“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” —Friedrich Nietzsche
Californians will soon face longer lines in courthouses, wrote Maura Dolan and Victoria Kim of the L.A. Times on July 20, 2011. The longer lines include getting divorces finalized. To get a divorce in California used to take five months, with the budget cuts, couples must wait 18 months. Some have not been married for that long.
This is a wake-up call for straight and gay couples* in San Francisco.
Why is it so hard for a couple to make a life long commitment? Has the institution of marriage become a city-hall-sponsored speed-dating affair? Building a friendship and romantic relationship at the same time leads to more realistic relationship expectations. Did you officially make a long-term commitment to your closest friends? The friendship grew over time; there are no best friends “at first sight.” Perhaps it is time to decrease the lines in front of the marriage certificate clerk window and increase the amount of quality time getting to know and accept the people you plan to grow old with. Did not plan on being your spouse that long? What is the point of getting married if the divorce attorneys are on speed dial? Some people have been married 3, 4, 6 times before retirement age. Divorce is costly, time-consuming, and psychologically damaging to couples and children. While there are couples in the gay community fighting everyday to have the right to marry each other, straight couples are clogging up the court system with their abundance of divorce requests. If you get married so often that you have a hole punch marriage certificate card, save your money. San Francisco city hall marriage $70, San Francisco superior court divorce $400, not getting married in the first place – priceless. The best things in life are free.
*Gay couples married between June 2008 – October 2008.