Sorry, couldn't resist. Hey, its a joke...
Yes, it's important to insert more government regulations into the personal
lives of citizens. That'll fix everything. Forcing people into the molds
we envision for others always works out so well.While we're at
it, we should outlaw "conservative Christianity." Conservative
Christians have the highest divorce rate in the country. If we really care
about marriages, conservative Christianity has to go -- for the good of
marriage!Or, maybe we could let people figure out their
relationships on their own.
JoeBlow,Re: "Would you stay married if you found out your wife voted
for Obama?"...The question SHOULD be... would you MARRY someone
who would vote for Obama?===The time to figure this out
(IF it's a show-stopper for you)... is BEFORE you get married (not
after).You should figure stuff like this out BEFORE you get married
(if it would cause a divorce). Not be shocked to learn she is an Obama fan
only after years of marriage.Also things like, religion, culture,
family traditions, values, does she want kids, can she live on your expected
income, does she want to work, what kind of work does she want to do, education,
etc.Just getting married because you like each other... then finding
out your religion is incompatible, or one doesn't want family, or there is
some other show-stopper incompatibility (like being an Obama fan)... should be
exposed and worked out BEFORE marriage (not after).
Great article. No-fault divorce and a self centered society play large rolls in
the downfall of our children's futures. This has a much larger negative
affect than SSM only because it is so much more common. If you marry and
don't have kids feel free to part ways. Once kids are in the mix the game
changes! Only abuse should be a reason for separation once that commitment is
made. "Falling out of love" just doesn't cut it.
Love this article and agree with every word written. Thank you Beverly!
Re: "Conservative Christians have the highest divorce rate in the
country."Only if you don't count that huge, hedonistic
"Friends-like" American population component, of all ages and sexual
orientations, that engages in profligate unmarried serial polygamy, ignoring the
consequences to themselves, their partners, the children they're
responsible for creating, and the Nation, and that is applauded and extolled by
If the number 1 cause of Divorce is economics, Why not address the Number
1 cause of Divorce?I'm getting so tired of laws, lawyers, and
law suits, and figuring out how to keep SSM from getting married, while completley ignoring the problems we have will all the divorces
going on that shoudn't be happening in the 1st place!
"After having been married for more than forty years, my wife and I have
learned from each other...how to respect each other...how to trust each
other...how to care for each other. We've have many opportunities to give
up on each other, but we knew that failure is not an option."Having been married to my beautiful, LDS wife for more than thirty years (both
our first marriage), I can attest to the opposite attitude.We wake
up every morning knowing that the other person could, if they wanted to, walk
out the door and never look back."No-fault divorce" legally
and economically serves as a reminder to me NOT to be a big jerk.We
have also learned how to respect, trust and care for each other, because we know
that "failure" was ALWAYS an option! We don't take each other for
granted.When his wife was spitting mad at him, I had one LDS friend
tell me that "she doesn't have to like me; she just has to stay married
to me".I think that's a horrible attitude.His
wife left him for someone who treats her better.
Husbands should marry wives in the hopes that their wives will change them for
the better, and wives should hope their husbands will change them for the
better. Marriage must be a transforming experience, or it is a waste of divine
potential.Marriage relationships that do not grow run the risk of
stagnation and ultimately will dissolve. This is the substance of Eternal
Progression.This kind of marriage isn't a "fairy tale",
and it has been growing for us for over 40 years.
Stop being a ME man and the divorce rate goes down. Most come from selfishness
from one side or the other. Maybe teaching our children not to be self absorbed
would prepare them better for marriage. Good examples of marriage helps future
marriages last and survive. Adults need to start giving examples of good hard
working marriages so the younger generation can learn how to make it last.
To "Ranch" women in abusive marriages don't have to file for
divorce using "no fault" as justification. They can file for divorce on
the grounds of abuse, and that is sufficient.
No-fault divorce was our first foray into changing the definition of marriage to
accommodate the selfishness of adults. It led to the undermining of the nuclear
family, rising crime, increasing child abuse, lower economic security for all
involved and a massive shift in Americans' attitudes towards the validity
of marriage. And now we're being compelled by the courts to
change the definition of marriage yet again. What fresh new disasters will this
2 Bits:I completely agree with your advice to have a much deeper
sense of what a person is composed of *before* getting married, but there are
lots and lots of examples of people changing fundamental aspects of themselves
AFTER they're married.For example, how do you handle the
situation where a spouse decides, based on life experience, study, further
contemplation... that they want to change their church affiliation? Some
spouses may decide they want to join the LDS religion. Others decide they want
to leave the LDS religion. Or Catholicism, or Judaism, or Evangelical
Christianity, etc.For some people these are issues that transcend
mortality, and so it becomes a much bigger deal than a lot of other issues,
there becomes an urgency to find the permanent eternal companion.
