Re: There They Go, Bad-Mouthing Divorce Again

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From: Tony Berkman (
Date: Tue Sep 12 2000 - 10:50:21 PDT

At 12:57 PM 9/12/00, you wrote:
> > If you think most people are more interested in the happiness of others
> > than their own personal happiness, watch your back.
>I think Adam's point is probably the opposite. Since most people -are- more
>interested in their own happiness instead of others, they're incapable of a
>happy marriage. Or, I would argue, any sort of fulfilled life.

I think Nietzsche would argue that we are ALL interested in just our own
happiness. For some of us that may be in helping others find
happiness. And by 'fulfilled lif' do you mean your own notion of a
fulfilled life and, if not, whose?

>One thing I firmly believe (after almost 6 months) is that marriage is not
>50-50 - it is 100-100. If you keep asking yourself "what's in it for me",
>you'll be perpetually miserable. But if your foremost question is "How can
>I make my spouse happy" - and you're married to someone with the same
>commitment - then it is heaven on earth (literally, if you think about it

Perhaps, but I've seen enough altruistic marriages that end in divorce to
know that this is not necessarily so. It's like the marketing argument
being bantered about on this thread recently - marketing won't sell a
product consumers don't want.

> > Or don't since
> > they're all watching it for you: let's see what happens. Why doesn't the
> > 3% rule apply to idyllic marriages? Have you been reading the divorce
> > statistics in the last couple decades? Provide an alternate hypothesis as
> > to why the divorce rate is so high, Adam.
>That's pretty easy:
>a) The breakdown of extended families, due to mobility
>b) Baby-boomers obsession with self-satisfaction vs. traditions &
>c) Ability of women to support themselves
>Now, I'm not saying divorce is always the worst solutions. I believe it
>was Chesterton who described divorce as a tourniquet to staunch a deadly,
>bleeding marriage. However, even at its most necessary, I consider divorce
>a tragedy. I believe unconditional married love is the highest earthly joy
>to which a human being can aspire. Even if the ideal is not often reached,
>to give up on that ideal makes us less than human...
>-- Ernie P.

Please elaborate on why you consider divorce a tragedy. I think it's more
of a tragedy to stay married to someone who no longer or never did make you
happy. No, divorce is not a tragedy (not to diminish the pain and problems
it may cause). And why do you link humanity so strongly with the ideal of
"unconditional married love". What makes marriage a part of being
human? How many people would strive for "unconditional married love" if
most couples were unmarried? It sounds to me like you are evangelizing
based upon your own happy marriage (and maybe I'm mistaken and you are
unmarried), but IMO the exception doesn't prove the rule....


>Ernest N. Prabhakar, Ph.D.

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