Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why the high divorce rate.

The divorce rate in Canada is around 38%, according to Stats Canada. I'm proud to report that in Newfoundland, it's the lowest, just 22% (maybe just is the wrong word here). My question is, why isn't it lower, maybe 1%? In India, where arranged marriages are often performed, this is indeed the divorce rate.

I believe there are many reasons for the high divorce rate in Canada and other Western nations. One of the reasons I believe boils down to expectations and mind-set. People marry often because of a feeling called "love". Their definition of love includes feeling happy with the person they marry, enjoying doing things together, and feeling fulfilled. It also involves a notion of sexual fulfillment and other criteria. Everything is just perfect. They base their marriage on this feeling. If the feeling changes, the marriage is on the rocks. This is a very precarious situation.

My point is that expectations are too high. I was reading an article which suggested that in the past marriages were a much different issue. They were based on practical considerations for both parties, not on transitive feelings. It sounds outdated now, but a woman would be expected to be good at household chores, while the man was able to provide for his family. The decision was not based on feeling of affection. Obviously, I'm not saying marriage is all about practicality even if you hate the person. I'm also saying that a marriage based on feelings is a very shaky one.

Divorce rate is also known to be lower among Catholics than other groups. But I've noticed a disturbing trend, and that is a divorce-mentality. It is very common, even among Catholics. The Catholic Church does not allow divorce. Not so much "not allow", as it does not even think divorce is possible in the eyes of God. The expression "till death do us part" is taken for what it is. But some have started to see annulment as the Catholic divorce. I participate in a Catholic forum. Often, a troubled individual will go there telling how they are having some problem in their marriage. Very often, people will suggest that perhaps this represents something which rendered the marriage invalid to begin with and they should seek an annulment to see what happens. But marriage is always presumed valid unless there is very strong evidence to the contrary. God did not make the sacraments easy to break.

But that's only the tip of the iceberg. That's what they say to people who are married. To those who are not married, it's even worse. Almost every time I've seen someone post a message on these forums who is concerned about some aspect of their relationship, the advice given is to just abandon it. The theory goes that no matter what this issue is, it will only get much much worse once they're married. Some even say they are only seeking help for an issue and never mention breaking up, but it is soon suggested by nearly everyone on the boards.

The underlying implication is that at the first sign of a stormy sea, to jump ship. So why is the divorce rate in India so low? I believe it is because the feeling of love is like a cherry on top, not the whole dessert. They go into a marriage expecting problems. When they arise, no one is surprised, and they work through it. Divorce is not an option so their brains expand beyond this limited idea and work for other solutions. This mentality is not present in many Western marriages. Divorce may be regarded with contempt, but it is nonetheless an option if things are "bad enough". I believe sometimes there is little desire for the couple to make things better, but rather they make things worse precisely to justify the divorce. They make mountains out of molehills and then proclaim, as if they just lost a battle which they tried so hard to win, that it was just a hopeless situation. It's almost a self-fulfilled prophecy.

Jesus said divorce is never permitted. Many people who get a divorce are surprised to find they must wait a significant amount of time before it is finalized. That's because it causes such havoc on society. Family is the building block of society and divorce is like a small war. If enough of these building blocks are damaged, the society is damaged.

Let's take a new look and approach to marriage. Let's work on helping the other, and not constantly asking ourselves if we are completely fulfilled and happy. Let's aim for a 0% divorce rate.


  1. The increasing rate of divorce is problem that we should take a look at. A lot of factors are involved why the number is skyrocketing so it's imperative to know what they are and take care of them. Know more about divorce on http://www.divorcenation.com

  2. The increasing rate of divorce for me is caused by too much idiocy. We are all aware of the word “LOVE” we all know that it is not just happiness and stuff. We know from the very start that it is always twinned with hurt and agony. Maybe Hollywood stars contribute to this trend but hey, you married someone because of who and what he/she is. Divorcing your spouse because of indifference is such a childish and selfish act. That is why Divorce lawyers (Jacksonville) study their case thoroughly before approving for a divorce. Maybe a couple just needs proper guidance of family law (Jacksonville, FL.) to save their marriage from breakage.

  3. divorce rates are high because people are immature.
    when you are immature you tend to make stupid decisions like get married for the sake of "feelings". this places huge risk on the relationship as like you said without the feeling then what else is left??i think the trend where its "all about you" mentality is disturbingly precarious to the immature mind. i think people should never date unless they are ready to get married. Arranged marriages are always best since the obstacle of the parents are already resolved and since parents always love their children they will always make the better choice.