Having read countless articles on divorce and gone through life dealing with the subject, or I should say dealing with the consequences of it, just a few salient thoughts on the very delicate item every Maltese has opinions on today, from the pro- to the anti-divorce.
Should we have it in Malta?
There is a case for it because, as we all must admit, there are marriages that simply, for many legitimate reasons, will never work whether it be non consummation or a total breakdown between both partners for many reasons. The consequences of such events are tragic for those involved in such irrevocable circumstances and, surely on humanitarian grounds, a legal separation appears the only solution to it.
Is that solution divorce?
The Church goes along with annulment on non consummation grounds and the law will allow legal separation for couples who cannot get along with each other but, and it is a big but, in the latter cases the couples involved are not allowed to remarry, even if, to all concerned, their pairing was a fundamental error in judgement on their behalf, in a Catholic country. That is a life sentence to them for one mistake. That is wrong and in a religion that forgives even the most mortal of sins in contrition something I personally cannot comprehend.
Then should divorce be made a legal right?
Yes, but with reservations.
If there are children involved in the separation a totally different ball game arises. As I said, from a professional viewpoint and reinforced by life’s experiences, children are the casualties in those circumstances and it destroys them mentally in most instances. Divorce in most countries is too easy to achieve, therefore couples lose, for want of a better term, the staying power most long-term marriages have. They get divorced at the first problem they encounter instead of battling it out like past generations had to do. I often wondered, were it possible to take divorcees into the future and let them see what damage they have caused their siblings by their actions, what they would have decided.
Our children are our future, so if we deliberately damage them for their whole existence on earth what does that say about our future?
Yes, divorce should be a basic human right but only allowed after very strict guidelines are followed and when all circumstances are examined minutely. When children are involved only in the most dire of cases should it be permitted.
One final thought.
Being a realist I look at the world today and how values have changed and will continue to change and wonder if all the words both for and against mean a darned thing. Because the younger generation of today and tomorrow will determine what will happen not just on this subject but everything else in the world. The power of modern communication is so big we will only be bystanders. Just look at the Arab countries and what is happening there and not just politically. We are evolving and our children are the future.
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