It has become the most fragile of American institutions. Marriage. It is disposable. No deposit. No return. If it doesn’t work, and it usually doesn’t, get another one. And another. As the country and western song says: “I’m gonna keep on fallin’ in love till I get it right.” That line could be the epithet for the Eighties. Divorce. Alimony. Child Support. Prenuptial agreements. These are the symbols by which we define our concept of matrimony nowadays.
Most marriages are doomed from the start because they began for the wrong reasons. We wanted to define our personalities through the personality of another. We wanted to feel like adults. We wanted a deed of possession for a lover. We wanted a wedding before the baby came. For whatever reason, our marriages are dissolving in ever increasing numbers.
Traditional media perspective on divorce has been to pronounce it as a symbol of the failure of our society. The following report makes no such judgment. Perhaps society has not failed, but simply changed. On the following pages we will examine how that change has affected a number of people in Dallas (which leads the nation in per capita divorce), and how it has affected the community as a whole.