Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Seriously wrong ideas

When I was a kid, if I complained about my arm hurting (for example) for no good reason, my mom would jokingly say, "Let's cut it off, then." No, it wasn't child abuse--just sarcasm and a way to get me to have some perspective on a minor bump or scrape.

One could hope that the author of this piece were using the same tactic. Sadly, I think he was actually serious.

What of the children in a society that is moving inexorably toward consecutive plural marriages? Under present arrangements in which marriages are ostensibly lifetime contracts and then are dissolved through hypocritical collusions or messy battles in court, the children do suffer. Marriage and divorce turn lovers into enemies, and the child is left to thread his way through the emotional wreckage of his parents' lives. Financial support of the children, mere subsistence; is not really a problem in a society as affluent as ours. Enduring emotional support of children by loving, healthy, and friendly adults is a serious problem in America, and it is a desperately urgent problem in many families where divorce is unthinkable. If the bitter and poisonous denouement of divorce could be avoided by a frank acceptance of short-term marriages, both adults and children would benefit.

By the way, this was written in 1966. There's nothing new under the sun, as Solomon once said.

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