Monday, November 5, 2012

Divorce is no longer fashionable?

NYTimes   That a woman who has been divorced should feel such awkwardness and isolation seems more part of a Todd Haynes set piece than a scene from “families come in all shapes and sizes” New York, circa 2011. But divorce statistics, which have followed a steady downward slope since their 1980 peak, reveal another interesting trend: According to a 2010 study by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, only 11 percent of college-educated Americans divorce within the first 10 years today, compared with almost 37 percent for the rest of the population. 

For this cross section of American families — in the suburban playgrounds of Seattle, the breastfeeding-friendly coffee shops of Berkeley, Calif., and the stroller-trodden streets of the Upper West Side — divorce, especially for mothers with young children underfoot, has become relatively scarce since its “Ice Storm” heyday. 

For every cohort since 1980, a greater proportion are reaching their 10th and 15th anniversaries, said Stephanie Coontz, author of “Marriage, a History.”[...]

The experience of being a divorced woman has changed, along with the statistics. “The No. 1 reaction I get from people when I tell them I’m getting divorced is, ‘You’re so brave,’ ” said Stephanie Dolgoff, a 44-year-old mother of two elementary-school daughters who was separated last year. “In the 1970s, when a woman got divorced, she was seen as taking back her life in that Me Decade way. Nowadays, it’s not seen as liberating to divorce. It’s scary.”  [...]

“What happened?” asks the writer Claire Dederer in her memoir, “Poser,” which examines life as a new mother in Seattle. In the 1970s, “the feminists, the hippies, the protesters, the cultural elite all said, It’s O.K. to drop out.” In contrast, “We made up our minds, my brother and I and so many of the grown children of the runaway moms, that we would put our families first and ourselves second. We would be good, all the time. We would stay married, no matter what, and drink organic milk.”


  1. Things are terrible in the Torah world and getting much worse. At least the secular family has a simple divorce, but the Torah divorce often bounces here and there and can go on for years and consume huge sums of money for court and lawyers. This is wrong. I have spoken recently to major divorce Dayanim and I told them that whatever is going on today, tomorrow will be much worse, and today is much worse than yesterday. They agreed. The problem in the Torah world according to Reb Yaacov Kaminetsky is that people are taught ideas about Torah that are wrong, and these wrong teachings destroy marriage and family. Reb Yaacov told me he wanted a book written about this, in English, so everyone should understand. We have not reached the state where we care enough about the problem to admit it exists and to discuss the painful topics that must be exposed for the sake of our children.


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