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“Divorce, the writer said, had become too easy. Waltz in, waltz out.

“Waltz in, maybe. Make marriage harder if you want to. Outlaw those Vegas chapels with the neon wedding bells, require marriage applications modeled after tax forms, but leave divorce alone. To leave, you have to involve the courts. You have to sue the person you live with for your freedom. You have to disconnect your life from another life and face the sea alone.

“I do not believe that there were more happy marriages, before divorce became socially acceptable, that people tried harder, got through their rough times, and were better off. I believe that more people suffered.

“…if we fail at marriage, we are lucky we don’t have to fail with the force of our whole life… Forgiveness is important not so much because we’ve done wrong as because we feel we need to be forgiven. Family, friends, God, whoever loves us forgives us, takes us in again. They are thrilled by our life, our possibilities, our second chances. They weep with gladness that we did not have to die.”

– Ann Patchett, “The Sacrament of Divorce”


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