If you read Dan Savage, you know that nowadays there are many options for those among us who want unconventional relationships. Things were different in the old days. People who had a hard time conforming with norms often allowed themselves to behave in destructive ways to meet their desires. Read of the scandalous 1913 affair of the married lady who kept her 17 year old lover in the attic for 10 years.
In 1868 the New York Times published two hysterical posts on Chicago’s divorce rate and what this meant for Chicago’s future. I put Chicago’s 1868 divorce rate in perspective by comparing it to Chicago’s current divorce rate and with the divorce rate for countries around the world.
Time may pass, but people don’t change. Check out the scandalous yet surprisingly modern Burch divorce from the 1860s. Things were not necessarily better or more proper back in the day.
Apart from the lurid accusations the spouses leveled against each other, the public’s fascination is surpassingly modern.
On January 2, 1912, Viola Hudson — a Chicago native in Reno for a divorce — made the New York Times headlines for dancing the “bird trot” and “turkey trot” with an unrelated man.
Alarmists cite the increasing divorce rate as a sign that we don’t take things seriously anymore. But – I wonder – could our increased life-spans be the cause of our high divorce rate?