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Why is the USA the World's Divorce Leader? (Poll + FReeper's book on Dr. Laura)
www.knowingme-knowingyou.com ^ | May 28, 2003 | Malcolm B. Stephens

Posted on 05/28/2003 1:23:02 PM PDT by MalcolmS

Imagine that you’ve decided to build a house in a particular area.  You’re willing to invest the money, time and effort to make something that will last a lifetime.  You want to move in and make it your own.  But as you drive through the neighborhood, you notice something is desperately wrong.  Some houses look sound, but many others are sagging—perhaps they are houses divided against themselves.  But most disturbingly, over half of the houses in this vast subdivision have been completely destroyed.  They are collapsed, burnt-out shells that leave the impression of a village in Kosovo after a bout of vicious ethnic cleansing.  You imagine the suffering of those who once lived in those homes, and you wonder, do I really want to move here?

That’s the question faced by Americans when they consider moving to the USA’s 51st state—the state of matrimony.  Do I really want to move here?  It looks like a bad neighborhood.

The US leads G8 Nations in divorce, and is in statistical tie with Sweden for the world’s divorce title.  The US rate is over 25% higher than the number-two contender, Russia.  Strangely, it’s almost 50% higher than Canada, a country with a culture that many others in the world see as almost indistinguishable from that of the USA.

Divorce Rates in G8 Nations (per 100 Marriages)

USA 54.8
Russia 43.4
UK 42.6
Germany 39.4
France 38.3
Canada 37
Italy 10
Japan 1.9

Other Reference Nations

Switerland 25.5
Sweden 54.9

(Source:  www.divorcereform.org)

The economic costs are high.  Statistically, women & children are hardest hit, and often end up struggling to get by.  That’s not to say that divorced men don’t take an economic hit too.  It’s a lose-lose proposition.  Some argue that divorce is a major cause of poverty in America.  That doesn’t count the emotional costs, such as the fact that millions of children grow up without their fathers as a significant presence in their lives.

On the flip side, married men and women are statistically more likely to live longer, happier, healthier and wealthier lives.

Given all this, you have to wonder about America’s future as the impact of a divorce culture generates a cumulative effect on future generations.

It also begs the question, why is the American divorce rate so high?  Some would blame it on America’s cultural center of gravity.  Hollywood is a place where marriages must be measured, like a baby’s age, in months in order for anyone to have a 25th “anniversary”. 

Could it be that American men so much worse than than men around the world?  It’s hard to believe American men are worse than, for example, the French.  Maybe American women have unrealistically high expectations of marriage.  Perhaps it’s just too easy to get a divorce.  Maybe it’s an unexpected side-effect of the feminist movement.  I really don't know.  (What do you think?  Take the poll below.)

But regardless of why, how should we address the problem?  Countries with low divorce rates, like Switzerland and Japan, might provide hints. 

Switzerland, despite being a developed, western country, has a divorce rate less than half that of the USA.  One unique aspect of Swiss life is the community pressure to conform that keeps the country running like, well, a Swiss clock.  This pressure dictates all sorts of social behavior, from when you shop (even “convenience” stores are open just one evening a week) to the disapproval expressed if your car is more than three-years old.  There is also disapproval if you divorce.

Japan is also famous for the social pressures to conform.  Historically, one undeniable part of that pressure is for women to marry young and to stay married. 

Now this kind of repressive peer pressure would not “take” in America, whose strength lies in its almost chaotic freedom.  Indeed, it is that freedom that inspires the energetic entrepreneurial engine that supports the American economy. 

As late as the 1960’s, divorce was indeed stigmatized in America.  But divorce was frowned upon even when one spouse was escaping infidelity, alcoholism or abuse.  That kind of negative peer pressure is not the answer.  Society now does not criticize divorce.  But has society gone so far that it cares little if your marriage succeeds?

America needs cheerleaders for marriage, and coaches too.  I believe there is a way to exert positive peer pressure in this one area.

