Casey Dowd writes about trends among Baby Boomers, mostly from a financial perspective. He should stick to that perspective as evidenced by his recent article
My point in raising that Dalrock article is to add his take on it to what Casey Dowd has to say about it. Mr. Dowd says:
The divorce rate among boomers has jumped recently and that number is only expected to climb. Statistics from the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University show that despite the overall divorce rate in the U.S. dropping over the last 20 years, the divorce rate among people age 50 and over has doubled.
I’m supposing the divorce risk over all is lower on the socioeconomic basis as claimed, but that after age 50, that’s out the window, and how. Does this suggest then that educated middle class couples are more committed to marriage? Or, is it that they develop the so called business of running a middle class family to a point that the time it takes is sufficient distraction to keep the primacy of the relationship between husband and wife in the background? The business of running the family and the idea that the couple may be more responsible with the future prospects for their kids, and how divorce is proven to negatively impact that are both tangentially touched on by Dowd:
What’s going on here? Is it because the kids are grown and have left the nest? Have we grown tired of each other or is it a mid-life crisis?
Kids getting older and leaving the nest is another main driver of the increasing divorce.
Baby boomers tend to be the group that has the economic livelihood and the economic feasibility to get divorced. Whats really interesting is that divorce rates will increase in both good and bad economic times. When there is a lot of money in marriage, divorce is a reasonably easy financial solution because when it comes to dividing the assets, there are enough for both parties. Marriages with not a lot of money tend to be more financially strained which can lead to stress and increase the risk of divorce. The baby boomer generation is hit most by those extremes.
Dowd follows what were decent observations with his flawed wading into the big question of why. He makes an honest observation about communication, but then quotes one of those “statistics” that fits the made up on the spot cliche. He asks:
What are some of the leading causes of boomers divorcing? Is infidelity a big problem?
The one thing that I hear consistently, regardless of the specific catalyst, is lack of communication–that is by far the universal response. Infidelity is certainly a catalyst and often labeled as a reason; it plays a very large role in the breakdown or end of a marriage. [my emphasis]
Despite the over use of the term communication, in a sense he is correct. His first epic fail comes in not drilling into all the absurd things that are scooped under that umbrella and called grounds for divorce, all the silly definitions and variations of abuse, neglect, verbal, financial, economic, and so on. Sadly I have to disclaim that yes, there are categories in there that on occasion do rise to the level of deserving the label abuse. The vast majority however use abuse as a trump card, a sympathy magnet, and as I am wont to say, a constant source of empathy.
The second fail is when he makes stuff up stating:
Infidelity is used as a catalyst reason for ending a marriage 50-70% of the time.
By failing to expand on the communication theme and show where the divorces come from and WHO FILES THEM, and following this with a bogus claim about infidelity, he slips from being possible an expert in Boomer finances to a man pandering to boomer women. He states he has been married 32 years so its understandable because one way to stay married….the wrong way….is to pander to gynocentric notions.
Sorry dude, that statistic on infidelity is just categorically untrue, empirically proven to be untrue, and irresponsible to have printed. Even if I focus on the word “used” and assume he may have considered mere allegations of infidelity in the numbers, it still leaves the number massively incorrect.
He goes on to try speak to the divorce process. His description of strategies and motives for those strategies are harmless. But he circles back around and feeds what has become in particular an evangelical feminist assertion, that being that the marriage ends before, well, before it actually ends. I do not know if that was his intent, I do know that it is frequently claimed among churchian women that ‘the marriage ended years ago, this is just paperwork’ in what is part of a canned dialog designed to assuage guilt for frivolous divorce. To that I always point out that couples who suddenly reconcile before the business ending of the marriage get right back to their sex life, and it isn’t considered fornication, hence, claims of emotional divorce are just that….claims with a self serving purpose.
He wraps up with something I’ve noted personally as well, that being that its my generation, the boomers, who seem to have been the peak perpetrators in destroying the nuclear American family, and we have done so across the board. We’ve ruined it in secular circles, and ruined it even worse in churchian circles, turning rational expectations on their head.
Generation Y seems to have an interesting sense of renewed excitement about the concept of marriage and the traditional family.
I believe time will show that generation Y will see secular marriage recover (or slow destruction) faster than churchian marriage as we , the church, follow culture but with a time lag. Salt and light….Mmmm Hmmm.