Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Word of the Day

com·mit·ment (kə-mĭt'mənt)

3. The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons: a deep commitment to liberal policies; a profound commitment to the family.

From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Because I am tired of a throwaway society.

I had great personal and moral objections to performing divorces when I started practicing law, and I still have them to this day. I'm not saying that there aren't some cases, such a physically abusive relationships, where this course of action is not just appropriate, but also recommended. However, I am of the opinion that:
1. It is too easy to get married to begin with; and
2. No-fault divorce is a blight on the social landscape of this country.

What's that? "But sometimes its just too hard to get along." you say?
True. It can be very difficult to get along with a spouse sometimes. The pull of competing dreams and unspoken expectations can lead to resentments and schisms in the home that can be very difficult to reconcile. But if you can simply get a divorce, for no reason at all, rather than make the effort to make these things work, then most people are relieved of the effort necessary to live up to their commitments.

"But I did try."
Yes, maybe you did. But you didn't keep trying. Talk to the old folks, kiddies. They'll learn ya a thing or two about marriage. My grandparents, who went longer than 50 years were blunt: There are times when you are going to be mad at your spouse. White-hot mad. They may not even realize it. That may make you madder still. You might have a period of bad sex. You might have periods with no sex at all. You aren't going to have the euphoric feeling of adoration that you once had. But you made promises, and that means that sometimes you play nice when you don't want to. Sometimes, they won't either, but if you stick with it, and appreciate this teamwork and camaraderie, you will be rewarded with something rich and deep: A lifelong commitment, with foundations of respect, freindship, trust, and real love.

"And who are you to question my choices?"
Nobody. Nobody at all. Just someone fed up with the idea that divorce is an option when things don't go right. Life is messy. Relationships are hard. Instant gratification has destroyed our collective sense of sweat equity in the worthwhile things in life. I'm tired of watching friends who meant what they said at the altar being left behind when something different (you'll note that I didn't say "Better") comes along. I'm tired of the damage that it does. I'm tired of children being put in the position of having to navigate between two households, and being robbed of the security necessary to help them to grow up whole. I'm tired of people who never have to resolve issues with themselves going on to make the same choices repeatedly, leaving more destruction and human wreckage in their wake.

Who am I to have this opinion? Nobody. Nobody at all. And if every nobody stood up and said "Enough is enough." then maybe we could make a better society for ourselves.