Divorce is looming in the lives of several friends of mine. Couples come in all varieties, and divorce does, too, nearly all of them good. A rising divorce rate is a sign of social evolution, because forever is usually too long.

I’ve known many couples who seemed to stay together just out of sheer determination to stay together, often for the sake of children and just as often apparently for the sake of ensuring that their partner wasn’t happy either.

That’s not to say a person ought to leave a partner over trivia—give and take and all that. It’s just that what passes for trivia in any given head could be unforgivable conduct in the head at the other end of the sofa.

After years of neurotic complacency, my buddy’s wife requested that he leave their home forthwith. He did, and they continued to share the children and the dog. Five years later his ladyfriend objected to his still being married, so he told his wife he thought they should complete their split with a divorce. His apparently surprised wife said she had thought that if he moved out, they wouldn’t get a divorce, and she blamed the dissolution on him. That’s right. She had asked him to leave in order to save their marriage—a double reverse with a half twist in the side pocket, one of her specialties—which reminded him what living with her had been like and made him glad to be gone.

One friend’s primary distress seems to be over having to work full-time now, rather than dabbling like she used to do. She’s beautiful, intelligent and charming, though—she even likes her job—so it’s just the end of a chapter, not of the world.

A close friend enjoyed years of genuine, remote affection until she met a man who actually listened to her. She’d been dabbling anyway, and this one was the deal breaker. At first she wanted both men, but her husband made her choose. She was sorry when he left, being a single mom with no income, but now she has her own business and her homewrecker’s still paying attention to her, so what the hell.

Then there’s the woman who put up with a head-gamer for several years and, after seeing him through a serious illness, left with a clear conscience and fire in her eyes. Now she has a new lover and a newly hairless pudendum, both of which bring her great pleasure.

Another friend of mine recently started divorce paperwork, and skimming the verbiage gave me a hint as to why divorce is usually traumatic, even when both parties want it.

What’s wrong with divorce is that it’s necessary at all. Divorce exists because marriage exists, and marriage—as opposed to romance and commitment or pair bonds or families—exists because government makes it harder on us without it.

Divorce is difficult because government is involved. Breaking up can be hard to do, but it’s bound to be easier without politicians.