Divorce, children, and a couples expectation of the future

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

Beverly Willett has an interesting piece on how she fought against her divorce:

The fact of the matter is that when couples have children you all become inextricably intertwined. I always pictured my husband and I turning to each other as we applauded our daughters in their school plays, and sitting in the car, tearful, after dropping our eldest off at college. It’s nearly eight years since my husband left, and I still have trouble opening the family photo albums. But I’ve had to move on. There are more pressing problems like finding a job and health insurance when my costly COBRA runs out in about a year.

Governor Paterson commended New York’s legislature for “fix[ing] a broken process.” But no-fault isn’t the answer. It won’t cure our national preoccupation with searching for happiness in greener pastures–the root cause of rampant divorce–any more than a fault-based system of divorce can. We’ve created a happiness culture without understanding what that means or how to achieve it. Ditch your spouse and eat, pray, love your way to the next one.

I am left wondering if her husband started the marriage with the same aspirations that she did. I wonder if he too “always pictured my [wife] and I turning to each other as we applauded our daughters in their school plays”. Or did they start the marriage with very different ideas about what the future would bring? Different values about how hard they should try? It seems to me that, to some extent, the high divorce rate is a natural side-effect of living in a diverse society, a society where people come together with different values and different expectations.