Marriages are dissolving at alarmingly rapid rate these days. With divorce being so common, I do sometimes wonder why am I still in a marriage that is long dead. A few people I know whose marriage started breaking down later than mine is already divorced or seperated. They have moved on and start life anew. Why exactly am I still in? That’s a huge question. Too big for me to pick apart and describe in detail. Hell, I might not even know! I thought Susan Lapin made a very realistic but sadly true observation of divorce in the current economic situation.

The Only Option?
I have been reading that the divorce rate is down, with some speculation that the reduction is due to the bad economy. Seemingly, couples who had been planning to split are realizing that they can’t afford the lawyers, separate housing and other expenses that divorce entails.

If true, then at least for couples with children, an incredibly profound and rather sad statement is being made. Obviously, each couple’s story is unique, but somehow the implication is that when faced with data showing that the cost of divorce is too high, husbands and wives either make a strenuous effort to resuscitate a failing marriage or at least learn to co-exist. A life that had been unbearable becomes bearable for a while longer.

The data shows that children’s lives are overwhelmingly negatively impacted when their parents divorce. There are emotional, academic, social and financial implications that last well into the future. Surely, few parents would take steps to deliberately harm their children. I can only conjecture that a high proportion of divorcing mothers and fathers convince themselves that their family is the exception to the rule, in the same way that a smoker might tell himself, quite accurately, that not every one who smokes gets cancer.

While I don’t think that any honorable person makes the choice to divorce frivolously, exactly what does it say about society’s priorities if one effect of these economically troubling times is the realization that, when it comes to money but not to children, the decision to break up a home simply costs too much.

 

rk

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