So here’s a proposal.   Committed married couples should befriend and mentor engaged couples.   They should counsel and encourage them before they are married.  They should prepare them for the issues that they will face over their lifetimes.  And most of all, they should encourage a sense of accountability—a sense that someone truly wants their marriage to succeed, is pulling for them, and will be disappointed if they fail.  That’s the kind of positive peer pressure that can help America lose the one championship it never really wanted.

Malcolm B. Stephens is a co-author of the book Knowing Me, Knowing You:  A Multiple-Choice Quiz for Engaged Couples.  This book helps couples to get to know each other’s beliefs, pet peeves and expectations in preparation for married life.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: book; divorce; drlaura; marriage
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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This column (to be a weekly feature) is from the website for the book Knowing Me, Knowing You: A Multiple Choice Quiz for Engaged Couples.

This book was featured on Dr. Laura yesterday and has zoomed up in the Amazon rankings. At last check it was ranked no. 79 and gunning for Living History at no. 35.

It was written by a certain FR member's wife, and he helped enough to be graciously granted co-author status (blush).

If you have a minute, please visit the site to answer the poll question (sorry, it's not a live poll), or post your opinion below.

1 posted on 05/28/2003 1:23:03 PM PDT by MalcolmS
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To: MalcolmS
I think getting rid of no-fault divorce, while not the total answer, would certainly significantly lower the divorce rate.
2 posted on 05/28/2003 1:28:59 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: MalcolmS
bump for later read
3 posted on 05/28/2003 1:29:09 PM PDT by netmilsmom (God Bless our President, those with him & our troops)
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To: MalcolmS
thanks for the post. Not sure if any of the proposals outlined here will help. I wasted several hours this weekend watching a slow-motion trainwreck beginning: my divorced brother-in-law "married" a woman who has already notched up TWO previous divorces .... His parents(my -inlaws) have been married 43 years; his big brother & I married 20. So none of this happened for lack of successful examples. Six children by three fathers are being manipulated in this situation and I cannot foresee it getting better with time.
4 posted on 05/28/2003 1:32:23 PM PDT by Temple Drake ("till death do us part -- REALLY, I MEAN it this time!")
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To: MalcolmS
I'm not sure that the numbers posted here mean all that much on their own. Divorce statistics among different nations should first be adjusted to account for variations in co-habitation without ever getting married. The U.S. may simply have a high divorce rate because more people are getting married who might otherwise have been cohabitating in other countries.
5 posted on 05/28/2003 1:32:31 PM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: MalcolmS
The poll left out some other possible reasons for divorce.

1. You accidently married a shrew
2. She jumped from 120 to 230lbs in less than a year and won't get off her @$$ to do anything about it.
3. She asks your opinions but does whatever the hell she wants anyway.
4. She invites her liberal democrat mom over to stay for weeks at a time
5. Everytime you leave the house to go to Home Depot she snidely asks, "Going to see your girlfriend again?"

Uh, at least that's what I've heard can happen...

6 posted on 05/28/2003 1:40:54 PM PDT by Hatteras (The Thundering Herd Of Turtles ROCK!)
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To: MalcolmS
Committed married couples should befriend and mentor engaged couples. They should counsel and encourage them before they are married

Are you sure this wasn't Dr. Laura herself that wrote this ?

IMHO the ball is in the engaged couples court, if they fear a possible failure in their future life together and wish to avoid it, it is them that should actively seek advice and guidance.

Most people do not want unsolicited advice and will resist and or resent it.
7 posted on 05/28/2003 1:42:47 PM PDT by HEY4QDEMS
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To: Alberta's Child
I'm not sure that the numbers posted here mean all that much on their own. Divorce statistics among different nations should first be adjusted to account for variations in co-habitation without ever getting married. The U.S. may simply have a high divorce rate because more people are getting married who might otherwise have been cohabitating in other countries.

That's true. Basically the statistics are reported as divorces per 1000 people or divorces per 100 marriages. I thought the per 100 marriages gave a better idea of one's chances for success. As far as I can tell, few if any countries capture statistics for living-together followed by break up rates for cohabitators. (ie. they may capture cohabitation rates, but not breakups.)

