Connect with Point of View   to get exclusive commentary and updates

Good Divorce?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lots of myths surround the subject of divorce. One of the most pervasive is the concept of a good divorce. Book titles like The Good Divorce, Collaborative Divorce, and Happy Divorce keep coming.

Diane Medved has seen enough and wrote a great column in USA Today on the myth that divorce is good. She is certainly qualified to write on this subject. She is married to film critic and radio talk show host Michael Medved. She also wrote a book many years ago with the title: The Case Against Divorce.

She points out that the claims that divorced couples settle amicably and are better for the decision doesn’t hold up. Family researcher Maggie Gallagher noted that 80 percent of U.S. divorces “are unilateral, rather than truly mutual decisions.”

Children are often “collateral damage” when a divorce takes place. Judith Wallerstein is the author of a landmark 25-year study of divorced families. She rejects the cliché that “kids are resilient.” She documented the negative impact divorce had on children and showed that it continued into their adult years. She found that “many of these . . . children forfeited their own childhoods as they took responsibility for themselves, their troubled, overworked parents; and their siblings.”

The increase in divorce has also changed our perception of marriage. Diane Medved says that our notion of commitment has become shorter. Couples walking down the aisle hope their marriage will last, but they have much less assurance that their marriage will last in a culture where divorce it so prevalent.

Divorce has also decoupled paternity from marriage. The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that 48 percent of women cohabited with a partner as a first union. The overall out-of-wedlock birth rate is now at 40 percent.

Not all marriages can survive, especially when one partner strays sexually or is hopelessly addicted or abusive. But we now live in a world where divorce has become commonplace, and that is not good for marriage, family, and children.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

Viewpoints sign-up