Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Perils of Covenant Marriage

Blogger Brian over at Audience of One has pointed out some problems with the Covenant Marriage statute.

Brian says:

How about some hypotheticals? Some people might consider the following reasons to ask for a divorce. None would be legal grounds under the covenant marriage laws. Which ones do you think are legitimate? For all of these, the offended spouse has asked for change, requested counseling, and made great effort to change the offending behavior.

1. Peggy marries Joe and for a few years everything is fine. Then Joe begins to spend more and more time at the casino and a fair portion of the family’s income ends up being spent at the blackjack table. As a consequence they are sometimes unable to meet their financial obligations.

2. Tom marries Sue and the newlyweds enjoy a honeymoon period. Suddenly Tom becomes much more adamant about his religious beliefs, asks his wife to throw out most of her wardrobe for being too provocative, insists that the family give 25% of their income to the church, and insists that she stop a variety of activities that he now considers to be sinful.

3. Jack marries Letha who at the time of their marriage weighs 120 lbs and has long, flowing hair. Three years later she weighs 275 lbs and has cut her hair to a “butch” look. No medical condition is present. He now finds her unattractive and tells her so. She resists all entreaties to lose weight.

4. Joe marries Shirley and they have a rollicking sex life in the early years of their marriage. Shirley becomes totally uninterested in sex and tells Joe she stills loves him but has no intention of having sex with him in the foreseeable future. She states that her libido is just gone.

5. Jenny marries Rick who is an avid outdoorsman. But once they marry his occasional fishing or hunting trips become almost an everyday event. He is either working, sleeping, fishing, or hunting. He is always polite to her but pays her little attention, focusing all his energy on his outdoor pursuits.

6. Jo Ann and Thomas are both married in the church they grew up in. Thomas goes on a business trip and becomes enchanted with an Eastern religion, far different from the faith they shared when they were married. He spends much energy trying to convert her and their children into his newfound religion and she is strenuously opposed to it.

7. John was such a frugal guy when he and Peggy Sue got married. He hits middle age and suddenly becomes an absolutely wild spender. He buys a new Corvette convertible, a Harley Davidson, has plastic surgery on his face, and takes up flying planes. All of his activities are rapidly draining their savings which they had always said would be for retirement. She is afraid that if she doesn’t do something she will have no savings when she retires.

Covenant marriage has been proposed in Oklahoma, but failed to pass by one vote in 2002.

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