As most of us already know Pat Robertson is an a** and in this video he suggests that it's ok for a man to divorce his wife who is so far gone into Alzheimer's that she doesn't even know him anymore.
Personally I find this a despicable and cowardly thing to do but is it that wrong? If he makes sure that she is receiving proper care is it ok for him to move on?
I am not convinced it's ok but an interesting ethical question none the less and I would love to here what my fellow unbelievers think.
Very interesting question.
I'm honestly not sure where I stand on this. On one hand, if someone is mentally unaware of even the most basic things and is unable to function at the most basic level, then I do not think I would be opposed if their partner received support by dating someone else. However, I think divorcing someone to re-marry just because their spouse are late stage Alzheimers does not feel moral. If this was me, and my partner had a spouse in this situation I do not think I would want them to divorce their spouse. I would honor that committment. I'm sure Pat Robertson is vomiting his usual selfish opinion that if you committ adultry even consenting adulty even due to the fact that your spouse is essentially a vegetable, you will still go to hell.You're right he is an a**.
Need to read some other responses and stew on it for a while.
Personally, and I hate the idea of agreeing with Pat Robertson, but if the spouse is willing to assume full responsibility for the care and well being of their spouse, they should be able to have any relationships they want.
Shouldn't they honor their vows? There spouse is sick, not dead. They should at least divorce first. Also I think age is a factor. It's my opinion that if a person is still fairly young then it makes more sense for them to move on. I'm pretty sure my spouse wouldn't want me to be lonely. This is a tough one.
Alzheimer's usually happens later in life... so if a couple has been together for many years and if one of them happens to develop Alzheimer's I think it's quite selfish for the other partner to leave. However, all relationships are different in length, commitment etc etc...
My grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's and has outlived my grandfather who stayed by her side until the day he died. Their love didn't end with struggle.
For me, it would depend on circumstances. How other family members feel or might be affected, how well the ex-spouse could be taken care of without me, etc. Usually not a simple solution for anyone.
I agree with Doug's statement. I think it would be wrong to abandon the spouse in their need for care and support, but I don't have an issue with divorce in that situation.
Marriage is a union of two people (at least under the current laws where I live). If you were standing at the altar saying your vows, you say 'I do' and your partner says nothing at all, would such a one-sided thing constitute a marriage? No. Why? There's an element of reciprocity required. Now, understandably, the people in this scenario have already said their vows, but things change, and despite best intentions, the sentiments contained in vows do not carry on in perpetuity. In this case, one half of the union has tragically and involuntarily been dissolved. The marriage itself has dissolved. I totally respect anyone who retains the commitment of their vows to their partner in that situation, but without reciprocity, it's not really a marriage anymore; it's the ghost of one in all but contractual terms. So I guess what I'm saying is that I also respect someone who ends the marriage formally and pursues an amorous relationship that is reciprocal.
I think people should keep their word. I think marriage consists of a certain amount of trust. I would like to trust that my spouse would not abandon me just because I was sick. Just because I would have no clue what was going on, doesn't make it right. Having said that though, I would not want my spouse to be unhappy. So if he could find happiness with someone else while still not abandoning me, I'd be ok with it.
Absolutely not - if I had it, I would file for divorce while I still could so she wouldn't have to worry about such a dilemma.
I would move on. I would make sure I provide for her though.
Let's ask the question a different way.
Would you expect your partner to stay with YOU if you didn't recognize her anymore and couldn't even remember what her name is anymore?
I would want my partner to move on if I fell into such a state.
What constitutes being 'the same person'?
If the bag of bones and flesh are still the same but you cannot connect with the person any longer on an intellectual or emotional level, then are they REALLY the same person?
I would argue they are not the same person. Same body and flesh , yes. But that is not why I stayed with them all these years.
Personally , I would never want to be a burden to anyone. I would prefer to have assisted suicide before I put anyone through the inconvenience of having to deal with me in that situation.
I work at an assisted living community and I see this quite often. The sides are just about equally split in terms of being together or apart. There are a few men who visit everyday for a few hours and then go home. However, there is the side where the afflicted person's closest relative will put them there so the spouse can "leave".
Now, each Alzheimer's/Dementia case is different. These women could very well remember their spouses and who they are. But more often than not, with severe cases, they don't know.
To answer the question, Alzheimer's usually hits later in life and if my spouse ever contracts it, I would stay. I mean, she will be old, I'll be old. I wouldn't be for dating at 70. Even if she forgets me, at least I can attempt to make her fall in love with me everyday.
I don't find it to be wrong and I don't immediately buy into it being such a great dilemma. The alternative is for a healthy partner to stay with a sick partner in a loveless relationship. It will just lead to resentment and ultimately wreck two lives.
It's not pretty or nice, but real life is not like Hollywood movies.