Why divorce is not the answer
This letter hopes to clarify misconceptions about divorce mentioned in the article “Lagman: Panel approval of divorce bill offers hope for marriage in trouble” (News, 3/21/23).
Proponents of the divorce bill insist that it is better for couples to divorce than to stay together unhappily. Social science contradicts this, having shown that most couples who are very unhappy with each other but remain married are happy five years later, while most of those who divorce are still unhappy five years later. Clearly, this usually will not apply to couples where there is deliberate and repeated or habitual abuse, but there are existing remedies for this, such as legal separation.
In addition, most divorces do not occur in high-conflict marriages in the first place, but in marriages where one or both spouses feel they are not as happy as they could be. But this is the normal condition of humanity, so it is not a rational reason for divorce.
Studies have also repeatedly shown that children of divorced couples are on the receiving end of the negative effects of divorce. On average, these children experience more physical and mental illness, far worse in school, be more likely to give birth as a teenager, never marry, experience their own divorce if they do marry, and be unemployed, earn less over their lifetime, and die five years earlier than those who have not experienced parental divorce. This is far too high a price to pay for indulging the demonstrated falsehood that we are more likely to find happiness in a second marriage than in the first.
A final note: In an interview, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman stated that the Bible cites instances when Jesus Christ allowed divorces. Since he raised the issue, it should be pointed out that this is not true, as it is directly contradicted by what is recorded in more than one passage in the Bible, with Mark 10:2-12 as perhaps the most compelling example. Jesus says: “Whoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if the wife puts away her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Alliance for the Family
Foundation Philippines Inc.
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