It’s always a matter for profound satisfaction when some academically hallowed and irrefutable social science agency formally announces the discovery of something you’ve known all along. I was therefore profoundly satisfied last week when the National Divorce Decision Making Project, having studied 3,000 Americans, age 25 to 50, found that about half them a year after a divorce wished they hadn’t done it.
The study was a joint undertaking of the University of Alberta’s Department of Human Ecology and a parallel faculty at Brigham Young University in Utah. Its conclusions were twofold: If you’re considering divorce, don’t act precipitously; think it over. Second, talk it over at great length with your spouse. Thirty per cent of the people interviewed said they once considered divorce; ninety per cent of these were glad they didn’t do it.
The study allowed that some divorces — those caused by violence or persistent adultery, for instance–could be considered
inevitable. But one could conclude from the study that many divorces are far from inevitable, and leave the divorced much worse off than if they had persisted with the marriage, One recalls the furor that descended upon the anti-feminist constitutional lawyer Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) when she defiantly observed: “The chief cause of female poverty is divorce.” Many people didn’t want to hear that, but it is nonetheless a self-evident fact.
There is another implication to this study. For years, the liberally minded deplored the state of marital law in Canada with some justification. Divorce laws were much stricter and establishing justifiable grounds was costly and difficult. Believe it or not, a divorce in Quebec required an act of Parliament. But then came the shining era of liberaldom. “No fault” divorce was enacted, and people lived happily ever after.
Or did they? As a matter of fact, no. Today, we’re told, one marriage in two fails. Women, correctly discerning that easy divorce laws do not create stable families, refuse to have children. To meet the needs of the economy for an ever-expanding consumer base, we have to import people from other parts of the world. They do not share our liberal visions on this and many other things, and therefore go on having children the way we once did. Soon therefore there will be more of them than there are of us. Among other things, that will be the end of liberaldom. Its vaunted freedoms will have led to our own undoing.
This article continues at [Ted Byfield Blog] Why ‘yak, yak, yak’ is primary evidence of a good and working marriage