While this is not true of all highly contested cases, a surprising amount of people are happy after their divorce even if the outcome was not ideal. The parties accept the bad outcome and go off on their merry wee way. [click to continue…]

Now that states are falling like dominoes for same-sex marriage, the Daily Show opines that the real question is not which state will be next to legalize gay marriage but which state will be last: It’s Mississippi v. Alabama.

They send some stunt actors to play a flamboyant gay couple in each state…

Couple cuddling in boat

New York Times: Chicagoans should think before getting hitched.

On January 5, 1868, the New York Times Op Ed Column “guess[ed] ” that Chicago has “the highest proportion of divorces to marriages of any locality in the United States, or of any place in the world. ”

The article goes on to analyze how this reflects on Chicago:

It shows that there is something wrong in the style of its men or in the training of its women. It shows a fearful number of foolish matches, and a sorrowful crop of domestic suffering. It furnishes a warning to mankind which deserves to be heeded. [click to continue…]

Divorce in 1860s Chicago

by Marie on April 1, 2014

Don't let their stiffness fool you. They weren't that different from us.

In 1860, the town of Naperville received “world-side notoriety” when it hosted the Burch divorce case. At the time, the case “had just about as much notoriety as the O.J. Simpson case does today.” The case was to have been heard in Cook County, but it was moved to Naperville so the parties could get a fair hearing.

Ms. Burch, the well connected daughter of a railroad magnate, was divorcing her husband. Mr. Burch alleged that Ms. Burch had committed adultery. Ms. Burch alleged that Mr. Burch was cruel and that he only married her for her money. [click to continue…]

The beauty of old-fashioned euphemisms

by Marie on March 1, 2014

Whether in writing or coffee, sometimes old-fashioned is better.

Sometimes I wish I lived in the old days where issues were described so delicately. For example, in the mid 19th century, divorced people were referred to as “victims” of divorce.

According to the book Euphemania by Ralph Keyes, in the 17th century people could be sentenced to the stocks for “unseemly behavior ” an offense which might range from dirty talk with an unmarried member of the opposite sex to kissing your “wife on the doorstep after returning from three years at sea.” [click to continue…]