The M.Guy Tweet

04.18.2013, 8:31 AM

Marriage Media
Week of April 14, 2013
Courtesy of Bill Coffin

1. An Interactive Look at Declining Divorce Rates, Visual.ly

Contrary to popular belief, America has seen a decline in divorce rates over the last 20 years. Use the interactive graphic. . . to see how the divorce rates have declined in your state and across the country.

2. Women Are Choosing Cohabitation Before Marriage, Medical News Today

Many cohabitations happen at a young age, with one-quarter of females cohabiting by age 20. Within the first year of living together, close to 20 percent became pregnant and gave birth.

3. How To Be a Happy Working Dad, Part One, GGSC at University of California, Berkeley

But even though our time with kids has tripled since the mid-sixties, the Pew Report finds that we’re two times more likely than moms to say we’re not spending enough.

[Tips included, such as: Kill your commute.]

4. Okla. Bills Aim To Cut Divorce, But Doubts Persist, San Francisco Chronicle

Nelson’s bill on divorce education. . . cover[s] co-parenting and the impact of divorce on children, and the form of education — whether a half-hour video or four-hour session — is largely up to the district.

5. CNY Sees Highest Divorce Numbers In Nine Years, YNN

“But I think a lot of people who, in the past, were resigned to the fact that they had to just stay in an unhappy marriage for financial reasons or because they didn’t necessarily meet the grounds for divorce. . . now they feel a little more comfortable.”

6. Knot Yet, Huffington Post Live [30 minute clip]

As the average marrying age rises in the US, do the distinctive relationship burdens, social implications, and financial consequences that come with the institution of marriage potentially worsen?

7. The Controversial Letter to the Editor of The Daily Princetonian

For more, see here.


12 Responses to “The M.Guy Tweet”

  1. Diane M says:

    It seems to me that our reaction to the letter to the Princetonian says more about us than the letter.

    The letter itself is elitist and the advice might not work, but it was also easy to discount. It was in a university newspaper for a famous but relatively small college.

    Somehow it went viral and became something everyone reacted to. Why? There’s something about the issues she brings up that really get to people.

  2. Diane M says:

    The interactive divorce rate map is fun. I would like to think it’s good news, but I can’t help wondering how much of the decline in the divorce rate is people who don’t marry, but go through a break-up anyhow.

  3. Diane M says:

    So passing no-fault divorce may be making divorce rates raise in NY state. The article suggests this is good because people are now able to get out of loveless marriages. I wonder where they are getting that from – how do they know the divorces are all good events?

    Something for a social scientist to run and study!

  4. Teresa says:

    The Old Confederacy Gulf States have some pretty high divorce rates, or there’s no data listed for some, at least compared to the Great Lakes States. And, look at Illinois with its really low rate of 2.5.

    Utah, the solid Mormon State, is not particularly a standout for lack of divorces at 3.6.

    As Diane said the Interactive Map is fun and informative … and startling in what’s happening in some States.

  5. Hector_St_Clare says:

    Re: Somehow it went viral and became something everyone reacted to. Why? There’s something about the issues she brings up that really get to people.

    Because assortative mating is a thing (especially nowadays), because people notice when a sparrow flaps its wings at an Ivy league college, and because her tone was just so exceptionally and revoltingly elitist that it couldn’t help but catch attention.

  6. mythago says:

    @Diane M: also, because it was a mother scolding women for not being more interested in her wonderful (adult) sons.

  7. Myca says:

    The article suggests this is good because people are now able to get out of loveless marriages. I wonder where they are getting that from – how do they know the divorces are all good events?

    I think that broadly, if people want to get divorced, it’s probably good for them to get divorced. Or maybe a better way of putting it is that people (mostly) ought to be able to conduct their personal affairs in the manner most pleasing to them. Making it easy to get out of a miserable, loveless marriage is automatically a good thing, if the alternative is coercive.

    Now, I’m all in favor of non-coercive ways of encouraging the continued health and happiness of marriages. How about 100% government-funded marriage counseling with a therapist of your choice for any married couple? How about mandating employer-provided child-care for any business over a certain size? Much of the stress on a marriage is financial … how about we stop focusing so much on inflation and start focusing on unemployment?

