On Warwick H. Hartin, Nancy Keesing, and Helen Garner

Reviewed by
June 1978, no. 1

On Warwick H. Hartin, Nancy Keesing, and Helen Garner

Reviewed by
June 1978, no. 1

Divorce DilemmaDivorce Dilemma by Warwick H. Hartin

Hill of Content, $4.95, 085572085
Divorce Dilemma is a book for those contemplating divorce, but it should be compulsory reading for those contemplating marriage!

Warwick Hartin brings a wealth of research and practical experience to this clear and searching analysis of divorce and marriage in our society. He courageously examines the sacrosanct institution of marriage, our reasons for marrying, the divorce rate and the effect of divorce on children. He looks beyond the cultural conditioning and mythology which surround the concept of marriage and. in part, attributes the breakdown of marriages to society’s failure to adjust cultural myth to reality.

In particular, he examines the experience of ‘falling in love’, the social pressure to marry by a certain age, the availability of a person who is attractive to oneself, the needs arising from one’s situation at a given time. People are quite often not aware of these accompanying influences when they ‘decide’ to marry.

Hartin looks at the expectations which people have of marriage. These range from the traditional expectation with its emphasis on the two roles of male provider and female homemaker, to the romantic expectation of a dreamlike trouble-free marriage, or, thirdly, expectations of a companionship marriage where the emphasis is on the relationship between a man and a woman. All marriages may combine elements of the three types, of course; it is a matter of emphasis. Some people, be says, enter marriage with no clear expectations at all, often because it is simply the socially accepted next-thing-to-do.


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