Position Paper on the Dissolution of Marriage Bills

We, members of the Council of the Laity of the Philippines, signify our objection to the House Bills that will enact into law the dissolution of marriages.

When a man and a woman pledge themselves to keep a covenant of unity for a lifetime, they are accountable to each other and to the rest of humanity. Marriages and families are the foundation of our communities, society and civilization- our whole way of life. We need strong marriages and families.

Numerous arguments have been given in favor of divorce and other forms of dissolution of marriage. Persons who seek divorce think and believe that divorce is the solution to their marital problems- at least it allows the individual to escape the miserable situation they are in. However, what are not popularly known are the resulting complicated problems from divorce. This ends up in greater misery for both parties, leaving them to lament, “If only I had known this would happen after the divorce.”

The tragic effects of divorce impact not only the lives of parties involved, but also their children, grandchildren up to the fourth generation.

Children of divorce have low self esteem, feel abandoned, think less of themselves, and are often unable to function effectively as a responsible partner in their own marriages. The pain, shame and being in doubt about the love of significant persons in their lives fester.  When left unmended these leave the children of separated parents wounded all throughout their lives.

Marriages are broken because the persons in the marriage are broken. They may not know it but they need to heal in order to endure the sacrifice required of marriage. Love requires Sacrifice. When one sincerely loves, there is no pain in sacrifice. Sacrifice becomes the proof of love and the decision to love one another. When the persons turn away from sacrifice, they turn away from love. That is divorce- the rejection of hope that persons can be healed despite their brokenness. Too late the couples who divorce realize that what they need is healing, not separation.

Too many times, persons speak their marriage vows without knowing what the covenant entails. Throughout one’s marriage one is responsible to grow and heal together with one’s spouse. Nobody completely gets over the pain of childhood wounds; but, with a spouse who decides to make the journey to wholeness, the pain is bearable and often overcome.

Divorce confounds the pain inside. Divorce speaks to the self that pursues only “what is right for me”. Divorce rejects the responsibility of healing one’s self and helping one’s partner achieve healing. Divorce says “No” to the challenge of love and sacrifice.

A community or society that is focused only in the pursuit of “what is right for myself” and not “what is best for the beloved”, rejects the possibility of achieving fullness of life.

It is so wrong to believe that divorce can help right the mistakes that result from one’s brokenness. It is so wrong to believe that persons have no capacity to heal and become whole. Divorce is not the situation that will make the mending happen.

Divorce will confound the brokenness and rejection that persons bear.

What we need is a law that will make our marriages and families strong, not a law that will destroy persons by destroying marriage.

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