Oklahoma ‘covenant marriages’ aim to lower divorce rate

weddingring.jpgThe Daily O’Collegian has posted an interesting article questioning a new bill introduced into the Oklahoma legislature that recommends couples who are to be married go through premarital counselling, enter a so-called ‘covenant marriage’, and then be unable to divorce based on grounds of incompatibilty.
It doesn’t exclude other grounds for divorce, such as abuse, and presumably actual adultery, but it does suggest that couples who have undergone this counselling are somehow immune from problems later on in their marriages.

I’m all for couples going into marriage knowing as much about one another as possible, and there’s a lot to be said for pre-marriage classes and courses that seek to get the couple to talk to one another about important issues that might otherwise be ignored. However, no course can somehow bulletproof a marriage from problems.

It’s how a couple works through those problems that counts. Encouraging more responsibility before getting married is good, but I think this move will frighten off couples.

Of course, the ideal is that married couples do stay together, but we know the reality is that doesn’t happen. I could controversially say that this law could even exacerbate an unhappy marriage (when one or other partner becomes unresponsive to working at the relationship), as one or other partner looks for ‘acceptable’ grounds for divorce.

I can see the sentiment behind the bill, but I’m not sure the law is the best way to try to solve relationship issues.