Former football star Jay Cutler and his reality star wife of almost seven years, Kristin Cavallari, have filed for divorce. Cavallari and Cutler share three children, and star in a successful reality show. The dust has settled, and the supposed reason for the separation is that Cavallari is fed up with Cutler because he’s lazy and unmotivated.
While some Bears fans might agree with this assessment of Cutler, it is a bit biased. His decade-long football career with earnings north of $100 million gives him the right to relax a little bit.
Cutler has yet to make good on the promise of a potential broadcasting career, but some claim his demeanor has nothing to do with the divorce. Rumors have circled that Cutler may have cheated on Cavallari with her friend, celebrity stylist Kelly Henderson. Cavallari has denied ever having believed this rumor.
The public divorce would make more sense if there were a clear reason. Generally the term “irreconcilable differences” gets thrown around a lot in these matters, clearly for privacy reasons. Although Cutler and Cavallari divorcing should not discourage anyone from marriage, it certainly doesn’t make anything easier.
Men and women have probably never had a harder time trying to forge strong marriages. To weather the storm of differences and stay together is a lot easier said than done when divorce is so easy to achieve.
Many are able to forge strong marriages in spite of our culture. The 50 percent divorce rate number we all hear often is a bit of statistical misnomer because the number of divorces in a given year is generally half the number of marriages in a given year. It is also inflated because many divorcees divorce again. The misrepresentation of this data only reinforces a culture many believe is against marriage.
Men especially are subject to fear mongering about entering a legal union with one woman. The term “divorce rape” is popular amongst internet circles that make marriage out to be about as dangerous for a man as a game of Russian roulette.
Marriage doomsayers use the example of men like Cutler and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as proof that marriage is distinctly to the disadvantage of successful men. When rumors swirled that the late Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa might get a divorce, for example, it inspired the popular rap lyric, “You wasn’t with me shooting in the gym.”
The clever lyric spread like wildfire and revealed the patently false belief that women are leeches in a marriage is widespread. The lyric also shows it is in the interest of the entertainment industry to fan the flames of the battles of the sexes.
The demand for millions of dollars in spousal support plus a large home don’t paint the best picture of Cavallari, but she deserves her due as a wife. The dilemma is the warped sense of marriage by both sexes has caused this extreme disparity in what one means to the other. The value of a wife is portrayed as all or nothing.
Our society has become one where marriage is becoming or has already become obsolete. No-fault divorce makes marriage a zero-sum game, especially when children are involved. It necessitates painting each respective spouse in a bad light to gain leverage in court. In this back and forth, no one wins, especially the kids.
The kids aren’t impervious to this sexes battle, which continues long after a divorce is finalized. This ultimately yields generations soured on the prospect of marriage.
When laws and society pit men and women against each other, men and women are more likely to see each other for their worst attributes. Fewer millennials get married, and much later in life than previous generations. It is too early to tell what effect this will have, but the deterioration of our family life is as clear as day.