I tried the whole marriage experiment from August 2005 through June 2007. In case you're keeping score from home, that's about 22 months of self-inflicted pain and suffering. Marriage wasn't a great experience for me. I was too independent, proud and non-Nazarene for it to work out very well. Plus, my ex-wife was...well...there's a reason she's my ex-wife.
Anyway, the best thing about my marriage was the speed in which we were able to get divorced. It was fast. We separated in May 2007, hired a Budget Divorce type place to draw up a decree, and by that June, everything was official and printed in the newspaper. It was a short and simple process, and cost us $150 each. We both benefited from the fast turnaround. It gave us more time to move on with our lives, recover, find a rebound and all that other B.S.
Well, apparently it's a good thing that I got married and divorced when I did. Now, because they know the best way to live other people's lives, some Derps in the Oklahoma House of Representatives have proposed legislation to make divorce more difficult.
First of all, we have Arthur Hulbert from Ft. Gibson. He wants to take a pretty awful experience and drag it out another six months:
An Oklahoma state representative has filed a bill that would increase the waiting period for most Oklahoma couples seeking a divorce.
Rep. Arthur Hulbert, R-Fort Gibson, said the measure is aimed at reducing Oklahoma's divorce rate, which is the second-highest in the country, the Muskogee Phoenix reported (http://bit.ly/1hEehKh ). His measure, filed in advance of the legislative session that begins Feb. 3, calls for a six-month waiting period for most divorces.
"I feel like we have a bill that will help strengthen families and give them time to rethink reconciliation," Hulbert said. "I believe marriages have value, and I think society only benefits if we strengthen the family."
Hulbert said his bill would include exemptions for adultery and cases in which an individual is convicted of child abuse or domestic abuse. The measure also includes exceptions for abandonment, extreme cruelty and habitual drunkenness.
Yeah, what a great way to help build a healthy marriage. When people reach the point where they can't stand each other and want to move on with their lives, let's make them wait another six months just so they can be sure it's what they want to do. That's a good idea, because divorce is such a spontaneous and unplanned thing. People rarely take the personal responsibility and time to think a major life decision like that through.
Could there be any complication?
Some researchers question whether lengthening the waiting period would have a positive effect.
Stephanie Coontz, research and public education director for the Council on Contemporary Families, said states that ease divorce laws see a drop in domestic violence and suicide rates among wives.
"So, when you think about trying to reverse the ease of divorce, you may be incurring some real risks," Coontz said. This could be more true "in times of economic stress, which do tend to increase domestic violence," she said.
Yeah, but Stephanie Coontz is forgetting one important thing. Republican men know what's best for Oklahoma women (and men)! You know, because they're Christians with good morals.
Arthur Hulbert isn't the only Derp who wants the state to get involved in the private lives of individuals. State Rep Sean Roberts (this guy) wants to outlaw "incompatibility" as a ground for divorce. It makes sense, because if you are incompatible with someone, you should obviously spend the rest of your life with them in misery. That's the healthy pro-family lifestyle we want to promote in this state.
Here's a screenshot of the bill. He literally just scratched out the word "incompatible:"
So getting a divorce because your husband is impotent or the wife was knocked up before the marriage is fine, but if you all are simply incompatible, you're screwed. Makes sense to me! Also, you're going to need to cheat, become a drunk or turn into an extremely cruel asshole if you really want a divorce. At least that will make divorce more risqué and fun. And don't forget, you'll need to wait six months before getting one. You know, just to make 100% sure that it's something you want to do.
Anyway, I got an amazing idea. Instead of spending so much time on draconian legislation that makes it harder for unhappy people to get a divorce, maybe our legislature should make it more difficult for people to get married. Crazy idea, huh? Maybe introduce a 6-month to 1-year probation period before a marriage becomes official, or raise the legal marriage age to 25? I bet that would lower the divorce rate.
Another solution would be to make a couple pay a $1,000 marriage deposit. If a couple stays married for 7-years, they get the money back with interest. If they divorce prior to the 7-years, it goes into a marriage education fund. Who would be against that? It would make people seriously consider whether or not they should get married, and encourage them to make it work if they do. It's an idea so logical and brilliant it will never see the light of day.