Wednesday, June 16, 2010

If 1 + 1 = 1, Then 2 + 2 = ?

“One plus one equals one. We even have a word for when you plus another equals one… love.” That Zen quote from the finale of Life sums up a glut of sentiments pertaining to love and unity and two becoming one and all that cheese. I have observed this in several wonderful marriages, an exhibition which implies its truth.

My question is, what happens when that One is split back into Two? I am speaking, of course, of divorce. You don’t need me to tell you that this issue has become rampant in modern culture. I could quote multiple statistics about the number of children growing up in homes without both biological parents, but you have already heard all of them.

I am sick and tired of hearing people say that they got divorced because “things just weren’t working out.” That’s an excuse you use when referring to your old boyfriend/girlfriend from high school—not your spouse. If you’re married, you make things work out. Otherwise, your divorce screws up a lot of other lives besides your own. Remarriage does even more serious, irreparable damage to anyone it affects.

We shouldn’t have to explain to our kids why they have seven or eight grandparents, or why none of their siblings have the same last name. A divorce wrecks a home and a remarriage destroys any evidence of stability. As that old Yiddish proverb says, when a divorced man marries a divorced woman, there are four people in one bed.

Cohabitation, marriage, divorce, remarriage… anything and everything has become acceptable. Of course, it has all always happened, none of this is new. The degree of regularity with which it all occurs, however, has increased exponentially. Dysfunction has become normal. The most basic structure of society—family—has been as irreversibly injured as have the children who can’t figure out who to call mom and dad.

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