Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Controversy over Daily Mail article - Divorce
The article in the Daily Mail yesterday ( http://bit.ly/AgkIJc ) managed to spark a lot of comments about whether or not people 'should' leave a marriage for religious or other ethical and moral reason.
And I wanted to make it clear that the book is entitled Stay or Leave? and in it, I don't advocate either.
What I do advocate is that everyone does what is right for themselves - with compassion and integrity. You cannot live your life for everyone else, if it's making you stressed, ill and into half a person. Instead, I suggest that instead of living an unhappy lie, you take the risk of being authentic within the relationship and encourage your partner to do the same.
But if neither being what everyone else wants you to be, nor being yourself works, then surely it is clear to everyone that it is time for a change.
With regards to 'shoulds' 'oughts' and 'musts' around the religious and moral aspects of taking the decision to leave, as far as I understand it, in Christianity, "Marriages are very special before the Lord, but the people in marriage are even more special...We must not view the divorce of a bad marriage as an end of something good..It's the end of something that went bad and the BEGINNING of something new."
"In Judaism, marriage is viewed as a contractual bond commanded by God...The Talmud argues that a man should love his wife as much as he loves himself and honour her more than he honours himself. Similarly, a husband was expected to discuss with his wife any worldly matters that might arise in his life. Tough love was frowned upon; the Talmud forbids a husband from being overbearing to his household, and domestic abuse by him was also condemned. It was said of a wife that God counts her tears.." And "..greatest praise...was given to a wife who fulfils the wishes of her husband." If these contractual obligations are not fulfilled, then a divorce is given.(http://bit.ly/xs2Nsb)
Similarly, in Islam "Marriage, as prescribed by Allaah, is the lawful union of a man and woman based on mutual consent.. Islam discourages divorce by either party, but...does make provisions for divorce by either party." (http://bit.ly/ArSssm)
I'm no religious scholar - clearly, some will say! - and no doubt there are many interpretations of what I've written above. But from what I've read, it is clear to me that no one wants two people to spend a miserable life together for the sake of form.
"It is possible to stay married and be doing the "right thing" for too long". (http://bit.ly/ymeyua)