Tuesday, February 12, 2013

From a Pro Marriage Guy to the Overly Pro Marriage Legislator

I came across this article today in The Oklahoman today: http://bit.ly/XyOWoN.

There is currently a bill in the Oklahoma Legislature that is aiming to make it more difficult to get divorced. I think the only thing the bill's author and myself have in common is that we both want strong marriages and families, however, we both have very different viewpoints on what the real issue is.

 In Oklahoma, it is quite common for people to get married at a real young age. The national average for males is 29 years old and the average for females is 27. Averages in Oklahoma? 26 for males and 23 for females. Why the big discrepancy? Good or bad, it is likely related to social pressures / social norms in our state.

Getting married young isn't necessarily bad and by no means does it automatically mean you will end up in divorce, but knowing we are in the top 3 states of "Youngest to Marry" (with Utah and Arkansas) we are also in the top 3 for most divorced adults (with Nevada and Maine) and we are #1 in this great nation for those who have been married THREE times...there is something in the water that makes the State of Oklahoma (a prominent resident of the Bible Belt) one where people tend to say "I do (but I don't mean it)" at an early age. - http://bit.ly/X5Kn66

Just the facts, ma'am.

The Oklahoman legislator, Mark McCullough, believes the answer to our rising divorce numbers is just to make people stay married - especially if they have kids... What if the parents are always yelling at each other? What if peace and stability will be achieved after divorce? What if keeping people physically binded in the "failed marriage" leads to alcoholism? What if they made a stupid decision when they were young and Mr. or Mrs. Right is out there to improve both of their lives (and the kids)? Perhaps the real issue is not forcing people to stay married...and the actual issue is how easy it is to get married in the first place (OR) the reasons some get married - public pressure, tax benefits, etc.

Let's take a step back and get to the heart of issue before things get out of hand and let's stop legislators from trying to "put a band-aid" on someone who needs a heart transplant.

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