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Politics

Is Divorce Causing a Decline in our Culture?

March 30, 2018 - 8:30am

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With the aftermath of the Parkland shooting that took the lives of 17 individuals in Broward County, the issue has in some ways turned away from the gun debate and focused more on the culture.

Talk radio listeners throughout Florida have called and chimed in, stating the breakdown of the family is what is hurting the country. Roger Henderson, news director for Talk Radio WBOB out of Jacksonville, says a lot of the discussion has been focused on single parents, especially with the divorce rate in the U.S. climbing, and that callers believe this is having impact on the culture.

With the issue of gun violence prevention, some are pointing out that maybe there needs to be some divorce prevention. Some Florida lawmakers want to help reverse the increase in divorce by passing certain bills.

But attorney and book author Kenny Leigh of Kenny Leigh & Associates, Florida’s largest family law firm, explains that by the time a client calls his office to initiate a divorce case, it's usually too late to save the marriage because the damage is already done. Instead, he says there are many red flags that arise that should be studied to ward off divorces years before they occur. Leigh’s firm specializes in protecting the rights of men in divorce cases. Leigh’s book, entitled, Bounce Back: Tips to Help Men Navigate Family Law, says this:

"Some mistakes social scientists who report such data make is using short-term studies to compare the amount of marriages against the amount of divorces within that same short time period.”

Leigh says we should not only focus on preventing gun violence by certain precautions, "but if the breakdown of the family is a cause for decline in our culture, shouldn’t we look at what we can do to prevent divorce many years before a hopeless and irreversible marital breakdown occurs?” 

The topic of divorce -- coupled with the lack of interaction with families, Hollywood influence and violent video games -- has been a kitchen-table topic since the Parkland shooting. But Leigh says nobody ever wants to focus on helping prevent divorce and the early-warning signs that come with it. Leigh points out other areas where there is a lack of attention:

"What happens when the love for other things or activities begins to outweigh the affinity for a spouse? or when marriage begins paying the price for such diversions?"

Some say this 'price' can be a greater contributing factor to the rate of divorce or separation than the short-term scientific models would suggest.

Despite these contrasting views, divorce rates cannot be accurately calculated using most methods of study; in fact, most divorce statistics can be misleading, because they use irregular methods to calculate the numbers.

State Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, has filed a bill called "Florida Guide to a Healthy Marriage." If passed and signed into law by Gov. Scott, the bill would prohibit couples from getting a marriage license in Florida until it’s verified that they’ve read the state’s new handy-dandy guide on how you should conduct life alongside your love-abiding spouse.

Sound easy? Maybe, says Leigh. But what about the warning signs after the couple get married?

"The most popular false statistic is that 50 percent of marriages in America end in divorce. The reasoning is that within a given year, the given number of new marriages is something like 220,000, while the number of divorces finalized is something like 110,000.”

Leigh tells audiences who buy his book and come hear him speak that there are seven warning flags. In his book he breaks them down by sports analogies.

Neutral Zone Infraction:
Marriage is meant to be a partnership; however, when a marriage meant to be a duet becomes a solo, it’s a huge tip-off that marital expectations are off-balance.

Defensive Holding
In a working marriage, spouses can typically use effective methods to communicate with one another in positive ways. It may require some patience, maturity and selflessness, but marriages are doomed when spouses either lack the ability or desire to find a way to work things out.

False Start
When people decide to get married, starting a family is a common goal. But when one spouse wants kids and the other does not, it can be a deal-breaker.

Personal Foul
Infidelity is one of the biggest banes of sturdy unions and can wreak destruction on marriages.

Delay of Game
Most people experience change as they go through marriage. However, when two people begin to evolve in different directions, it may mean their journey together has come to an end.

Concussion Protocol
Sustaining a marriage probably means taking a few hits from life. Sometimes, it just becomes too much baggage and it may be healthier to just move on.

Leigh says many of his clients benefit from his tips after they move beyond their divorce and remarry into a substantially improved life. He said if early warning signs can ultimately keep families united, then it's reasonable to envision a future where what took place in Parkland would never happen again.

Comments

Well , back when they first wrote ‘’TIL death do us part ..” the average life expectancy of a male was likely only 28 -30 years old , so , I am just sayin’...... the evolution may really be about how well folks can manage / tolerate ( and maybe even thrive ) through the much longer ‘hauls’ that today’s married couples are expected to make . Just be more laid back , roll with the punches and your odds go up . If that doesn’t suit you and / or you married the one you don’t bring home to Mama , then the author will be very happy to relieve of a significant portion of however many shekels you may currently possess . (Maybe while the bill is talking about pamphlets to save your marriage , it might also include a chapter about how a pre-nup might also save your ASSets if / when things don’t go so well ....) Life goes on ....

Dumbest article I ever read. The parents of the Parkland shooter weren't divorced, they DIED!! Dad died when the boys were younger, then the Mom just months before the shooting. The shooter was severely mentally ill. How about some discussion of family supports for a widow or other single Mom with a severely disturbed son? That would fit both Parkland and Newtown.

