The Case Against Divorce

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Psychologist Diane Medved, having counseled many couples with troubled marriages, used to share the popular belief that “staying together in turmoil was ultimately more traumatic than simply making a break.” After conducting extensive research, however, Medved changed her mind, and concluded “that the process and aftermath of divorce is so pervasively disastrous--to body, mind, and spirit--that in an overwhelming number of cases, the ’cure’ that it brings is surely worse than the marriage’s ’disease.’”

Medved argues that American society encourages divorce by devaluating marriage and glamorizing the singles life. Traditional religions, which support the institution of marriage, are on the decline. Feminism, if misunderstood, seems to describe marriage as a restraint on self-fulfillment. There is an entire industry, consisting of lawyers, doctors, and counselors, which thrives on divorce. And finally, well-meaning friends who offer unconditional support to couples contemplating divorce can actually act as a barrier to their possible reconciliation.

Medved offers seven reasons for avoiding divorce, including staying together “for the sake of the children.” She points out that facing problems in a marriage builds character, and that couples who solve their problems together are often rewarded with a sense of joy and peace in their relationships.

In THE CASE AGAINST DIVORCE, Medved makes her points clearly and persuasively. Indeed, she describes the terrors of the singles life so vividly that she should succeed in frightening all married people into repairing their troubled unions.