…The divorce rate was kept down through the mid-20th century by virtue of an oppressive patriarchy. Restrictive social mores and economic dependence kept countless women bound in bad marriages.
When those mores changed and economic opportunities for women grew, so did the divorce rate, for the simple reason that the bonds to bad marriages loosened or dissolved. In other words, people who decry the current divorce rate are missing the point; it is today at (or close to) its natural level. The lower divorce rates of the much-romanticized bygone years got that way because they were artifically depressed.
All this is by way of agreeing with Ms Kate: Divorce is not just necessary, it is inevitable. Allowing people never to make a mistake in choosing a life partner is an intolerably cruel restriction that a free society will never, should never, accept.
As for the children of divorce, they deserve the same sympathy as any other victims of an inevitable social-historical shift. We can take hope in the fact that the natural resilience of the young, combined with the love and best intentions of two parents who may no longer love each other, will succeed in giving the child of divorce a chance at a fulfilled life without robbing his parents of theirs.