2Bits,I used to be a very reliable GOP voter. Lately, not so much.
So, it can happen. People can and do change. Or in my case, I
found that I was getting too embarrassed to admit when I did.
If we ban divorce, maybe people would be less likely to rush in to marriage.A 3 month courtship is quite common in parts south of SLC. Maybe as a society,
Utahns should encourage people to slow down and perhaps feel less guilty of
expressing love to each other.
Divorce is way too easy.Our children are victimized the most.
Divorce, even if for the sake of the children, should be very difficult to get
if there isn't clear evidence of physical or repeated emotional abuse,
alcohol or drug addictions or infidelity on the part of one or both spouses, or
if there is clear and present danger to the children by one or both of the
parents.The spouse who files for divorce without any of these
aforementioned conditions present in the marriage should not be entitled to any
alimony and should not be granted primary custody.Why do I feel this
way, because my children and I (to a much lesser extent) are victims of divorce
that was pursued by their very selfish, lazy and mean-spirited mother who had NO
reason to seek a divorce from me. She cited "irreconcilable
differences" as the reason for petitioning for divorce from me several
years ago. This was a few weeks AFTER she reaffirmed her love and devotion to
me in a letter, to our therapist and to our bishop.
Rushing into marriage usually isn't a reason why people who are married for
15, 25, 35 years get a divorce.I had a 5 month courtship with my
wife but 3 children later and 17 years of marriage, she literally woke up one
day and decided that she didn't want to be married.People
should take their time to get to know each other better, but as the stats say,
those who divorce get divorced after 10 years of marriage. Selfishness is the
primary reason for divorce.
@Thinkman: I'm guessing she knew much earlier but waited years to finally
make a decision.
@James E;You wouldn't be "compelled by the courts" if
you would just do what is right in the first place.@2bits;Once upon a time, I voted pretty much straight republican. These days there
are very few republican candidates I could even bring myself to vote for. So
very, very few.
Thinkman:I appreciated your story, and agreed with your thoughts,
until you labeled your former spouse as “selfish, lazy and
mean-spirited.”She, as the mother of your children, deserves
some measure of respect, for that alone.
grounded and rooted,She gets respect from me, but I can't
change what she is. I call a spade a spade and I still love her - as the mother
of my children.
@JoeBlow 10:18 a.m. May 7, 2014Mike,Would you stay married if
you found out your wife voted for Obama?Sorry, couldn't resist.
Hey, its a joke...-------------------I don't see it
as that much of a joke, based on the things he's posted here. I think
voting decisions are something he decides, and she says "yes, dear."
Hopefully she would make up her own mind when she was in the voting booth but,
based on what I've seen of couples with the dynamic he shows here (two
examples among many I've seen -- the Elders Quorum President who asked my
husband how he could "let" me go to law school, the Relief Society
President who said she and her husband never disagreed and didn't
understand why I said I felt sorry for her), I don't see that happening.
And that's sad for her.
This kind of attitude really ticks me off! Lets see, I can not marry my partner,
who I have been with for fifteen years! Can you imagine what it feels like! Each
time you try to make life better, your wonderful neighbors are right their to
stop you! How wonderful, if you happen to be heterosexual, we will make you stay
in that marriage as long as we can and we will force you to go to counseling!
They don't care about the children of gay couples! Like my dad always
taught me, stay out of your neighbor's business! If somebody wants a
divorce, it isn't the business of some self righteous busy body to decide
whether they should have it or not! People here pretend to care about families,
but I don't believe like I once did! Look what they do to gay people! How
many spiritual parents have got rid of their gay child? Yeah, it truly makes me
I think one of the benefits of eliminating no-fault divorce is that people would
take marriage more seriously - and that's a good thing, because hardly
anything in life could be more serious. When people are married without having
to be fully committed, the chances of the marriage "working" (meaning
that the two are willing to work things out when difficulties arise) are
somewhere between slim and none.I recently learned about a curious
aspect of the human psyche, which is this: when we make irrevocable choices we
are happier than when we make revocable choices, regardless of what the choice
might be. So by making it easier to bail out of a marriage may actually decrease
the happiness of married couples in general, and result in people getting
divorced who might otherwise be much happier in marriage and might stay married.
Curious beings are we...
"No-fault" divorce is an absolute a crock....a total farce that simply
does not exist.In every single divorce that ever occured in any
country in any age, selfishness on the part of one or both spouses caused the
marriage rift and eventual divorce.Period.