For generations, married couples remained together even though they were unhappy and perhaps mired in a dysfunctional relationship largely because they were afraid to have what was perceived as a negative social stigma attached to them for the rest of their lives. Americans were quite turned off by divorce, and the percentage of people who thought that it was morally wrong reflected that attitude clearly. However, the perception of divorce and other social issues and behaviors have changed over the past decade or more in the opinion of Americans.
Gallup, one of the most respected polling companies in the world, recently completed a survey of Americans that asked them about several different social phenomena and compared the percentage of people who found them morally acceptable to the percentage who had the same opinion 10 or more years ago. While many of the results were not surprising, there were others that were not expected. One of the surprising percentages was tied to the number of people who deemed divorce to be moral.
According to the survey, 59 percent of Americans thought that divorce was a morally acceptable step to take in 2003. That number rose to 68 percent this year, and it reflects the fact that more people have gone through this process and the notion that more people understand that there are certain marriages that simply need to end for the good of the spouses and perhaps any children of those marriages. This upward trend is also a continuation of trends that were moving in this direction prior to the turn of the century.
However, infidelity remained a behavior that the vast majority of Americans viewed as not morally acceptable. When this question was asked during the last survey, only six percent of people found it to be morally acceptable. While the needle has moved somewhat, 91 percent of people still view it as immoral behavior. Many expected the attitude towards infidelity to change along with that which relates to divorce.
What should be taken from this survey is that people who are struggling through a troubled marriage should not avoid pursuing a divorce because they are concerned that they will be ostracized by society. More than two-thirds of people in the country understand that this can and does happen. However, the survey also indicates that people who are struggling in their marriages should simply go ahead and bring about an end to them as opposed to engaging in extramarital affairs, as that behavior is still treated with scorn.
The culture of the United States is one that is constantly changing with regards to just about every possible issue, and divorce is clearly one of them. People who know in their hearts that they are not meant to spend the rest of their lives with their spouses need to make a difficult decision, but it’s not one that will be met with disdain for the most part. If you are ready to take this step, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers at the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.