The Answer to Divorce Prevention

People keep asking: How do I prevent a divorce?

Children of Divorce
Children of Divorce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Delayed marriage.

That’s really too simple. But it’s a start.

Personally, I don’t think divorce should be prevented. When you banish divorce you raise the murder rate. Allow divorce and the murder rate goes down.

What about the children?

Any children divorce damages were screwed up by their parents, not by their parents’ divorce. Divorce doesn’t change the people in a relationship. If they were loving parents who put the kids before their egos while married, this should continue after. If a parent was dysfunctional and the other parents expended energy keeping them in check that will come out as well. It would come out sooner or later, with or without marriage.

What about these children?

It’s only been recently determined that the human frontal lobe doesn’t complete development until age 25. Maybe it finished formation much earlier in generations far past – but these days, no. 25 is still very young. While I don’t advocate denying the rights of basic adulthood until age 25 ((although some already are ranging from car rental to colleges acknowledging student as financially independent)) I do think that as a personal choice, deferring marriage to at least age 26 is optimal. If you don’t want to defer having children too long, I see no reason to connect that to creating a marriage contract with the person you make children with – a parental contract would likely be more in order, especially one separate from a marital agreement.

The 21st Century Prenup

A new breed of prenuptial has become popular: one that does not plan for the event of divorce but that lays down how a marriage shall proceed. While the people that use it who make TV appearances are creepy types who believe in wife subjugation and the like, it’s actually a great idea for sane people to try. It forces people to have conversations before marriage that get skipped to often – like “how do we negotiate buying a car?” and “do we need a job chart?” Even “So one of us gets laid off. Now what?”

A parenting contract might also prove helpful and preserve the safety and rights of prospective children. Co-parenting is often a separate issue from marriage – I definitely suffered from a parenting style that placed parenting as subordinate to the marriage partnership, and this is how I wound up being abused by one parent with no intervention by the other. This still happens to others and perhaps in the process of discussion about said contract you can see any red flags regarding the person with whom you plan to combine your genetic material.

I still don’t believe divorce is something that should be prevented. Saved marriages don’t actually save people and until women got the right to file for divorce far too many wound up dead. Given the still appalling rates of domestic abuse worldwide, we need that safety valve – and I think that we need to change how we think about marriage and admit it’s not the right stabilizing force for a healthy society.