Until 1969 the permanence of marriage was supported not only by the Church, which has consistently forbidden divorce and remarriage, but also by legal and cultural mores. It was only after 1969, when so-called "no-fault divorce" was legalized in California (and spread rapidly to other states) that a seismic revolution was unleashed.
The no-fault divorce laws, written and backed by feminists and other supporters of the feminist revolution, were touted as a way to finally free women from having to stay in unhappy marriages. Prior to this they could divorce only upon proof of adultery, cruelty, or incompatibility. Men, too, rejoiced in the hope of easy divorce without lawyers' fees.