Divorce, I Empathize With Kids

Being a child of multiple divorces, and at the same time considering I was raised mainly by a single mom (marriages were short and “dramatic”) , then, combined with what Ive learned about divorce as an adult, I reached a few conclusions.

1. Divorce is not a victimless act                                                                                            2. Men are most often the adult victim                                                                                   3. Kids are always victims                                                                                                     4. On divorce, no one is more blind than those who will not see

The basics….most divorces are no fault, 70% are filed by women, Vast majority of those are filed for reasons related to female expectations created by our culture and our churches and not objective wrongs perpetrated, men mainly want to save the marriage, women ignore hard realities about kids, churches coddle divorcing women and condemn men roundly whether divorcing or not, and finally the majority of the population of western English speaking countries have not a clue about any of the truths of this dynamic, steeped in a form of conventional wisdom that is to them a comfy chair.

Those are the basics. Assert them in mixed company and you will be looked at like a circus freak. These things do not fit conventional wisdom at all. You can quote statistics, give anecdotal evidence, point to mega trends, micro trends, ask and lead Socratic style discussions, it doesn’t matter. Its a side effect of comfortable lives that shallow and lazy thinking passes for intellectual discourse.


But who ya gonna believe …..and yer lyin eyes….and all that. Because while shallow lazy thinkers live in:

BLISSFUL IGNORANCE

even the media seem to be writing more and more articles about societal observations that illustrate that, on divorce,  both the conventional ideas of cause and effect are wrong.

If 100% of divorces were filed by women, no, lets go further, if men were not legally even permitted to file divorce, the conventional wisdom, especially in church, would still be that you must fix men to fix relationships, that men are the cause of divorce. The article linked under “cause” above is called Sex, Money, and the Myth of Grump Old Men. It is based on a survey by a group called SAGA (think AARP) of over 10,000 people over aged 50 about relational priorities. It is yet another of many I’ve read over the past five or so years that show results of surveys  or otherwise that indicate the questionable veracity of conventional wisdom in this regard.

For example, from the article:

When asked to list the 10 things most important to their happiness, 89pc of men answered: “My relationship with my spouse or partner”. For women, that option ranked sixth out of 10.

and

Women said their priority was: “My relationship with my friends” – an option that ranked fifth in men’s top 10 influences on happiness.

Not only, per conventional wisdom,  are women supposedly the gender that is most concerned with relationships, a point that is usually supported by pointing out that they are the primary consumers of relational books and seekers of help for troubled marriages, but men are said to be aloof and clueless about same, with not just a few women saying its “as if he doesn’t even know I’m here let alone care”. How does that fit with the survey results shown in the above quote?

At least the authors plainly expressed surprise at the results and reported them as derived, rather than attempting to obfuscate or dissemble.

Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General, Saga said: “We were astonished to see that men say their relationship with their partner is the primary influence on their happiness, while for women, it only ranks sixth.

Maybe I spoke too soon, I’d need to read the study itself to know just how much was made of this:

Our findings suggest just how vital maintaining a healthy network of friends in older age is, for women especially, and perhaps how reliant on their spouses, older men can be.”

It could go like this….

Yea, poor men, can’t make and keep friends so they really have no choice but to rely on the better equipped and more socially capable woman to afford him some companionship. He doesn’t really value the marriage does he, its just he has no choice, poor thing. Sorry, I’m doing their job for them adding that, but I remain optimistic that they didn’t go that direction for the simple reason that the media (the article’s author)in this case would not have missed a chance to paint the women better than just the survey results show.

Showing that women value the relationship more, and that men are easily distracted, emotionally stunted, and unreliable in the art of interpersonal connection is only half the problem. It takes care of establishing a motive for her divorcing that can be empathized with be the entire gaggle of gigglers that comprises her support structure (see above, her priority will be with that gaggle to be sure). In this way they can receive cards and letters saying:

“follow your heart sweety we will support your every whim”.

Signed

Your Thrice Divorced Friend(s)

Remember, it doesn’t sound the slightest bit off for one of them to say, “Listen to me, I know relationships, Ive had dozens of them”

We have motive, she is victim enough to act. But will anyone else get hurt? Are there unforeseen consequences for her actions? The other article, linked under effect is called, What Children Want Most is a Ban on Divorce. Its a cute article asking those adorable kiddies what they would ban if they were omnipotent king of the world. The writer says the answer surprised them. No doubt they expected broccoli and early to bed, things like that, cute stuff. But from out of nowhere came the notion of banning divorce. It had never even made the list, suddenly it is number one.

But that can’t be right! Kids are resilient! Kids are better off when parents (read….moms) are haaaapy, kids pick up on things and learn bad lessons from dads who show low to no interest in marriage (huh? those middle age men above disagree but stop that with the facts, stop it now) Yet they plainly said:

Asked what rules they would make if they were king or queen of the world, most children replied they would ban divorce – the first time it has come at the top of the list.

Will that resonate with women, the superior relational sex and better suited for child rearing sex? Will the acknowledge the harm done and yet to be done by the trends that have the western English speaking world the place with the least stable families on the planet?

Doubtful.

I even doubt the dots Ive connected would have been connected if these stories were written by the same writer and appeared on the same page. Paradigms and memes, conventional wisdom and the norm, these all create inertia in evidence possibly changing the way we view divorce cause and effect.

But even to the man who may see the objective truths here, he has a further motive for not connecting the dots, a sort of Pavlovian motive….if momma ain’t happy nobody happy, and he knows if he ever strays from the feminist ideological reservation, she’ll be pissed.

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