Pat Robertson Offers Truly Sick Divorce Excuse

married handsChristian televangelist and one-time Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson is one of those stupid, narcissistic, ridiculous people who falls into the category of "ignore, ignore, ignore" for me, but now, he's gone and said something that can't be dismissed so easily. Because it's that disturbing. He recently took a question from a viewer who wanted advice to give a friend who started seeing another woman after his wife began suffering from Alzheimer's. Robertson told his 700 Club viewers, "I know it sounds cruel, but ... he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has good custodial care and somebody looking after her." He said "'til death do us part" applies here, because the incurable neurological disorder is "a kind of death."

OMG, in how many ways is this man's advice all sorts of wrong? Ironic, actually, how this is coming from someone who surely loathes same-sex marriage, yet this is his idea of honoring the "sanctity" of straight marriage?

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Most of us would probably agree that marriage equals vowing to stand by that person for a lifetime of ups and downs. Even if you don't say the traditional vow "in sickness and in health," that's what you're signing up for.

I'm personally insulted by Robertson's assertion that abandoning a spouse with Alzheimer's is okay, because even though we're not yet married, I have loved, taken care of, and most importantly stuck by my boyfriend while he's dealt with a chronic illness. If you're truly committed, if you really understand what love is, you don't throw in the towel when your partner gets sick. If anything, that's when you make an even greater effort to stand by them. Do everything you possibly can to support them.

No one ever said marriage was going to be a walk in the park every day for the rest of your lives. I know several married couples who have stuck together through chronic diseases that ended in double kidney transplants, the ups and downs of cancer, or even mental illnesses like severe depression. They're shining examples to me of what marriage should be. Of course I can imagine seeing your spouse suffer from Alzheimer's leads to a completely different level of pain, stress, and frustration vs. other sickness. But even in those cases, I don't see divorce as the answer.

Thankfully, neither do most couples affected by Alzheimer's. The director of constituent services for the Alzheimer's Association says ...

We don't hear a lot of people saying "I'm going to get divorced." Families typically respond the way they do to any other fatal disease.

As they should! Take that, Pat Robertson.

Do you think divorcing someone with Alzheimer's is the right thing to do?


Image via Roy Montgomery/Flickr

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