County Lines by Bob
Almost the end of June, the most popular month for getting married,
and I haven't written about the subject.
But I can't write about marriage without writing about divorce.
That would be like making a peanut butter sandwich without the peanut
butter. Just two pieces of bread. Nothing between the slices. Nothing
to stick to the roof of your mouth.
Unlike a peanut butter sandwich, though, which is one part peanut
butter and two parts bread, the divorce rate in this country is
almost the reverse.
In the United States, 7 out of 11 marriages end in divorce. That
equals 64%, almost 67%, almost 2 out of 3, but not quite. To demonstrate
what this means, even though it's on the low side, let's say 60%,
3 out of 5 marriages end in divorce.
Pick up a newspaper. Find the wedding announcements or the list
of marriage licenses. Choose five couples. According to the laws
of probability, three of the couples will get divorced. If marriage
was a horse race, the smart money would bet on divorce as the outcome
and win more times than lose.
My parents were married for almost 52 years when my father died.
I asked Mom why she thought so many marriages end in divorce. She
said couples focus too much on the wedding and not enough on the
marriage that follows.
I know another reason. Tonight, after the lights are out, millions
of people will say I love you when they mean I desire you.
Not that desire is a bad thing. Without the natural desire for
members of the opposite sex, none of us would be here. But sex and
love aren't the same thing. This doesn't mean telling the difference
between the two is easy.
Dogs, cats, and other members of the animal kingdom have sex, mate.
They don't do so out of love. They're driven by instinct. You could
say they're driven by desire.
Human beings often engage in sex for the same reason. But in many
cases the instinct or desire is wrapped in a pleasant package of
romance and make-believe love. Sooner or later the wrapping wears
thin and the game becomes harder to play, until the players get
tired of playing, give up, and go their separate ways.
Sometimes the game ends before the players are married. More often
than not, however, the game isn't over until after the players are
married. Score another divorce in the record books.
Taking a time out after such a game to figure what went wrong,
to decide if the game is worth playing, would be the smart thing
to do. But getting right back into the game with a partner like
the one before isn't unusual.
A wife divorcing an alcoholic who abused her and marrying another
alcoholic who abuses her isn't uncommon. A husband divorcing a spouse
who nags relentlessly and marrying another who does the same isn't
Love isn't blind. Sexual desire without love is.
Even though it often makes people do stupid things, sexual desire
is normal. Desire for the opposite sex is a natural function created
within us to ensure the continuation of the human race.
Strong human sexual desires were important during prehistoric times.
The more mates and children a caveman had, the larger his tribe.
More members to find food, to fight off invading tribes.
The human race, however, has progressed since prehistoric times,
not as much as some believe, but a little. Most of us no longer
live in caves. We don't need to be members of a large tribe. We
buy food and shelter. We pay taxes to hire police and soldiers to
protect us from danger, both real and imagined.
Human sexual desires, however, are still prehistoric. Although
our brains have increased in size since the caveman days, human
beings don't always think with their brains, especially when sex
Sexual desires, though normal and natural, can be dangerous and
detrimental when allowed to run loose. Every day husbands kill wives
and wives kill husbands for being sexually unfaithful. Every day
scores of unwanted children are born.
I know what some of you are thinking: But, Bob, you've been married
and divorced so many times, who are you to give advice about uncontrolled
Who knows more about war? Someone who stayed home and watched it
on TV or someone who fought on the front lines?
've gone from bar to bar, searching for women. I've picked up the
last ones at closing time. I've looked at my prizes in the harsh
reality of early morning light.
"Gotta go or I'll be late for work."
"But it's Sunday."
"I know. That's my busiest day."
"Yeah. Sure. First chance I get."
I used to have a Terrier that disappeared whenever a dog within
a five-mile radius went into heat. Three or four days later, he'd
come limping home, beaten and bruised.
After lapping up some water and gulping down some food, he'd flop
on the floor with his tongue hanging out and go to sleep. I used
to behave the same way. But I grew out of that stage before it killed
No more chasing after a few minutes of pleasure with my tongue
hanging out. No more looking for love where it can't be found. No
more saying I love you to get what I want. No more vows and broken
Let the other players play. I'm no longer in the game.
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570