Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I’ve actually got a seat on the train this morning, so have the chance to write a bit more. I’m in the final few stages of my major project, we’ve got a date and we’ll hit it. Home life at the weekend was busy, but good. Plus I actually slept a whole night through, so generally life is good.

My mind has been doing its usual, and tromping from topic to topic. Its been curious how one particular topic has been recurring at the moment. Divorce. The Sunday Times did an interesting piece around a survey they’d done. A large majority of married couples believed divorce should be harder. Z the other day, in her secrets revealed piece, soundly propounded that she believed good sex within marriage was an absolute necessity. Something I firmly agree with (God willing I fully intend to be shocking the other residents in the old folks home with LL well into our ninties). This morning the Today programme did an interesting interview with a couple divorce lawyers. One, quite surprisingly, stated he felt more women entered into divorce since the change to an equal 50:50 settlement of assets became law. That knowing they’d not financially loose out made more women feel divorce was an easier option than living through a tough time. Then, there was a research paper in the US that followed a large number of children after their parents divorced. It seems the first year is the toughest, but given the stigma of divorce is now gone, they lead happy lives thereafter.

So where has that all led my wandering mind? First, I firmly believe in marriage. I think children with two parents in love and supporting each other grow up with more self confidence and happiness. Second, that divorce needs to be possible. I have a sister who’s first husband turned abusive. No person should be forced to continue living with someone who is mentally or physically harming them. Full stop, no argument. I know of many similar examples out there, and the harm of staying in such relationships far outweighs the usually short term harm of returning to single life, or single parenthood.

However… I also know examples of people who get out of a marriage when it gets just a little bit rough. Relationships when one or both of partners think their own needs will be better satisfied apart rather than together. I’ve seen breakups that just make me angry. Where it’s the children or one of the partners who suffers when the other gets away scot free.

So, I do think divorce should be harder. Abusive relationships need to be able to end. There should be an equality of asset division, and if one partner bears the brunt of child care, the other must be made to provide adequate financial support comensurate with their income. Saying all that, it is still too easy right now. Divorce should be hard unless certain proofs can be made. Yes, adultery should be put back in as one of those proofs (did you know adultery was now irrelevant in divorce proceedings). No human system is perfect, and making things harder will mean some people stay in a relationship when they shouldn’t. Yet, it has to be worth something to get more people to put in effort and stay when they should.


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