I chose divorce as the issue that I will be discussing. This issue has a lot of bearing/personal significance because for the longest time my parents have been in conflict with each other. (That is the nicest way of saying it.) I understand that the only reason they’re maintaining their marriage is because divorce is not yet allowed in the Philippines and that it is looked down upon in Chinese culture. Personally, I believe that it is neither right nor wrong (NEUTRAL). I know that saying this in this day and age isn’t really that surprising considering that so many people are doing it (Hollywood, etc.) I also know someone whose parents are separated. I think that it is neutral because of the fact that conflict is something that is not new to the world. I think that when people fight such that there can be no resolution to the conflict, it’s better for them just to part ways, especially when others are affected. As previously mentioned, I have a friend whose parents are separated, but they maintain a civil relationship, which is a lot better compared to them being together but at each other’s throats every minute. The easiest way to explain this is that marriage is like a contract between two parties. When one of the terms of the contract is violated, then the contract is void. At the same time, when both parties in the contract are not satisfied, then they have the option to renegotiate the terms, given that they both agree. Nevertheless, divorce should only be an option when all other alternatives are tried (unless of course, the marriage is already life threatening, etc.)
Based on what I learned in my previous CLE classes, a marriage can be considered void if:
1. one of the parties is being abused
2. one of the parties is not legally separated from a previous marriage (annulled marriage)
I understand the fact that the Church doesn’t allow/support divorce because it supposedly breaks the sacred union between a man, a woman, and God. However, there may be certain instances when divorce isn’t considered sinful. I think that these conditions may be valid enough:
1. Arranged marriage (forced) – no consent, prior to the marriage
2. Life threatening (when one partner is physically, verbally abusive) – also has the element of being forced; this causes less harm especially if it could save lives/prevent death
3. When one party is unfaithful – the hurt party doesn’t acknowledge this act as harmful or wrong because she has just reason to do it; perhaps the hurt party is also forced because of the shame she has to carry if she decides to go on w/ the marriage
Ultimately, it depends on the situation or the circumstance.
I think that I am a moral rationalist because I do consider the issue alone and the circumstance. The issue alone shouldn’t be something that is wrong, however the circumstance may cause the act to be sinful. For example, if the divorce was done on terms because one party wants to marry someone more attractive/younger/etc. then on those grounds, it is sinful.
Hey, (insert name of friend). I understand that your marriage is on the rocks. You guys are fighting everyday, and you got kicked out of the house more times than I can count already. I think that we should all sit down an talk about this in a civil and rational manner. If, we really can’t find a solution, then maybe you should consider a divorce. But, first, think about why you want the divorce. Are you sure you’re doing it for the right reasons? If you feel that you still have any doubts, then maybe you should stop for a while. Your parents are devout Catholics! Are you sure they’ll be fin with it? Are you sure that you’re doing the right thing? After all, you’re the guy. If you’re having doubts, then maybe it’s safer to assume that what you’re doing is wrong. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to give me a call. You guys got married early, but maybe there’s a reason why you got married at a young age.
Much love and support!