The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Divorce Camp is a Threat to Marriage

I’ve posted before about the phenomenon of sites like CompleteCase.Com making divorce easier to get via the web, but that post eaten in of one of the last database crashes I had before relaunching the blog. (The Technorati link above is the best I could do to find it.) I thought about that post, and about how little objection we hear to real “threats to marriage,” when I saw this piece about the latest resource for heterosexuals looking to get shed of their marriages: Divorce Camp.

Despite the fact that [Jennifer] Morris sells real estate for a living, she had no idea how to make wise decisions about her own legal and financial future. On top of that, she was spent emotionally. Instead of feeling in control, she said, she let her divorce happen to her.

Determined to save other women from the same fate, she created Daisy Camp, a one-stop shop tackling many of the hardest challenges of divorce, from legal to emotional, in a supportive atmosphere. While the camps are directed at women, Morris also offers mini-camps for divorcing couples dealing primarily with legal matters and healthy co-parenting.

… There’s no canoeing at Daisy Camp’s three-day retreats, but there are sessions titled “Real Estate ABCs” and “Financial Nuts and Bolts” as well as “Essential Oils.” There’s belly dancing and massage, too.

Her first camp in March, limited to 40 women, sold out and had a waiting list of 50. Website traffic (www.daisycampforyou.com) has increased from 20 to 1,000 hits a day, Morris said.

Online divorce, 3-day divorce seminars, etc. Sounds like divorce is a booming business already (and kinda fun; if you throw in some belly dancing, massage, and essential oils it’s like a divorce seminar and a weekend at the spa all rolled into one), and gay people have barely gotten gotten marriage equality anywhere yet.

What gives? I didn’t see anything in the article about why Morris “knew that she had to get divorced” or what’s driving women to her website and selling out attendance at her seminars, but it can’t be our fault because we can’t get married in 49 out of 50 states, and can’t get civil unions in something like 48 out of 50. And in the states where we do have legal marriage or civil unions, heterosexual divorce rates are lower than in states where we don’t have marriage equality or civil unions.

It’s been mentioned before, usually facetiously, that if people are so concerned about protecting marriage they they ought to look into outlawing divorce or making it a bit harder to get. Rep. Lincoln Davis brought it up during the House debate on the FMA last month. And caught some hell for it, so perhaps to some people divorce is nearly as sacred an institution as marriage. I can’t remember if Rep. John Hostettler got as much flack when he said divorce is just as dangerous as same-sex marriage, but maybe it was different because he’s a Republican.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen enough bad marriages to know that sometimes divorce is the best possible move for everyone involved. At the very least, it empowers women to leave abusive marriages. I’ve seen that happen too, and I think it’s saved a lot of lives. That and the social changes that made it easier for women to achieve an economic independence that makes it easier for them to leave abusive relationships. So, I’m not against divorce.

But it occurs to me that with so many marriages failing, and so many of them failing in states most opposed to marriage equality, that either a lot of people have their priorities out of whack when it comes to real threats to marriage. Either that or they know there’s still a few dollars to be made and votes to be gathered through gay bashing, and they’re cynically exploiting that for as long as they can. (Perhaps due to evidence that they’re running out of time to exploit that issue.)

Either way, it seems if the powers that be really cared about safeguarding marriage, they’d look into operations like Daisy Camp; not to shut them down, but to find out what’s really driving people to these services. That is, of course, if preserving marriage is what they’re really interested in to begin with.

4 Comments

  1. I think we should amend the Constitution to prohibit the creation of these “Daisy Camps,” because they undermine the centuries of tradition behind marriage.

  2. These “things just didn’t work out” divorces really tick me off. Like you, if the marriage is abusive or significantly problematic in some way, that’s one thing. But people getting married when they thought they were mature enough to handle it and then going “ennnh, maybe not …” that really bugs me.

    In my opinion, you don’t take marriage for a test drive. That’s what the dating bit is for. It’s not meant to be disposable. It’s not a trivial thing that you just take off like a dirty shirt. Yes, there are some really, really tough days. When D. got laid off literally the day after we got back from our honeymoon, we immediately went through a financial trial by fire. We’ve been through some tough times, and I am sure we’ll go through some more.

    I sometimes think watching the movie Parenthood should be required viewing for anyone considering getting married. That part near the end where Helen (Dianne Wiest) breaks it down for Julie (Martha Plimpton) after Tod (Keanu Reeves) has been in a crash and she doesn’t think she can handle it always makes me cheer for Helen:

    Julie: “I can’t do this! This is too intense!”
    Helen: “This is marriage!”

    It’s just so “Pull your s*** together and deal with reality!” It always makes me want to cheer for Helen.

    Your partner could be in an accident that puts him or her in a wheelchair for the rest of his or her life the day you get married. It could happen. To me, when you vow, you sign on, and you’d better be danged sure.

    Again, I understand that there are certain events that can occur that wholly and significantly alter a partnership, but the divorce rate in this country is far too high for all of them to be products of circumstances like that.

  3. that is pretty sad.
    i have experienced first hand the effects of such sites and it’s cold and ruthless to the person on the receiving end

  4. I think the idea of a “divorce camp” is a terrific one. I do not think most people divorce on a whim.
    Marriage should be taken very seriously and it is sacred. However the reality is that about 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. There is very little education out there for divorcing women or men for that matter.
    I went through a very ugly, expensive divorce. Had I known how to protect myself financially and emotionally I would have been spared alot of heartache. I think the Daisy camp is trying to help people faced with divorce discover their options and prepare themselves.
    I would not want any woman to go through what I experienced in my divorce. That is why I wrote a book,
    “Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce-what every woman needs to know”. I teach women the survival skills they need to have a positive divorce outcome.
    There is no excuse for a man or a woman to act in an angry, vengeful way during divorce. Maybe a divorce camp can put things in perspective for the participants and help them cool down and explore their options.
    I believe there is never an excuse for two married people who were once in love to turn against each other and fight over money. Sadly there are many divorcing couples today who are using their children as pawns in an act of venegence against their spouse.
    I think the reason the demand is so high for a divorce camp is that people are crying out for direction. They need to be educated about divorce and learn how to end their marriages with dignity and respect.

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