Sweden is quite badly off however. They have many people living together, relatively few marriages, and still a high divorce rate.

The Marriage Project at Rutgers reports that a pattern of cohabitation significantly reduces your chances for sucess in maintaining a marriage.

Click Here

8 posted on 05/28/2003 1:42:57 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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To: MalcolmS
Well of course there are many reasons for this situation including the sexual revolution and yuppie narcissism. But one of the main reasons is that corrupt lawyers have taken over the divorce courts and take turns acting as judges and as divorce lawyers--and also as the legislators who put the no-fault divorce laws in place.

There's big money in divorce--for the lawyers. No fault divorce is very good for business.

There was an excellent article on this subject in Crisis Magazine last fall. In fact, I think I'll post it here in the forum. Meanwhile, here's a link:

http://www.crisismagazine.com/november2002/feature2.htm
9 posted on 05/28/2003 1:43:38 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: MalcolmS
What are the stats if we exclude Liz Taylor and Larry King?
10 posted on 05/28/2003 1:44:33 PM PDT by sharktrager (There are 2 kids of people in this world: people with loaded guns and people who dig.)
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To: MalcolmS
Why is the USA the World's Divorce Leader? (Poll + FReeper's book on Dr. Laura)

AFFLUENCE

11 posted on 05/28/2003 1:45:43 PM PDT by Helms (Dems Find Smoking Gun: 45-55 Loss in Senate, Bush Wins 2nd Term)
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To: MalcolmS
"why is the American divorce rate so high? "

The answer is quite simple. American feminists.
12 posted on 05/28/2003 1:49:35 PM PDT by week 71
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To: HEY4QDEMS
>>Are you sure this wasn't Dr. Laura herself that wrote this ? <<

Yeah...I'm pretty sure.

>>IMHO the ball is in the engaged couples court, if they fear a possible failure in their future life together and wish to avoid it, it is them that should actively seek advice and guidance.<<

Well that's kind of the point of the article. They should fear possible failure. It's a very real possibility.

And many couples are worried, and open to well considered mentoring. If not, that is their choice.
13 posted on 05/28/2003 1:50:24 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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To: Helms
Specifically, the affluence of women being significantly greater after they sue their husbands for every penny they ever made... perhaps if there was a degree of equity in the law, there wouldn't be such a strong incentive for a woman to screw over her husband and family.
14 posted on 05/28/2003 1:52:06 PM PDT by thoughtomator ("There are no liars in our newsroom! Never!" - New York Times Bob)
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To: Hatteras
>>The poll left out some other possible reasons for divorce.

LOL

Hey, there's only so much room on the Internet.
15 posted on 05/28/2003 1:52:09 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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To: MalcolmS
Why is the USA the World's Divorce Leader?

Because we can afford to be.
Divorce is facilitated by afluance.
If others could afford it, they would.

So9

16 posted on 05/28/2003 1:53:23 PM PDT by Servant of the Nine (A Goldwater Republican)
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To: Cicero
>>There was an excellent article on this subject in Crisis Magazine last fall. In fact, I think I'll post it here in the forum. Meanwhile, here's a link:

http://www.crisismagazine.com/november2002/feature2.htm

Interesting article. I wonder how the system compares between the USA and other countries?
17 posted on 05/28/2003 1:54:51 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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To: Servant of the Nine
Thank God we've protected the sanctity of marriage from those evil homosexuals!
18 posted on 05/28/2003 1:55:53 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez (The Ever So Humble Banana Republican)
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To: MalcolmS
I question the author's conclusions, at least by looking at comparative divorce statistics within the United States.

These statistics show no evidence that social conservatism, as generally understood, reduces divorce rates. Rather, the very strong correllation is to education and economic status.

Percentage of weekly churchgoers, views on abortion and other "social issue" touchstones, etc., tend to correllate positively with the WORST divorce rates, whereas places like Connecticut and New Jersey, which score very poorly on the social issue measures, have much lower divorce rates.

