Dating divorced dad child
I am a 47-year-old woman whose commitment to monogamy, at the very end, came unglued. I don’t generally even enjoy men; I had an entirely manageable life and planned to go to my grave taking with me, as I do most nights to my bed, a glass of merlot and a good book. We cried, we rent our hair, we bewailed the fate of our children.
My domestic evenings have typically revolved around five o’clock mac and cheese under bright lighting and then a slow melt into dishes and Sponge Bob …Sobered by this failure as a mother—which is to say, my failure as a wife—I’ve since begun a journey of reading, thinking, and listening to what’s going on in other 21st-century American families.And along the way, I’ve begun to wonder, what with all the abject and swallowed misery: Why do we still insist on marriage?Just because marriage didn’t work for us doesn’t mean we don’t believe in the institution.Just because our own marital track records are mixed doesn’t mean our hearts don’t lift at the sight of our daughters’ Tiffany-blue wedding invitations. marriages end in divorce—including perhaps even those of our own parents (my dearest childhood wish was not just that my parents would divorce, but also that my raging father would burst into flames)—doesn’t mean we aren’t confident ours is the one that will beat the odds.In fact, while having two biological parents at home is, the statistics tell us, best for children, a single-parent household is almost as good.
The harm comes, Cherlin argues, from parents continually coupling with new partners, so that the children are forced to bond, or compete for attention, with ever-new actors.
Sure, it made sense to agrarian families before 1900, when to farm the land, one needed two spouses, grandparents, and a raft of children.
But now that we have white-collar work and washing machines, and our life expectancy has shot from 47 to 77, isn’t the idea of lifelong marriage obsolete?
If America is a “divorce culture,” it may be partly because we are a “marriage culture,” since we both divorce and marry (a projected 90 percent of us) at some of the highest rates anywhere on the globe.
Hence Cherlin’s cautionary advice consists of two words—“Slow down”—his chief worry about our frenetic marriage-go-round being its negative impact on our children.
In short, although we say we love religion and marriage, Cherlin notes, “religious Americans are more likely to divorce than secular Swedes.” Cherlin believes the reason for this paradox is that Americans hold two values at once: a culture of marriage and a culture of individualism.