Friday, October 03, 2014

Marriage 'till death us do part'?

A recent article by demographers said that the current divorce rate is much higher than previously thought, especially among those 35 and over.

"This news," says Patrick Lee, a professor of bioethics, "suggests that two generations of no-fault divorce (among other things) have altered the general concept of marriage and have severely eroded our society's confidence that marriage can be counted on.

"Indeed, the high divorce rate has ceased to shock or even concern many people. Divorce has become an acceptable, normal fact of life. The predominant view is that many marriages break down through no fault on the part of either spouse: they simply "grow apart." And so - the thinking goes - one cannot expect married men and women to remain devoted to each other until death parts them. If marriage is a love relationship, and the love has died, is it not pointless to continue with the charade of 'marriage'?

"But this conventional wisdom is based on a redefinition of what marriage is. In the traditional understanding, the term 'marriage' is reserved for the comprehensive union of a man and a woman - bodily, emotional and spiritual. . . In the alternative view, marriage is seen as an essentially emotional and sexual relationship that, by implication, can be dissolved when the relationship is no longer emotionally fulfilling.

"This false view has caused marriage to be fragile and has led to immeasurable tragedy for children, wives, and husbands."

Marriage, says Professor Lee, requires a lifelong commitment. But what of those couples who simply "grow apart"?

Read the rest of the article. (You can see it here.) What the author says needs to be heard.

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