"The Boomer" column, written for Fox Business News by Casey Dowd,
recently had an interview with Karen Stewart, a divorce and relationship
expert and founder and CEO of Fairway Divorce Solutions.
Some of Stewart's observations and numbers are worth mulling over a
bit, especially since the Church has, overall, struggled in recent
decades to catechize Catholics about the nature and responsibilities of
marriage. Here are a couple of excerpts:
Boomer: Whats behind the trend of divorce rates dropping in every other age group except for boomers where it is rising?
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
Kids getting older and leaving the nest is another main driver of the increasing divorce. ...
Boomer: What are some of the leading causes of boomers divorcing? Is infidelity a big problem?
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
healthy marriage is hard to puncture, but one that is on
somewhat-shady ground is very easy to puncture. It really gets back to
the individuals and how they feel about infidelity based perhaps on
their beliefs, value system and background. Infidelity is used as a
catalyst reason for ending a marriage 50-70% of the time. ...
Hollywood is setting a certain tone with divorce when it comes to
high-profile cases. Do Hollywood couples decision to split up make
divorce more appealing?
is happening in Hollywood is almost sexfying divorce. Maria Shriver
is the perfect example: the preppy girl who went off to school, married
someone who is a little bit of a bad boy, but very successful. Arnold
wasnt all brawn, he also had brains. This is the fairy tale of your
average baby boomer and now Maria has just found that her marriage has
been basically a bit of a facade. I think we will see a bit of a
movement to empower baby boomer women. I am worried that we might be
creating a victim sex appeal divorce baby boomer trend. I believe if
we can get divorcing right we will actually see an increase in
Read the entire piece, "Why So Many Baby Boomers are Getting Divorced".
What Stewart says about divorce is very much in keeping with my own,
very anecdotal, observations. Without pretending to know the ups, down,
ins, and outs of marriages I've seen end in divorce, I know a large
number of them did end because of infidelity. What is a bit surprising
is how early in the marriage some of those infidelities often occur.
Dowd mentions a friend whose marriage of 32 years is ending because of
an affair, but I've talked to a decent number of people over the years
who have said (either openly or more discreetly) that their spouse was
cheating within the first two or three years of the marriage.
other words, there was a lack of a robust "value system" before the
wedding took place, which is hardly a news flash, but is worth keeping
in mind. A few months before I was married in June 1994, I had a candid
conversation with two men I worked with at the time in retail
advertising. Neither was a practicing Christian; in fact, neither would
have welcomed being called a Christian. One man had been married for
about ten years (he was in his mid-thirties); the other for just a year
or so (he was in his late twenties). I asked them: "If you had a chance
to have an affair and knew your wife would never find out, would you
have the affair?" The first manwho also was the father of two young kidsimmediately said, "No, no way. I couldn't live with myself. No way." The younger man said, "Well, sure. Why not? Yeah, I'd do it." I've long lost track of both men,
but I would surprised if the latter is still married; likewise, I'd be
shocked, honestly, if the first man wasn't still married. The bottom
line is that the younger man's marriage was most likely doomed long
before he made it to the altar (uh, or justice of the peace, as was morely likely the case). The challenge to fidelity and life-long commitment starts when kids
are very young, not when they are twenty-eight years old and getting
married in three months. But, unfortunately, that's often how it works today. And the results have not been good.