"From This Day Forward" -Steve and Cokie Roberts/notices
Tue Feb 1 17:47:12 EST 2000
from: Smart Marriages
-divorcebusting.com is the web site of the week on
Marriage Savers, the Florida and Louisiana marriage legislation,
and me, Diane Sollee, are mentioned in Steve and Cokie Robert's new book,
"From This Day Forward". The reference is made in a paragraph about
the "signs of health" marriage is showing.
You know me, I wish Smart Marriages and the web site
had made it in, not my name, but we can't have everything we wish for.
The Robert's write:
"...While the divorce rate is still at historically high levels, it's
leveled off in recent years and even seems to be decling a bit.
wide variety of forces are mobilizing to bolster the institution. A group
of therapists and couselors has started a movement devoted to teaching
couples the practical skills that seem to be present in most enduring
matches. One of the founders, Diane Sollee, voices the hope "that in the
near future, couples will come to accept that the most romantic thing they
can do is walk hand-in-hand into a course on making marriage work." A
similar effort, Marriage Savers, urges pastors to require several months
couseling for any young couple wanting to get married. And after the
ceremony, older couples in the congregation are assigned as sort of
mentors to the newly weds. In one widely watched experiment, Florida has
become the first state to mandate marriage education courses as a
high-school graduation requirement. Louisiana has passed a law enabling
couples to enter a "covenant" marriage, which makes divorce a lot
The next paragraph begins, " We do have a prejudice. We're big fans of
and don't apologize for that......"
I haven't seen the book yet, this info was sent to me in an email, and
I'm told the rest of the book is very "pro marriage"....I'll let you know
when what I think when I get a copy, or maybe some of you have seen it.
In response to the Do No Harm Divorce piece,
There is a problem with this frequent type of dialogue that must, and
will be addressed truthfully. There is NO adversary system in
compulsory no-fault divorce. Think about it. There is NO adversary
system with unilateral divorce, which is what American divorce statutes
insure today. Any family law book emphasizes that 'All Defenses
Abolished' in divorce,....ergo...without a defense of anykind on any
divorce related issue, how or who can be an 'adversary'? Not that that
is the subject of the argument, nor should it be. Under law, in such an
intimate relationship, the state cannot make/mandate that someone remain
married to a spouse he or she wants to separate from permanently. It
cannot be ordered. It IS unlateral and should be allowed as it is today,
to anybody. Not being able to defend against a divorce, itself, is how
it will remain. BUT, it is unconscionable that the two parties are not
able to defend their property, income or child custody rights ON THE
MERITS. Only then will 'adversary' have real, legal and decent
meaning. And yes, then the meaningful decline in divorces will probably
result in a decline in income for professionals. Sorry.
This is what genuine reform brings.
Everybody should take a look at Ann Landers column of this past Sunday,
Jan. 30th. In answering a man who is upset with a recent column of hers
that to him she appeared to be favoring wives in divorce, she stood her
ground, both in the record of her replies and in what she knows in her
experience to be the truth, namely that more men "ask" for divorce than
women. Sadly, we believe that too many injured women, and a few men,
adopt the "we" in order to save humiliation, and I've gone around with
Sanford Braver on this topic. I recently heard on-air psychologist Toni
Grant say the same thing...that in the majority of cases, it is the
husband who deserts and divorces. For years I have been endeavoring
to rid the divorce rhetoric of the cover-up phrase "when couples
divorce", as also used in this posting. They don't - mutual divorces,
while on the rise, still hold at around 10-15%... and we hear of certain
courts lately that coerce a responding spouse to sign onto a mutual
One person or the other initiates a divorce, not "couples". This is
one area of discussion that could use a hefty does of political
incorrectness...as the "correctness" utilized by too many practioners is
deceptive at best.
Phyllis H. Witcher,
Protecting Marriage, Inc.
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