This makes perfect sense to me. The catalyst to many divorces are money problems or substance abuse -- which are going to effect those of lesser education or status with far greater frequency. The thing that keeps many unhappy couples together is the way that divorce can simply ruin a middle class family financially -- losing a house or the ability to have a nice vacation to Europe each year simply doesn't figure to a family that lives in a rented 2-bedroom apartment.
19 posted on 05/28/2003 1:55:55 PM PDT by only1percent
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To: week 71
The answer is quite simple. American feminists.

I don't think that's the answer. Most of them are lesbians anyway.

But I do think the answer is quite simple -- Jerry Springer.

LOL.

20 posted on 05/28/2003 2:01:06 PM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: sharktrager
Part of the reason is people like Liz & Larry.This rate is for all divorces not first time divorces.People who can't make one committment don't seem to get it right the second and third time either.
21 posted on 05/28/2003 2:02:12 PM PDT by Blessed
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To: thoughtomator
Divorce courts screw men in many instances but the statistics demonstrate that divorced women fare very poorly after getting divorced, relative to women who stay married, and even relative to divorced men.

The factors in this are pretty straightforward. A divorced woman with children has very, very little chance of career advancement to make higher earnings, and relatively little chance of attracting a man with high earning potential himself (who can, of course, pursue younger unburdened women). Although the woman usually gets the house, and sometimes this can be very unfair in terms of balance sheet to the husband, what she actually gets in most cases is a chunk of illiquid home equity and a large mortgage that hits her reduced (and unlikely to grow) income. And, finally, although child support can often be a terrific burden on the husband, it is rarely actually equal to the costs of maintaining and educating the children.

Basically, if your husband is a good provider, divorce is a remarkably stupid decision, financially speaking. Women who divorce men with good incomes simply have other fish to fry. On the other hand, if your husband is bum, or a gambler, and he's putting nothing to the bottom line, than the woman is better of without him in every respect.
22 posted on 05/28/2003 2:04:05 PM PDT by only1percent
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To: only1percent; Servant of the Nine
only1percent said

This makes perfect sense to me. The catalyst to many divorces are money problems or substance abuse -- which are going to effect those of lesser education or status with far greater frequency. The thing that keeps many unhappy couples together is the way that divorce can simply ruin a middle class family financially -- losing a house or the ability to have a nice vacation to Europe each year simply doesn't figure to a family that lives in a rented 2-bedroom apartment.

Whereas Servant of the Nine said

Why is the USA the World's Divorce Leader?

Because we can afford to be.
Divorce is facilitated by afluance.
If others could afford it, they would.



OK Freepers. You tell me whose right ;-)
23 posted on 05/28/2003 2:04:31 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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To: MalcolmS
Until death do us part. Or until one of us gets double really really mad. Too many people quit too soon. One of the best blessings of marriage is facing the hard times together and winning sometimes. An then there's kids....
Oh nevermind......
24 posted on 05/28/2003 2:10:08 PM PDT by showme_the_Glory (No more rhyming, and I mean it! ..Anybody got a peanut.....)
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To: Alberta's Child
The U.S. may simply have a high divorce rate because more people are getting married who might otherwise have been cohabitating in other countries.

As well as taking into account how many times each person is divorced. It seems to me that there are certain industries and perhaps communities that a person marries 5, 8 times and maybe more. jmho

25 posted on 05/28/2003 2:10:22 PM PDT by blackbart1
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
True - because every divorce does, in fact, have someone to blame - often both parties. Divorce in this country is far to simple.

Our society has developed into a bunch of people who demand IMMEDIATE satisfaction. Whether it is getting quick cash at an ATM, quick seating in a restaurant, FedEx overnight delivery of that special gift, etc. We simply want everything right now. Combine this trait with the fairly recent development of a "throwaway" society - single use products, disposable razors, disposable autos, etc. It's no wonder divorce is so common.