OH Goody!...THERE'S the answer "Lisa": Let's create ANOTHER "entitlement" for criminals who use the "But I'm an orphan" defense !... (with an addendum for "widows & single moms" who (by their own failures) give up on their "charges", fade into the shadows, and "deny their very own personal "Judas's" living in their basements with a computer screen for a "BFF";.... An "entitlement" of this nature would be the equivalent of "alimony backpay" for failure to 'serve' responsibly)..... WE have ALREADY "moved from the ridiculous to the sublime" in this country and it is "MORE THAN TIME" to lay the blame where it rightly belongs...

The answer goes much deeper than just divorce. It is the breakdown of society in general. More violence in games, TV, cheating, family breakdown, lack of values and morals, and the absence of God. Women deserve a much more level playing field, but at the same time, life and marriage should not be so disposable. Faith, life, marriage and families are not the sacred institutions they used to be. That is where changes need to take place. Godlessness and immorality must be replaced by faith and values. It starts with our children.

So now, we're going to legislate the institution of marriage? Here are some of the problems. Unwanted pregnancies, because of our insistence of legislating morality, in birth control (a personal decision). Younger women are having more children, and having to raise them in a single situation. A lot of the children of that situation are raised as "mistakes" and never given the attention and love needed to grow up normally. We've also made Divorce easier to achieve. Make it harder. Divorce should still be available, but with true effort to recognize differences through counseling and effort, and a waiting period no shorter than two years to work it out. Too many couples get married and expect life to continue as it did when they were single. That never happens. Marriage is a commitment. One, both partners HAVE to work on from day one. Too many children are born of combative parents, who are more concentrated on abusing each other. And that abuse transcends to the child in most cases. Stop using TV, and video games to baby sit your children. Take them outside to enjoy family time.

The "Feminist Movement" caused it all... Pure ignorant rubbish.

Violent video games and the culture of death also contribute to mass murders! For the billionth time, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. There are many mentally ill people with needs and our government does not recognize this as a problem!!!! As far as gun control goes, tighten background checks ( Obama) raise the age to 21 and increase mental health availability and treatment

It's true "guns don’t kill people, people kill people" but, I have better chance of out running a knife, than a bullet.

This is a laughable attempt to turn the topic away from the proliferation of guns in our culture and the fact that disturbed (clinically or just angry) people can obtain them to do harm. Only myopic people think that guns will go away or the government will take them all. We need a reasoned discussion and debate about what we can do about reasonable time, place, manner and perhaps type restrictions on guns - with die-hard protagonists from each side either checking their prejudices at the door or staying out of it. Back to the laughable topic, first - Alex Hamilton needs to check his prejudices generally. He probably claims to be a follower of Christ. Second, there have been problems with society throughout history. Maybe we have less caring and consideration for each other now, though. Many people seem to be internally focused or focused on differences (hear that Alex?) and not on the fact that we all want (to quote Elvis Costello) "peace, love and understanding."

Well said. Good points, all.

I got married in 1999. I was required to sign something that said my future husband and I read some kind of what you need to know to navigate a marriage and it’s problems. It was a joke because we voluntarily visited a church run Pre-marital counseling program and the three page document we received from the courthouse which was required by a Republican Legislature was as whisper of what we learned in counseling

I got married in 1999. I was required to sign something that said my future husband and I read some kind of what you need to know to navigate a marriage and it’s problems. It was a joke because we voluntarily visited a church run Pre-marital counseling program and the three page document we received was as whisper if what we learned in counseling

My husband of 37 years recently passed, and I am here to tell you that it was definitely not all sunshine and roses! What is missing in the equation is personal integrity, which is the cornerstone of commitment. Few demonstrate it. Looking outside to assign blame is folly.

NOPE,...Divorce is the result of the "Feminist Movement" started in the '60's which was aided and assisted by "Alimony payments"; "child support payments"; "Single-parent household subsidies"; "food stamps" "free counseling,...college,... "child day-care"and a myriad of other entitlement subsidies resulting from politicians, lawyers, judges, social service advocates, "psychological mystics" and other "community organizers" and so-called & self promoted "experts": EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THE ABOVE LISTED contributed to the ever ongoing emasculation of the American male and the rise of neighborhood juvenile gangs and resultant increase of crime rates among aimless teens. Women wanted "equality"; and (BOY!!!) did they ever get THAT,...to the ongoing destruction of the "American Family"! (You can absolutely blame "divorce" on "feminism"!

You nailed it!

Typical "blame the victim" rhetoric. Subjugation of the feminine does not cure bad behavior in a male dominated society. Next you will make a case for women having the vote destroying our democracy. Get a grip.

"If the shoe fits, wear it" (even if its 3+ inch high-heel pumps...used to attract another unsuspectingly weak male "partner")

...OR, a "significant other" female "partner'; which is another increasingly rising result of "divorce" (as well as a rise in Birkenstock stock since the '60's)

While divorce may be a problem---the real breakdown in family is outside of marriage. Over 70% of African-American children are born out of wedlock---over 50% of Hispanic children are born out of wedlock. Millions of minority children are being raised in single parent families living below the poverty line. They are growing up in neighborhoods where the only male role models are pastors and drug dealers.

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