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July 13, 2009

Regarding the curious tendency of modern people to willingly air their dirty laundry for all to see

The Wall Street Journal has an article July 13 about how the collapsing economy has thrown a monkey wrench into many divorce proceedings:

Rhonda Brewster and her husband have decided they don't want to be married to each other anymore. But while they're ready to move on, they still can't move out.

They don't want to sell their home, in Huntsville, Ala., in a down market. They can't afford two households until Ms. Brewster finds steady work. So for now, they are living under the same roof but on separate floors.

The "kids are OK with it." says Ms. Brewster, a 39-year-old freelance writer and stay-at-home mother. "They just know that mommy lives upstairs and daddy lives in the basement."

Unwinding the ties of matrimony is rarely simple or inexpensive, but for many couples, the sour economy is complicating the process further.

Divorce lawyers say many couples are delaying the decision to dissolve marriages and are staying in unpleasant situations for fear of being on their own at a time of economic uncertainty. Others are being forced to live together after the divorce is final for financial convenience. That can strain the emotions and result in awkward negotiations about subjects like dating.

The article goes on to give several more examples of the phenomenon.

I don’t know if I’m just naïve, but I don’t understand how so many of these cases became public knowledge, to the point that a Wall Street Journal reporter got wind of them and was able to compile an article about them.

What would make these people willing to broadcast their marriage failures to the entire world? (Future spouses of these folks, take note.)

I could understand the greed motive of those who act out on the reality shows, who are willing to degrade themselves in front of millions in exchange for a chance at some cash – although even on reality shows, some are willing to degrade themselves for free. It’s still horrifying and repulsive, but (when there’s a possibility of winning money) still understandable.

But what’s in it for these folks in the WSJ article?

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