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MAKE MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE HARDER…

By David Vance On July 6th, 2013

It’s been my view for a long time that modern marriage is entered into often on a far too trivial basis and exited in a similar way. The easy divorce laws means that getting unhitched is as easy as getting hitched. But IS this a good thing?

The chances of suffering a difficult childhood leapt for those born after 1971, when the law changed to make divorce easier. This generation was found to be significantly more likely to smoke, drink heavily, take drugs, fight, be mentally ill and have sex underage.

I agree with this chap;

Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust, a campaign group which researches the causes and consequences of family breakdown, said: ‘Casting aside traditional patterns of family life carries a high price tag in terms of the health, education and employment prospects of the next generation.  ‘The relaxation of divorce laws  – along with the increasing proportion of births outside marriage – has resulted in a growing number of children lacking the benefit of being raised by both their natural parents in a stable unit.’

That is the unvarnished truth. We have a society where marriage itself is in steep decline, where the divorce laws make it easy to get out of a marriage, where most kids are born outside marriage … and we WONDER why there is such dysfunctionality??? I am not say marriage is perfect, nor am I saying people in deeply unhappy and violent marriages should not have access to the divorce laws BUT I am saying that we should make it harder to get married and harder to get divorced.  The best reason for this is to

11 Responses to “MAKE MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE HARDER…”

  1. The broad idea of marriage comes from the natural process of pairing off, falling in love and (usually) producing and providing for offspring.
    The ideal of marriage is that the two (historically heterosexual) people will commit to each other usually in some sort of communally recognised ceremony, and remain loyal and faithful to each other until death parts them.
    A marriage can endure certain assaults on it, some better than others. For example, my own parents argued and literally fought with each other. An affair or perhaps two might be forgiven, but will be deeply damaging.
    Why?
    Why does a bit of a fling do so much damage to a relationship?
    Because it destroys trust, and the death of that trust is deeply damaging to us as human beings and our ability to form new relationships. Because in the end, real meaningful relationships are built on trust. We trust that our mother loves us. Our father makes children and their mother feel safe and secure. When we see Mum and Dad arguing it frightens us. When we see them make up and forgive each other it teaches us that people can disagree and remain friends, or in the case of families husband and wife.
    And so on. That is the ideal , and when you give up on the ideal , and pretend that infidelity doesn’t matter, everyone loses out.

  2. I don’t see the virtue in anyone staying in an unhappy marriage even if not violent and spreading their unhappiness.

    IMO children are better off with a happy divorce than an unhappy marriage. The problem is that many divorces are not that happy and that is what makes for unhappy kids – not the divorce itself.

  3. I would imagine that very few people marry with the expectation of having an unhappy marriage.
    So presumably they saw enough in each other to want to be together.
    So when the adjustments become problems counselling comes in. By counselling I mean close family, a minister or someone who wants to work with you to give the marriage every chance of surviving rather than failing.
    There are no perfect people and even the most in love of couples will still find points of disagreement or irritating personal habits. Sometimes space apart is needed, a time of reevaluation etc.
    The point is that the law is making it too easy to break up and move into another relationship perhaps with the kids, have more kids and then another relationship failure.

  4. ///IMO children are better off with a happy divorce than an unhappy marriage. //

    True.

    Who was it that said “There are few things more moving than a good old-fashioned divorce”
    (think it was Dame Edna Everage)

  5. You’re much better getting out of an unhappy marrige, than forcing yourself to stay in it.

  6. IMO children are better off with a happy divorce than an unhappy marriage. The problem is that many divorces are not that happy and that is what makes for unhappy kids – not the divorce itself.

    Totally agree.

  7. IMO children are better off with a happy divorce than an unhappy marriage. The problem is that many divorces are not that happy and that is what makes for unhappy kids – not the divorce itself.

    Agree 100% Aileen.

  8. Getting disorientated by the consensus. 😉

    Taking the point further, I saw a report about some fascinating research.

    Yes the best and easiest option for kids was being brought up by both parents who were happy in their own committed relationship. However second best was being brought up by separated parents who were happy in their alternative arrangements. This was way above those who were in homes where the parents were unhappily married and were fooling themselves that they were fooling their kids. No matter how well the parents thought that they were keeping their difficulties from the kids, they picked up on the misery anyway. So although it is important in divorce to reassure kids that it isn’t their fault and that you love them just as much as ever, it is also important for them for you to be happy. Apart from it making you more pleasant to be around, it increases their expectation of being happy and general optimism about the future.

    So the message to parents struggling on in unhappy marriages “for the children” is stuff your self indulgent martyr complex or if you do struggle on drop the pretence that you are protecting your kids.

  9. ” So the message to parents struggling on in unhappy marriages “for the children” is stuff your self indulgent martyr complex or if you do struggle on drop the pretence that you are protecting your kids.£”

    The point David is making band with which I totally agree, is that it is too easy to get married (with the emphasis on the day, and it is too easy to get divorced.
    What is being taught to children is that if you run into problems you don’t have to endure it you get a new relationship.
    But this suits men more than it does women, because men tend to be more into the physical side of marriage, whereas women tend to want a sense of permanence and commitment.
    It may have escaped people’s notice but stepchildren are more likely to become targets for rejection, bullying or sexual exploitation.
    Years ago the Church of England would have marriage classes before the wedding so that the couple had an understanding of what might go wrong and how it might be possible to deal with it. That made sense because people were getting married in church before families, friends and God.
    Marriage has become far too much about the dress and the day, instead of the commitment band the shared life together..

  10. Good opening line for a speech – As Henry VIII said to his first wife, “I won’t be keeping you very long…”

  11. Mahons

    except he kept her for quite a while, probably longer than all the others put together 😉