Marriage Advice from Divorcées

Since the dissolution of my first marriage, I have been reluctant to give anyone marriage advice. I think most divorcées probably share this reluctance. Fellow Patheos blogger Wendy Murray does, but vulnerably, humbly, and thoughtfully ventures into that space anyway. She has several good pieces of advice in the post, but this is the one that I most resonate with, and the one that I’ve been most careful to attend to in my current, beautiful marriage:

Time is not benign

Wendy Murray

There is a trajectory being set for your marriage, even in these earliest days — in fact especially in these earliest days. Time will do its work, again — for better or for worse. Right now, patterns are being developed between you and your spouse that will continue to increase in magnitude over time.

Read the rest: Advice to Newlyweds from a (Divorced) Pastor’s Wife.

No-Fault Divorce: It’s NOT Destroying Marriage

Last year, I was talking about gay marriage with a Christian leader whose name you would know. After pushing back on my arguments for a while, he finally shrugged his shoulders and said, “It doesn’t really matter, since no-fault divorce laws have already pretty much gutted marriage in our country.”

I was honestly shocked. Having survived a no-fault divorce (that was nevertheless contentious and exorbitantly expensive), I had never heard someone make this argument before, much less state it as though it were common knowledge. No one that I know of in the Family Court system thinks that no-fault divorce is bad. (And to read how bad a divorce can be, even with no-fault divorce, read this harrowing account of the Worst Divorce EVER.)

Mark Silk has run into a similar argument from a Catholic who is similarly debating same-sex marriage. And Silk handily debunks the argument:

My friend the prolific NCR blogger Michael Sean Winters argues that they should throw in the towel, not because he supports SSM (he doesn’t), but because the marriage war was lost decades ago, when the bishops failed to stand in the way of no-fault divorce.

I can see why such an argument might be something of a balm for ecclesiastical potentates like Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit and Bishop Tobin of Providence, who can barely contain their apoplexy at this threat to civilization as they know it. After all, they weren’t bishops when the no-fault divorce laws went into effect.

Nevertheless, it’s a bad argument and one that teaches the wrong lesson.

It’s a bad argument because no-fault divorce laws had nothing to do with the rise in divorce rates, which began their ascent in the late 1950s. Between 1970 and 1977, nine states adopted no-fault divorce. By 1983, all but two states had. Whereupon divorce rates began to decline.

Read the rest and see the graph: What hath SSM to do with no-fault divorce? | Spiritual Politics.

Needed: Favorite Baseball Lingo

Photo by Courtney Perry

Next week, Little League season begins again. This will be my fourth year coaching my son, Tanner, and his teammates. The other coaches and I end every practice and game teaching the boys one new term or phrase of baseball lingo — you know, “battery,” “frozen rope,” “can o’ corn,” that type of thing.

So, as you can imagine, after four years I’m trying to avoid too many repeats. So I send it out to you readers:

What is your favorite baseball lingo, and what does it mean?

Hawaii Doesn’t Suck

I’m putting up this quick post from LAX, where Courtney and I are en route back home after a week on the Big Island of Hawaii. My parents took my brothers and me and our spouses to celebrate our marriages and their own 70th birthdays.

Of course the weather was amazing, as was the fresh fish, the ocean breezes, the breeching humpback whales and pod of 30 dolphins and the Mai Tais. All of that was fantastic.

But, honestly, the best part was an uninterrupted week with my family. As I’ve written here before, I don’t know how I would have survived my divorce without my parents and brothers. And, as well as loving me through that, they have wholeheartedly embraced Courtney into the family. In my book, there is simply no substitute for a supportive and loving family.

I appreciate your reading and commenting during my absence, and I’m grateful to the guest bloggers. We’ll dive back into the deep end of the pool tomorrow with a Question That Haunts. But until then, I’m still dreaming of crashing waves and swim-up bars.


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