Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Ethicist: Divorce Announcement Advocate


Dear Ethicist: I regularly read the paid obits in the paper. It’s a good way to keep up with comings and goings so to speak. The marriage vows column provides a similar function albeit more in the comings area. But I’m wondering why one never sees a column devoted to divorces? It would be very informative to know who is or isn’t with whom. I’ve always felt there are similarities between divorce and death. Divorce listings could easily be modeled on your typical paid obit with a description of the background of both parties, where they went to school and what clubs or other community organizations to which they belonged. It would be up to who's ever placing the notice, but I think it would also be useful and even instructive to know the reason for the divorce such as infidelity or the more umbrella term “irreconcilable differences.” Most of the people who get married eventually get divorced and then die. So this seems like a no brainer. It’s also a way for newspapers—which have been suffering huge losses due to the decline of newsprint and the rise of social media—to make an extra buck.

Divorce Announcement Advocate



Dear Divorce Announcement Advocate: Your suggestion makes sense, but the problem is that it’s unlikely most divorced couples would be able to agree on the content of any announcement. Many divorcees play the blame game. While that can make for good reading, it can result in libel suits. For now I think you’re going to have to rely on old-fashioned gossip which is the place where warring couples can bad mouth each other with impunity.


Dear Ethicist: I see your point.  It was just an idea inspired by Leslie Jamison's review of Divorcing by Susan Taubes in The New York Review of Books. Jamison says, "I believed that divorce involved a ceremony, the inverse of marriage, in which the married couple moved backward through the choreography of their wedding, starting at the altar, unclasping their hands, and walking separately down the aisle."

Dear Divorce Announcement Advocate: Nice quote!

Read "Moravia's Contempt by Francis Levy, HuffPost


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