Cohabitation after separation ‘not a lasting condition’

Women opposing annulment and divorce over fear that husbands will remarry, often choose to remarry themselves, Deborah Schembri said.

Moviment Iva chairperson Deborah Schembri has said many women change their minds about remarriage, even if they fear their former husbands will remarry.

Schembri spoke of many women who might be opposing divorce simply on the grounds that they do not want to allow their former husbands the freedom to remarry, describing this as "understandable".

“What they might not realise is that time passes and things change. Many later come to me and ask to explore annulment options. The reason, they tell me, is that they met someone new, and they want to remarry.”

She emphasised how following separation, it us normal for a man or woman to be angry, hurt, and not want to even consider starting another relationship. She added that living apart but married is not healthy, and that it places a huge strain on any new relationships that might begin following the separation.

“This is not a lasting or stable situation, despite how others might be trying to convince the public otherwise,” Schembri said.

Schembri was speaking during a press conference held on Tuesday in the run-up to the 28 May divorce referendum.

She said that the state is currently turning its back on unmarried people cohabiting with partners who are separated. “These people are being deprived from ever having a family to begin with, as their chosen partner cannot remarry,” she added.

She also hit out at the way the anti-divorce camp is characterising women: “It is only in the no-camp’s perception of women that they are not capable of doing anything more than staying at home and waiting for their maintenance cheque.”

She said that in fact, women are actually strong enough to work like anyone else, and those who made the conscious choice to remain at home nevertheless put work into raising their families and maintaining the household.

“The no-camp would like everyone to think that all women care about is maintenance, but in fact, most women who come to me for separation tell me: ‘I don’t care about maintenance, I just want to be done with this nightmare’,” Schembri said.

Schembri added that there are currently many misconceptions about what is in the divorce draft law and what isn’t. “Many people seem to be assuming that simply because we haven’t spoken about this or that, it means that its not included – this cannot be farther from the truth.”

She invited all those interested to examine the law for themselves or contact the movement for clarifications.

Schembri also hit out at recent statements by the anti-divorce lobby which attempted to raise outrage over hypothetical divorced people who remarry and ‘force’ their children to call their new partner ‘mama’ or ‘papa’.

Describing this as “useless scare-mongering and blatant sensationalism,” Schembri said that it makes a mockery of repeated efforts by government to raise awareness of the benefits of fostering and adoption.

She also said that such statements belied a ‘denialist’ mentality which “does not recognise the reality that blended families are already being formed and that children are already living and being raised by parents who are not their biological ones.”

Also speaking during the event, Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando referred to recent statements by Moviment Zwieg Bla Divorzju Arhur Galea Salomone, who said the no-camp would approve of a divorce allowable only in special conditions, such as domestic violence.

“This clearly goes against earlier statements and promotional material circulated by Moviment Zwieg Bla Divorzju, which said that divorce shouldn’t be allowed even in cases of domestic violence,” he said.

Pullicino Orlando said the ‘shift’ in position calls into question the true motivations behind the lobby’s stance against divorce.

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NOW they're saying that divorce is OK in special cases? What's become of the violent husbands being allowed to marry again? This is unbelievable.
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ZbD now in favour of a particular divorce, on the eve of the referendum, after a campaign of misinformation and false claims on their billboards? U halluna. How can anyone trust them after this?