You buy a new car. Just a few years down the road, the warranty is out and you start to have mechanical problems. The cost of repairing begins to outweigh the benefits of just getting a new car.

The 'ole computer is getting a bit slow - after all, it's nearly two years old. Sure it still works with little trouble - but it's just far slower than the new models - Run out and buy a new one.

That wife sure seemed great when you first met her - attractive, smart, and fun to be around. Of course, after just a few years, that perky personality has turned from cute to irritating. We use to have "relations" regularly and passionately before our wedding. Now, just a couple of years later - what little there is is so bland and predictable. The 'ole wife has also put on a few pounds.... Oh well, I like the look of the newer models. Let's get a divorce.

Of course that last example goes both ways - but still, the general mentality of a throw-away, gotta have it NOW society is showing it's ugly side.

The value of marriage has also been degraded - both from the Homosexual agenda and from the media's presentation of the screwed-up family. The government rewards women who have children out of marriage with monthly payments.

People forget that marriage is a responsibility. If you enter into the COVENANT (also known as a contract or agreement) of marriage, you have a responsibility to do everything in your power to protect and maintain (even grow) the relationship. Ask any of the "old-timers" who have been married for 50+ years about the relationship - I guarantee that both parties would agree that they had hard times and times that they were very tired of each other - but they persevered.

The absence of God in a relationship also adds difficulty to a marriage. I thank God every day that I found a wife who can put up with me - even when I am a blooming idiot.

My wife and I dated for a year and a half before we were married. I think getting to know someone before you marry them is of utmost importance. Dr. Laura preaches that you should date for at least two years before getting engaged. This is not bad advice. Unfortuantely for those who are members of the church of instant gratification, this takes too much time.
26 posted on 05/28/2003 2:16:37 PM PDT by TheBattman
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: only1percent; Alberta's Child
Percentage of weekly churchgoers, views on abortion and other "social issue" touchstones, etc., tend to correllate positively with the WORST divorce rates,

I suspect Aberta's Child would say that weekly churchgoers, etc, get married more (instead of cohabitating), and thus get divorced more.

Recently, someone posted on the "Double Income No Sex" thread that couples who pray together daily have a very low chance of breaking up. I Googled it up and found this:

Christian Divorce Statistics

They claim the rate is an astounding .1/100

They also say that those who go to church regularly, as opposed to at Christmas and Easter I suppose, have a 1 in 50 chance of divorce. This is at odds with other statistics, but they may have a far more strict definition of churchgoing.

I haven't looked into the original source or tried to validate this astonishing claim in any way (I have to confess to some skepticism), but if daily prayer is taken as an indication of commitment to your faith (rather than just church-going), maybe the truly faithful are doing OK after all.

28 posted on 05/28/2003 2:25:12 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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To: MalcolmS
The liberals promoted a program - if it feels good do it - nobody argued ... of if they did, the mainstream media at the time ignored it.
29 posted on 05/28/2003 2:28:26 PM PDT by CyberAnt ( America - You Are The Greatest!!)
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To: MalcolmS
By the way, I want to correct an ambiguity -- the percentage of weekly churchgoers who get divorced is relatively small.

The divorce rate in AREAS with high percentages of weekly churchgoing, or high poll responses against legalized abortion or other "liberal" ideas and practices is relatively high.

However, I think that event that is simply a second-level correllation, reflecting the fact that social conservativism of the public, political sort is most prevalent in areas with lower educations and incomes, with the primary correllation (and, likely, causation) for the divorce rates lying in those economic factors.

