Here’s a question to ponder – if you knew a particular product or service failed at least half the time, would you still be willing to take a chance? What if the risk was higher? Say more like 75%?
This is the question that he suggests we all apply to one of the most important, if not the most important, institutions of our lives and our culture: marriage.
The divorce lawyer says the marriage is meaningless.
Attorney James Sexton, a divorce attorney for 20 years, recently spoke to inspiration and motivation TikTok channel @welovethatquote about it. It is hard to come away from his analysis without feeling that it is time to reconsider our conception of marriage as sacred.
“If you break it down, 56 percent of marriages end in divorce,” says Sexton. in the videobefore pointing out a part of this equation that most of us probably don’t consider — these are just the couples who go through the costly, tedious, and emotionally devastating process of divorce.
What about all the other married couples who stay together “for the sake of the kids or because they don’t want to give up half (of their things)?” Sexton said. He estimated that at “at least 20 percent,” before comparing marriage to a technological product. “You now have technology that fails 76% of the time. That’s insane.”
Sexton explained that marriage does not even meet the basic criteria for neglect that apply to practically every other aspect of life.
Sexton then said, “If I told you there’s a 76 percent chance when you walk out the door today you’ll get hit in the head with a bowling ball, or you won’t go out, or you’ll wear a helmet.” It’s very hard to argue with him there.
For this reason, he says, marriage “fits quite literally the legal definition of negligence,” because it falls short of the main criterion that legal professionals use to assess risk: the burden, odds, and loss analysis, which is used to determine whether “a loss by doing nothing is less than a risk.” Harm.
By this criterion, Sexton says, “Marriage is an inherently neglectful activity. It’s like owning a lion. The potential for someone to get seriously hurt is very, very high.”
Given this, not only does marriage not make sense, neither does our cultural obsession with it.
We certainly wouldn’t have left the house if we knew there was a 76% chance of taking a bowling ball to the skull. Yet we have no such reluctance to marry — not only do people continue to do so, but as Sexton points out, “there’s an assumption that you have to get married, and if you don’t, there’s something wrong with you.”
And with such stark statements, it’s hard not to wonder why we’re like this. Religion plays a role in this, of course, as do issues like legal benefits and entitlements, from tax breaks to parental rights (particularly for LGBT people and others) to healthcare access—in fact, a 2020 survey found that 26% of people who got married in 2020 They did this to obtain their partner’s health insurance.
But these issues aside, it’s hard not to feel like Sexton has a point about the way marriage doesn’t make any sense. Perhaps we should change the way we approach this topic culturally, he suggested. Instead of reflexively celebrating marriage, perhaps we should ask couples harder questions, such as “Why? You’re happy? Why are you getting married… Why are you putting yourself at risk? Why are you taking this risk?” “
But of course, we humans are very bad at applying logic and mathematics to matters of the heart, even the sexton himself. He said that after the 20 years I spent helping couples get out of their marriages, “I still get a blurry eye at weddings.” “Something in me says, ‘Maybe it will work out for these two.'”
Statistics show that divorce has been in actual decline for a decade – but America still has among the highest divorce rates in the world.
perhaps contrary to perception, The divorce rate in America has actually decreased For 10 consecutive years from 2011 to 2021 in accordance with Data compiled by the US Census Bureau. But of course, a lot has happened since the last census in 2020 – in particular the global pandemic and the countless stories we’ve all heard of those upheavals driving up divorce rates aren’t just tall tales.
According to the legal industry trade bulletin Daily business reviewThe spike in divorces has been so sharp and persistent since 2020 that family law practices are struggling to hire enough attorneys, especially as divorce cases have become more intense since the pandemic.
Sexton’s statistic of 56% is slightly higher than many official estimates, which put the divorce rate in the United States between 40% and 50%. But even so, even with the most optimistic view of the institution’s failure, not only is it hard to argue against Sexton’s suggestion that marriage doesn’t make much sense – it seems to get harder every year.
However, with a lot of legal rights and Benefits are closely related to the institution of marriageIt is not likely to disappear anytime soon. But it sure seems like it’s too late to start rethinking all that.
John Sondholm is a news and entertainment writer covering popular culture, social justice, and topics of human interest.