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HuffPo Divorce “Progress Report” Reveals Another Generation Lost in the 60s

Posted on January 25 2011 10:00 am

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Times have indeed changed, and changed substantially. Once, not so long ago, marriage was understood to be about more than me. It was even, in its larger and more expansive meaning and cultural centrality, about more than strictly the romantic/emotional/sexual bond between a man and woman. Once, marriage and family were understood by a critical mass of citizens to be the fundamental, institution necessary to a free, civil, viable social order.

Divorce, when it occurred, was understood as a tragic failure of one or both parties to master the disciplines and character attributes necessary to a successful marriage.

From the late sixties onward, we (those of us who were there as the culture began to change) were told that all of us were beaten and battered victims of a repressive society and its “narrow minded” mores and values. Marriage, family, traditional sexual norms and boundaries, and even age itself were mercilessly attacked and impugned by various social revolutionaries seeking a self referential, unconstricting “new morality.”

Agi Smith, a contributor to The Huffington Post divorce page is conducting a series of interviews with people who are going through, or have gone through a divorce. Smith wants to see how people’s outlook has changed, or been modified by the experience of divorce (and marriage).  Her present subject, on Angela Zack, provides us some food for cultural thought.

Smith asks her if she believes in marriage.  Her answer is interesting:

I don’t really. I have been struggling to figure out what it is about this institution nowadays that people would need. I understand in the 50’s and 60’s somebody would feel like they needed to get married if they wanted to have children. But now it seems its completely acceptable to have children without being married to each other. I certainly don’t judge people for not being married if they have children. Unless there is some sort of financial or tax reason that is beneficial…I would never do it again.

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