To the shock of many (myself included), last week televangelist Pat Robertson (of “The 700 Club”) made a shocking statement. He was asked about a man who started seeing another woman after his wife had developed Alzheimer’s. Robertson’s response was that it’s okay to get divorced and start all over again.
There are two reasons this doesn’t sit well with many people. The first is that Pat Robertson is a Christian, so you would assume that he believes in and follows the scriptures, which clearly indicate that God hates divorce.
The second is that out the window go the vows of “in sickness and in health.” Whatever happened to sticking with your spouse during sickness? According to Robertson, he equates Alzheimer’s as a type of death.
It is as if you are taking the person who has been stricken with Alzheimer’s and written them off. Why not go ahead and have a funeral for the person? I mean, really…where is the dignity?
We all have different opinions about marriage and divorce, and what would make for good grounds in getting a divorce. However I would guess that most of us don’t really believe that Alzheimer’s is your ticket out the door.
I cannot imagine deciding to leave my husband because he is suffering with any type of disease. I know this happens all the time, where spouses leave one another because they can’t cope with the sickness. But I think giving the okay as Pat Robertson did is not only unethical but very selfish.
It may very well be that Alzheimer’s feels like a death. In fact, I don’t doubt for a second that it does. But the point is that it isn’t death. It only feels like it. So why use it as a reason to leave your spouse?
What do you think about his comments that it’s okay to divorce a spouse who has Alzheimer’s?
Photo by Dave Hamster in Flickr