    I mean, there are quite a few ways to strengthen marriage other than making it hard for miserable people to change their situation.

    —Myca

  8. La Lubu says:

    I liked the articles on “how to be a happy working dad”, but at the same time I have to note that most of those solutions are out-of-reach for most USians without a four-year college degree. The real solutions aren’t going to be made on an individual basis, but rather on a collective basis (via collective bargaining and/or public policy). “Choose a family friendly workplace” may (but not necessarily!) be doable for degreed professionals, but is not doable by most people without—the jobs they (we) qualify for are for family-unfriendly places. “Kill your commute” doesn’t work when the jobs are located in one area and the affordable housing in another. “Working to create family-friendly policies at your workplace” is limited in its application; the only effective means for those without a college education to do this is through a labor union.

    So, if you want to support families, one really good way is to recognize that these aren’t problems that by total coincidence, millions of individuals are experiencing simultaneously due to their own inadequacies or poor time management skills—they are collective problems that require collective solutions.

  9. Diane M says:

    @Myca – “I think that broadly, if people want to get divorced, it’s probably good for them to get divorced. Or maybe a better way of putting it is that people (mostly) ought to be able to conduct their personal affairs in the manner most pleasing to them.”

    I think one of the issues that is difficult, though, is that sometimes only one person wants to get out of the marriage. One party may not feel that this is a pleasing way to live at all.

    “Making it easy to get out of a miserable, loveless marriage is automatically a good thing, if the alternative is coercive.”

    My other concern is how do we know the marriage is miserable and loveless? I am not ready to assume that just because one of the people in a marriage wants out the marriage must be miserable and loveless.

    I’ve read about a study showing that people who said they were in unhappy marriages but stayed together were just as happy five years later as people who said the same thing but got divorced. In addition, some of the people who stayed together said that they were now in happy marriages.

    I don’t support coercion, but is making divorce easier really the opposite of coercion?

    “Now, I’m all in favor of non-coercive ways of encouraging the continued health and happiness of marriages. How about 100% government-funded marriage counseling with a therapist of your choice for any married couple?”

    Amen. Staying together is not enough. People need jobs and access to counseling.

    “How about mandating employer-provided child-care for any business over a certain size?”

    Okay, we probably shouldn’t go down this road, but I don’t want child care. I want mothers to be able to take time off or work part-time, etc. I think any government solutions for this issue have to provide and pay for both options (doing the care yourself or having someone else do it).

  10. Diane M says:

    @LaLubu – “I liked the articles on “how to be a happy working dad”, but at the same time I have to note that most of those solutions are out-of-reach for most USians without a four-year college degree. The real solutions aren’t going to be made on an individual basis, but rather on a collective basis (via collective bargaining and/or public policy).”

    Yes.

  11. Myca says:

    My other concern is how do we know the marriage is miserable and loveless? I am not ready to assume that just because one of the people in a marriage wants out the marriage must be miserable and loveless.

    I think that’s up to them to decide, not me or you.

    Let me put it this way: I think there’s something wrong and inherently coercive with making it hard to divorce. I would much rather make it easy to stay together.

    Of course, few cultural conservatives have an appetite for the kind of massive redistribution of wealth and social services funding I think that would entail.

    —Myca

  12. Diane M says:

    @Myca – “I think there’s something wrong and inherently coercive with making it hard to divorce.”

    But this issue is that the law was changed to make it easier to divorce.

    And one question I have is how easy should it be to divorce?

    I think there must be some limit – we don’t support the idea that you can just say it three time and turn your partner out of the house.

    “My other concern is how do we know the marriage is miserable and loveless? I am not ready to assume that just because one of the people in a marriage wants out the marriage must be miserable and loveless.

    I think that’s up to them to decide, not me or you.”

    But what if one of them doesn’t want the marriage to end?

    If you have one person who wants a divorce and one who doesn’t, the state has to make a decision. Who will they side with?