Even if you are not a Christian who faithfully watches “The 700 Club,” you probably at least know the face of its broadcaster, Pat Robertson. Reports indicate that in a recent airing of the program, Robertson gave some surprising and controversial advice regarding divorce and mental illness.
USA Today reports that a viewer of the show contacted Robertson with a serious, sensitive issue on his mind. He has a friend whose wife is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. His friend reportedly has begun seeing another woman, and the viewer was curious to learn about Paterson’s take on the sensitive situation.
Sources report that Paterson’s opinion regarding the matter has shaken up the public somewhat. Why? Because Paterson supposedly suggested that divorce would be a good idea for the couple. He likened Alzheimer’s to a death, therefore making the divorce in such a situation acceptable.
You can probably see why his opinion has stirred up some emotions among the public. When people get married, they say they will stay together for better and for worse, through sickness and health. There is no exception in those vows that says Alzheimer’s doesn’t fit into the “through sickness” promise.
When it comes to any marriage, whether sickness plays a role or not, infidelity can make for hurt in the future — both emotionally and financially. Should a couple get a divorce once someone has already cheated, that infidelity is sometimes used by one spouse as leverage or reason to turn the process into a long, acrimonious one. Therefore, it can be best to end a marriage before beginning a new relationship.
All marriages are different. Only individual spouses or couples can decide what works best for them and the future of their families.
USA Today: “Pat Robertson says Alzheimer’s makes divorce OK,” Tom Breen, Sep. 15, 2011