I do think that, the >private<, non-partisan practices of the affluent suburbs and chic urban districts are actually intensely socially conservative. No one is more militant about property values, about keeping the unfit or unpleasant out of their neighborhoods and their kids schools, about getting rid of crime ... and I can't believe that there's anywhere in the Bible Belt that would look more askance at unwed teenage mother in the neighborhood than would >my< very typical middle-class New Jersey suburban neighborhood.
30 posted on 05/28/2003 2:45:55 PM PDT by only1percent
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To: only1percent
Preliminary (Unscientific non-randomized) Poll Results

Blame Hollywood: 0%
Divorce is too easy to obtain: 5%
Men behaving badly: 0%
Women behaving badly: 5%
Unrealistic Expections/Lack of preparation: 42%
No Stigma about divorce/Lack of marriage support: 47%

31 posted on 05/28/2003 2:53:31 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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To: MalcolmS
bump
32 posted on 05/28/2003 2:57:07 PM PDT by Lady Eileen
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To: Alberta's Child
Oh really? Why is a woman who believes in the radical notion that women are people too, and deserve the same rights and considerations as the other half of the human population, in other words a feminist, automatically considered a lesbian? Every feminist I know, including myself, is either married or involved in a relationship. I'm a 38-year-old never-married single parent, and people think that because I'm not married at my age that I'm a lesbian. Well, maybe it's because most men aren't interested in single parents even if they have college degrees and can hold their own intellectually and financially. And why are other people's marriages the business of everyone else, anyway? It's no one's business but their own.
33 posted on 05/28/2003 3:03:23 PM PDT by Roxymoron
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To: MalcolmS
I'm sorry, but I pay absolutely no attention at all, nor is it possible for me to care less, to anything that hypocritical judgmental shrew who didn't even care enough about her own mother to check on her before she killed herself has to say, especially about matters that are none of her business, like other people's marriages, divorces, children, etc. Divorced people (like her) who make a career out of slamming other divorced people have no place at all in my mind.
34 posted on 05/28/2003 3:06:03 PM PDT by Roxymoron
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To: only1percent
I don't know that it's true that the divorced woman is in such bad shape. A lot of these women have college degrees and careers, finding a job should be no harder than it is on anyone else - a lot easier, in fact, given the resources they acquire from their husbands through divorce.

Men are thoroughly discriminated against when it comes to divorce - via financial rape, and via being completely unable to get custody of one's children unless the ex-wife happens to be in jail.

There are several divorces in my family, in each and every case the husband has been left with nothing except an obligation to make regular monthly payments to his ex-wife. They then get to try and start their lives anew at 40, 50, 60 years of age.

In addition, approximately half of the people I went to school with also had divorced parents. I know of no case, except one (where the mother disappearred completely, without a trace) where events turned out any differently.

Having gotten quite a few up-close looks at divorce and the resulting carnage, I wonder why any woman would stay married rather than cash out with divorcing her husband. I have also noticed, by the way, that a feminist attitude by a married woman is a nearly certain predictor of imminent divorce.
35 posted on 05/28/2003 3:11:20 PM PDT by thoughtomator ("There are no liars in our newsroom! Never!" - New York Times Bob)
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To: only1percent
I do think that, the >private<, non-partisan practices of the affluent suburbs and chic urban districts are actually intensely socially conservative. No one is more militant about property values, about keeping the unfit or unpleasant out of their neighborhoods and their kids schools, about getting rid of crime ... and I can't believe that there's anywhere in the Bible Belt that would look more askance at unwed teenage mother in the neighborhood than would >my< very typical middle-class New Jersey suburban neighborhood.

I've been trying to understand. Are you equating the "peer pressure" discussed in the article with social conservatism? Social pressure need not be inherently liberal or conservative. For example, the social pressure exemplified by the whole political correctness phenomenon is definitely not conservative.

36 posted on 05/28/2003 3:17:08 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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To: Hatteras
Oh, I can relate to about half of those things. Throw in advice from some of her girlfriends (a miserable, divorced
shrew, and a quack social worker), and a real clymer of a father-in-law, and all bets are off.
37 posted on 05/28/2003 3:17:42 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: MalcolmS
Marriage will soon disappear, sooner here because America is in fact the future of the world. Child-bearing will also be a thing of the past. Babies will be created in gov't labs and reared in gov't nurseries. And they'll all look the same and get standard gov't education. Happening right before our eyes.
38 posted on 05/28/2003 3:22:07 PM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: thoughtomator
Of course, most men fare badly financially out of divorce. However, that does not refute that the women have >also< fared badly, relative to how they would have fared if they had not been divorced.

