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Peter D Kramer a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University is the author of Divorce and Our National Values arguing how divorce rate reflects our national values At the time of this article Louisiana had a strict law for covenant marriage that limits cruel treatment other than physical or sexual abuse to grounds for separation with proof that the cruelty in question declares the spouses life together insupportable People who unite in marriage are making a sacred promise to hisher partner and self to live their lives together for better or for worse for richer for poorer in sickness and in health I agree with Kramers argument about how we as a society have taken marriage for granted by giving ourselves an easy way out which as a result reduces its valueAnyone who has been through an unfortunate experience with a divorce could agree less with the covenant marriage What is insidious about Louisianas covenant marriage is that contrary to claims on its behalf it is out of touch with our traditional values self-expression self-fulfillment self-reliance Kramer 488 Covenant marriage promotes autonomy and discards mutuality which I believe is the totally opposite of being married Marriage is the state of being united to a person in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law Pledging unconditional love and work together in kinship with another human being The Louisiana law invites couples to lash themselves to a morality the broader culture does not support an arrangement that creates a potential for terrible tensions Kramer 487 I believe Kramer wants to target his argument toward building better relationships and self-improvement Kramer state in his article Though we profess abhorrence of divorce I suspect that the divorce rate reflects our national values with great exactness and that conventional modern marriage -- an eternal commitment with loopholes galore -- expresses precisely the degree of loss of autonomy that we are able to tolerate 488 I agree with this
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