Divorce does not weaken the marriage bond

The argument that the introduction of divorce in Malta would weaken the marriage bond is presumptuous, arrogant and completely wrong.

Amongst the plethora of arguments being put forward by the anti-divorce lobby, one of them goes something like this: The ‘till death do us part’ promise is weakened if the couple know that they can eventually resort to divorce. One member of the ‘Zwieg bla Divorzju’ lobby even went so far as to publicly write that ‘once divorce is introduced, fewer couples choose to marry as they see less sense in a non-committal union.’

If this argument is correct, then the value of the marriage bond in Malta – where there is no divorce – is one notch higher than the value of the marriage bond in any other country wherever there is divorce. So Guzi Borg’s marriage to Mary Zammit has more value if they live in Malta than if they live in Australia.

Moreover if after marrying in Malta, Guzi and Mary decide to leave Malta and settle in Australia they would automatically – and presumably unknowingly - have weakened their marriage bond as a result of their change of domicile!

This argument assumes that Guzi’s and Mary’s marriage needs the state to prop it up by denying to all and sundry the possibility of remarrying after divorce. To my mind, this is an insult to all the couples in the world who have married in good faith, and have committed themselves to enter into communion with each other in an exercise of free choice.

If you think all this is absurd, that’s because it is. But that is the logical conclusion of the absurd argument that was made in the first place.

Carrying this argument further – in a ‘reductio ad absurdum’ exercise – this implies that marriages in Malta are superior to those abroad. That is why I find this argument presumptuous and arrogant.

This argument reflects another aspect of the current divorce debate: the way the notion of ‘marriage’ is being continually confused with the notion of ‘family’. The family is the intimate relationship two human beings from which they usually have children to whom the family gives emotional support and a loving upbringing. Marriage is the recognition of the state of that relationship and this sustains the family.

This legal recognition by the state, however, is not what makes a family what it is. That is why the state has the duty to recognise families that are formed by partners who have had the experience of an irretrievably broken marriage. Denying them remarriage does not strengthen the marriage bond but only weakens the family – the opposite of what the anti-divorce argument purports to uphold.

That is why the argument that divorce weakens the marriage bond is completely wrong

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just a tought for our dear Politicians. Is it a human right to change religion? to decalre oneself an athiest. I belive in God but currently not the Catholic/maltese Church.(due to its influence on goverment issues) If i change my religion would it not be relative that my marriage would be automatically Null and therefore civil divorce accepted. ~ introduce divorce to allow civil marragies to the many seperated out there before many look for other extremities.
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Jeffrey Vella
I wholeheartedly agree with the arguments put forward by Micheal Falzon. If my marriage is strong,the introduction of divorce will not weaken the bond I have with my wife. Whoever is making this statement,does not know what he or she is talking about. It is 2 people that make a marriage make or break.The introduction of divorce absolutely has no effect on any particular marriage.Divorce is a civil right that every couple is entitled too,once the bond of marriage has been broken. It is ridiculous to allow cohabitation and then deny the right of re-marriage. Some people are just so narrow-minded.
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Chikku, So you comment on headlines only. I come strait to the point. It seems to me that you do not have not only a line but neither a head. If your marrage is on solid rock,with or without devorce makes no differance at all. If you are afraid that devorce will weaken your marrage bond, can you tell me what kind of faith you have in your marrage?
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I'm one of these shallow people who comments on the headline only. And there I must say I disagree: I think a divorce can sverely weaken the marriage bond. ;-)
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So correct Mr Falzon ,If a marriage is solid it will last through hell and high water if it is not irrelevant of where your home is it will fail .. No one intends on their wedding day not to stay together but situations and more importantly people change . Then it is in my opinion wise to move on especially if children are involved in said marriage it is unfair for all concerned to stay in an abusive or a loveless marriage . Children suffer hearing bickering and arguments on a daily basis... it is not fair to all involved . Everyone deserves a second chance but if they are lucky to have found their soulmate / love of their life first time around then divorce would not or should not affect them .