Divorced women with custody can find jobs, but have a terrible time gaining advancement, advancement that they could more easily procure if they had the supports and economic benefits of marriage. The "resources" that most women acquire from their husbands on divorce are typically outweighed, on a practical basis, by their accompanying liabilities (the home equity comes along with the mortgage payment, the child support comes along with all the costs of raising and providing for the children).

All of this means that, sentiment aside, you simply cannot say that women are, in any statistically significant sense, motivated to divorce by financial gain.

As for child custody laws can certainly be enforced unfairly. However, the laws, themselves, are pretty straightforward: absent a showing of unfitness, primary physical custody goes to the parent who has had the greatest prior involvement in the child's day to day activities. A father can gain divorce "insurance" by making sure that he matches the time, hour for hour, day for day, that his wife invests in his kids. Or else change the laws to make the basis for primary custody something else.

I am not conviced that the primary physical custody laws are crying out for change. I do think that the visitation laws are susceptible for great abuse, and the courts must be aggressive in revoking the custody of custodial parents who frustrate their ex's weekend, vacation, and special occasion rights.

Sadly, though, many ex-husbands play into the hands of their ex-wives by being unable to control their temper and let their lawyers do their talking for them. It only takes one angry or threatening outburst to get the restraining orders piled on, and months (or years) of supervised visits and mandatory anger management therapy to get the orders modified. Women tend to be irrational in >filing< for divorce -- men tend to be irrational >after< the divorce.
39 posted on 05/28/2003 3:28:04 PM PDT by only1percent
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To: RightWhale
Sounds like it's going to be a brave new world.
40 posted on 05/28/2003 3:31:12 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: MalcolmS
I think that a significant error is made to associate, on the one hand, the sort of social pressure which restricts divorce and other socially destructive practices, and, on the other hand, the sort of overt social conservativism to which it seemed the author was alluding. In other words, the sort of community where 20% go to church weekly and 70% vote for Al Gore can be far more effective against divorce and illegitimacy than the community where 60% go to church weekly and 40% vote for Al Gore, if the former has higher incomes and better educations than the latter.
42 posted on 05/28/2003 3:36:11 PM PDT by only1percent
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: MalcolmS
We're about there, Pilgrim. Plymouth Rock, dead ahead.
44 posted on 05/28/2003 3:40:50 PM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: Hatteras
Women change, it's that simple...in personality and size. I'm single thank God, I've viewed at least 20 best friends get married. In all but one case, the women gained 25-40% body weight within 3 years. The loving personality becomes a distant memory, and men reach their snapping point.

Travel abroad and note the differences. In the last country I visited, I didn't see one overweight woman in a week, and literally had 3 and 4 at a time competing for me. Here you get enough baggage on a date you feel like UHaul. Oh, and you better have front row seats if you expect a phone call returned.

Why do married men die before married women? Because they want to.

46 posted on 05/28/2003 3:43:16 PM PDT by T. Jefferson
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To: ohiopyle
I'm not sure of this -- "fault" laws mainly put more money in the hands of the lawyers. To have a real effect you would have to restore them AND greatly restrict the "mental cruelty" and "constructive abandonment" grounds and proof of the same. The end result would be forcing people to stay married involuntarily -- is this what we want the state to be doing?
47 posted on 05/28/2003 3:46:45 PM PDT by only1percent
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To: Blessed
I agree, I've heard that the repeat offenders make this statistic rather inaccurate. First-time divorces are a lower rate.
48 posted on 05/28/2003 3:47:09 PM PDT by LibertyAndJusticeForAll
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: Hatteras
If your wife see's your post #6, you are dead. LOL. If my x even saw me laughing at this she would probably come back to try and kill me!
50 posted on 05/28/2003 3:58:04 PM PDT by paul51
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