If you’re interested in the philosophy and ethics of marriage and divorce, this post may be worth your time:
Early on in our relationship, we had a conversation – theoretical at the time – about divorce. While I’m not quite as absolutist as Christopher Lasch’s recommendation of a constitutional amendment banning divorce, as a child of multiple divorces on both sides, I don’t view marriage as something that should be “gotten out of” simply because one of the (or even both) partners believes the marriage to be a mistake. My takeaway from childhood was not the modern – “there are all kinds of families” or “children are better off with two happy parents living separately than two miserable married people;” my takeaway was that the option of an out leads to constant insecurity. That the replacement of a sort of quiet and mundane contentment with the never-satisfied need for fulfillment leads to unhappy people who never find what they’re seeking and too often hurt those around them while seeking it. That casual divorce turns marriage into some kind of balance sheet in which people expect to get an approximate return on what they put in and are always open to a better option if one should come along.
Everyone’s opinions are based on life experience, and for every person who has had my experience of the familial revolving door, there’s someone who has life experience that leads to the questions I often get on the subject: would you recommend an abused wife stay with her abuser? Well, obviously no. Should a married person who comes to acknowledge they’re homosexual be forced to stay with their spouse (of the opposite sex in this scenario)? Honestly, I do think it’s the honorable thing to do, although I would imagine in most cases the other partner would put an end to it anyway. Simply put, in very large part, marriage is marriage (as opposed to dating or cohabitation) because there is no going back. It’s permanent. The selection of a spouse is based on choice, but once the vows are taken, the spouse becomes family, and it should be as difficult and infrequent to divorce them as it is to divorce relationships of blood. Obviously, there are people who are estranged from parents and siblings, but the rates of that kind of estrangement are nowhere near the rates of marital separation and divorce.
The ensuing discussion in the comments may also be.