From The Austin American-Statesman
By Melissa Taboada
Adriana and Pierre Cardenas have seen it all.
Every few weeks, they take several couples through a seven-week counseling course that prepares them for marriage. They talk about everything: Finances. In-laws. Sex.
Adriana Cardenas sees a common thread through all of them. Love, and marriage, is hard. That's why Cardenas sees preparation as a tool during the tough times, even when the commitment is questioned.
"We don't know how to be married," Adriana Cardenas said. "We just fall in love and hope for the best."
Last week, the Texas House approved a proposal that would exempt couples that take a premarital course from the 72-hour mandatory waiting period to get a marriage license. They also would be exempt from the mandatory marriage license fee, which would double to $60. If the bill is signed by Gov. Rick Perry, the changes will go into effect in September 2008.
See the Dish from April 12th and April 18th for more on Texas’ effort to keep couples together. The Texas legislature, particularly Representative Warren Chisum, just wants marriages to last. Is that too much to ask? And they are trying to pass several programs to do so: 1) $60 marriage fee that is canceled by taking a pre-marriage course; and 2) sloooow divorces that can be hurried along only by couple counseling. With these two devices, Texas hopes to stem the implosion of American marriages. This is not your father’s Texas, a land of frontier justice and gigantic Cadillacs with bull horns on the hoods. It’s a kinder, gentler Lone Star State. Don’t mistake Texas’ kindness for weakness—they’ll remember the Alamo quicklike on your ass. Four words: Don’t Mess With Texas.