BERMUDA My peripatetic mind wandered off to Bermuda and so I did some digging and came across an article in the Bermudan Royal Gazette just now.
It always feels good when I find these articles in a timely fashion. I feel like a gold-digging archaeologist digging for gold and when I find it, it’s just awesome.
So. Divorce in Bermuda….
Bermuda’s most famous resident and Hollywood hottie, Michael Douglas, is ensconced in a legal tangle with ex wife Diandra. Now, according to the Minister of Culture and Social Rehabilitation, Mr. Dale Butler, the entire island of Bermuda is being swept under a tide of divorces. So much so that Mr. Butler, who wrote an article in the Bermudan Royal Gazette today, informs that the government of Bermuda is sponsoring the “Family Intimacy Centre, which organises marriage enhancement workshops and counselling.”
What this Centre does is it offers affordable counseling to couples on the verge of a marital implosion and the cost of counseling is subsidized by the government. It appears the Bermudan government believes that this is in the best interest of the country at large, since a high divorce rate threatens the very “fabric” of Bermudan society. Says Mr. Butler:
“Given its small population size, the fabric of Bermudian society is increasingly being put at risk as more and more marriages break down and end up in divorce,” said Mr. Butler in a statement to the House of Assembly Friday. “What we need is healthy marriages because healthy marriages equal strong families.”
We just did a post about a global divorce boom. This article today, along with others we recently read, leads us to agree wholeheartedly with the Bermudans on this issue. One idea they have that has been resonating in other States is the need for “pre-marriage counseling” for marrying couples as a hedge against divorce later on. I have always believed that a lot of couples who get married had no right to get married to begin with, and had they gotten some form of pre-marriage counseling, divorce could have been avoided–particularly if marriage was eschewed after counseling, in the first place.
But this trend towards increased divorces globally leads me to question the viability of marriage as we know it as a functioning and workable institution. Can this arrangement really work in modern times? Or is it a Medieval concept whose time has passed? I mean, why do people continue to get married when they can’t hack the vows (for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part) if their lives depend on it? And socially, do people really need to be married anymore? Is marriage needed? Forget whether it’s even workable. Is it needed?
What is the alternative? Can a world where such a thing as “marriage” does not exist, survive? Can healthy families and individuals be raised and fostered in a marriage-less universe? Do we need marriage to function as a civilized, moral and productive society? Or is this myth?
Surely, I hope Mr. Butler and the people of Bermuda are able to save more, rather than less marriages on their island. But something tells me that as noble as their efforts are, ultimately they will fail. And it is not just them. It is in every country in the world. Ultimately, we will lose the battle of holding on to this arcane institution. Is this good or bad? I don’t know. I don’t even think that’s the question or the issue. I think the real question and the real issue is whether we may have come to a point in human evolution where “marriage” simply does not make any sense, whether you are in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or a tiny little island in the caribbean called Bermuda.
Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just a jaded divorce blogger who needs to shut up before I put my foot in it. 🙂