Monday, May 30, 2011

Quotes of the day

"Our parents got divorced when we were kids, and it was kind of cool. We got to go to divorce court with them. It was like a game show. My mom won the house and car. We were all excited. My dad got some luggage."

Tom Arnolds, Sunbeams, The Sun, June 2011, p.48

You are not a terrible person for wanting to break up with someone you love. You don’t need a reason to leave. Wanting to leave is enough. Leaving doesn’t mean you’re incapable of real love or that you’ll never love anyone else again. It doesn’t mean you’re morally bankrupt or psychologically demented or a nymphomaniac. It means you wish to change the terms of one particular relationship. That’s all. Be brave enough to break your own heart.

From Dear Sugar, Tiny, Beautiful Things, 02/10/11


Divorce is the breaking of a vow to God to be there for another person in sickness and health, richer or poorer, good times and bad til death do you part. It is not to be taken lightly and it has very little to do with love. Marriage is about commitment not love. You can love a lot of people, but you can't marry them all. Marriage is a covenantal relationship not a romantic honeymoon. People no longer understand the meaning of marriage, the world is moving too fast.

Do Unitarian Universalist understand and practice marriage any better than anyone else. I suspect not. Unitaritan Universalists, being a liberal religion, I would expect are even more tolerant to divorce than other religions.

It is interesting that Unitarian Universalists pride themselves on being a covenantal faith and yet they find it difficult to practice covenantal marriage any better than anyone else. Do UUs practice what they preach? Does anyone know what the divorce statistics are of UU marriages as compared to other denominations?

3 comments:

  1. "It is interesting that Unitarian Universalists pride themselves on being a covenantal faith and yet they find it difficult to practice covenantal marriage any better than anyone else.

    Data, please?

    UUs are more heavily concentrated in blue states, where divorce rates are lower than in red states. Absent specific data on divorce rates among UUs vs. among those of other faiths, I don't know that your statement that I put in bold immediately above is even accurate.

    I write this as a divorced (and now, happily remarried) man who understood perfectly well the meaning of marriage and did not take the end of my first marriage lightly at all.

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  2. David G. MarkhamMay 31, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Dairy State Dad

    I don't have any data. I would love to see some.

    I am happy to read your statement that you didn't take your divorce lightly and that you are happily remarried.

    I am a marriage counselor and deal with these issues all the time. I myself was married for 35 years, had 9 children, and got divorced.

    Sometimes it is necessary that covenants be broken especially when there is abuse involved.

    What prompted my blog post was the Tom Arnold post which makes marriage a laughing matter and equates divorce with a game show. It trivializes the whole thing and mocks the pain and suffering which the partners go through and the pain of the children.

    I appreciate your comment.

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  3. I don't mind admitting that as a UU of 5 years, I'm continually startled to see how (apparently) quickly marriages form and dissolve within our congregation. During the time I've attended my church, I've seen at least six marriages end. I guess the worst part is how you get used to thinking of a two-person unit, only to have to rename it later when one or both former partners pair up with someone else (and they almost always do). This is certainly not uncommon in our society at large. But I still find it unsettling. My parents stayed married through 48 years of strife and agony. Neither was terribly religious. But I remember my dad saying, with regard to why he wouldn't divorce Mom, "When you make a mistake, that's YOUR mistake and you HAVE to live with it." I accepted that philosophy without question, until my own first marriage fell apart after 13 years. At that time, I was still an evangelical Christian and felt so ashamed of my "sin." Then I got married again, this time to a man who had no religious leanings. That got me effectively shunned by the church I was attending at the time. Ultimately, I rejected all religion outright, until finding Unitarian Universalism.

    I celebrate the honesty that most fellow UUs practice when it comes to relationships. But broken UU marriages (especially when kids are involved) are no easier to deal with than any other kind. Perhaps the greatest advantage is the knowledge that the minister will NEVER climb into the pulpit and denounce your split under cover of Matthew 18:15-17. I saw this happen in two Christian churches. Interesting how, in both cases, it was the wife that the pastor addressed.

    Change happens. UUs seem to accept that better than more conservative religions. I listen to the political views of people like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry, and hear people who are angry and bewildered that life can't just stay the way it was in the 1950s.

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