My focus changed.
All of a sudden :-)
With good reason too.
This was to be the second part of a look at M3's post from JV's point of view...
But I think I have found something else to discuss.
At least, I found another angle from which to approach this topic.
To this end, I shall divorce (heh!) both M3 and JV from this post.
But the origin of this post did come from JV's second parallel to look at how a woman might get to the depths of despair that M3 describes.
Once again, just to re-iterate the point that JV was not saying that this was exactly comparable to M3's story. I hope we have firmly established that by now.
As it turns out, the story itself (that JV describes) is not required here, in this post. Just a small part of it.
Just a quick 'declaration' of sorts before I continue.
I am still as divorce-phobic as ever, no matter how much it might seem that I am now an apologetic for divorce, in this post.
But, in a flurry of maturity that I have never experienced before, I am willing to take a quick look at a deeply pertinent subject before I have to deal with it head on.
I am in some sort of race against time to clear my head of all falsehoods, inaccuracies, 'pretty lies', ugly lies, partial truths and downright porkies.
So my usual plea of 'explain it like I am a 6 year old' applies here, ever more than before :-)
In short, JV describes a woman in a marriage where the other party is addicted to pills. This renders him unable to function in all ways including, um...an important marital way.
Well, the word 'addiction' always makes me want to flee. It's one of my 'fight or flight' words.
I occasionally have the 'pleasure' of encountering people with serious addictions, for example during the course of my work, (but not exclusively).
Believe me when I say that 'pleasure' is a measured word here.
Let's just say that from what I have noticed, these people have checked out of their own lives (leaving their friends and family to pick up the pieces) but because they haven't exactly 'left the building', people see the lights on and assume there is someone home.
No, there is no-one home.
Someone married to a person in this category is effectively single.
And so I ask myself, on what grounds is divorce justifiable?
For me, the reference point for a question like this would be The Church. I bet their answer (if I knew it) would be better than a secular answer.
On searching a few sites (and I cannot be sure of their authenticity), I find that The Church believes divorce to be wrong, on principle, but 'civil' divorce is acceptable under the following circumstances (with the caveat that re-marriage is still not 'allowed' because despite a 'civil' divorce, one is still spiritually married to the original spouse, and so remarriage constitutes adultery:
"The Church teaches that the separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases. The Catechism states: “If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.”
I don't really understand this. Anyone care to explain it in simple terms citing examples?
Perhaps looking for 'grounds for annulment' might help? Afterall, many people see annulment as the equivalent of divorce for Catholics. Not true, but there we are...
"The Catholic Church can, however, annul a marriage if there is sufficient proof that the marriage was invalid to begin with. Grounds for annulment include being forced to marry someone, not having enough information about that individual – as an example – if the party was an abuser, a convicted rapist and if the individual lied (about wanting children as one example). A marriage can also be annuled by the Catholic Church if the sexual act was not consummated."
Hm, I think I have an answer to a question I didn't really ask, but wanted to, with regard to the above scenario.
In terms of 'legal rights' and annulment, what about a crime committed during the marriage, after vows have already been taken? Can one spouse claim, 'but I didn't know he was going to turn out to be a murderer?' and win a divorce/annulment case?
I mean, of course, if one spouse killed the other, then the marriage is technically over (!)...but what if one spouse killed a third party closely related to both parties, eg. one of the kids, or the mother-in-law? Is the Church going to push for saving such a marriage??
Serious question, believe it or not.
(If you don't believe me, know that at least three of the seven sacraments are granted one by the Church after one passes a 'test' of some sort (um, with the exception of Baptism and 'Last Rites'.
I may have to prove that I know the answers to some of the above answers, otherwise, I may not be granted a certain sacrament I seek.
And I ain't talking 'Holy Orders' :-)
Extreme examples only bring out the complexities of a situation. That's the extent of their usefulness.
Here is another.
This woman speaks of a phenomenon that TPM brought to our attention.
I was stunned to realise that this woman divorced her husband because (after having been 'alpha' once), he turned into a 'lapdog'.
Not wishing to sound insensitive, I don't wish to dissect this too much...
I must say, it's a scary thought that this can happen.
As a woman myself, I know what extreme and permanent 'betatude' can do to a woman. I often describe this feeling as 'getting hives', but I can well imagine that it is even worse for other women, and I have heard of this phenomenon inducing an extreme kind of 'nausea' in a woman, followed by a revulsion which engulfs her until she is rid of the source of this 'maladie'.
This must be a painful experience for all concerned.
Especially if one is married to said source of maladie.
So much so, that a man might find himself 'friendzoned' after he has said 'I do'.
I honestly feel that no matter how much a man may become a 'lapdog', he should not be divorced for this.
There HAS to be a solution to this problem.
'Inside' (as I call her) could not suggest any to me, on TPM's blog when I asked her.
But I am sure there must be something that can be done.
Surely if a man has been 'alpha' enough to attract a woman to the point of marriage, he can't be hopeless.
He can return to his alpha self from time to time, surely!
What can a woman do to help this process along, if like Inside's husband, he just won't do it by himself?
How to prevent her seeking the contact details of a lawyer?
If divorce is out of the question (eg. viewed as some sort of 'sin'), what can a woman do to ensure she is never going down that path?
Here's a challenge:
Let's say you know a young woman. She is as divorce-phobic as I am.
She is at a church.
The church is full.
The bells are ringing.
Groom's at the altar, wondering what her dress is going to be like.
She is at the front door of the church, on her father's arm.
Priest is approaching her, about to make the sign of the cross.
You have eaxctly two minutes to divorce-proof this imminent marriage, before it even starts.
What do you say to the blushing bride?
So that she will remember you and your words on her 30th wedding anniversary :-)
(Please don't say to her: 'don't do it', lol.
NB: You could have had a chance speaking to the groom, but he is now at the altar already, having cleared his head of the hangover from last night following his stag-do, and is hellbent on marrying this woman :-).
How can you help him avoid deep regrets twenty years down the line?
By speaking to the woman...
Is it all down to luck, or are there ways to efficiently prevent divorce?
I am prone to believe the latter... but I don't know why.
Prove me right :-)
And you don't have to be married to participate in this conversation.
All ideas welcome and appreciated.