Love and Divorce: Why I Do Defend a “Conservative” Way of Marriage

It is quite a rare thing for me to write about love, but this writing can be produced because of a never-ending discussion with one of my friends. Even though I do not meet her directly when discuss about this issue, such a discussion is quite interesting to be followed and I then try to establish and explain my point of view regarding the topic.

The discussion was started by my friend’s premise. She said that divorce is indeed acceptable since she believes that a moment of love is also changeable, it is as dynamic as life itself and thus can easily change with the surrounding circumstances. She believes that once a couple has married, they actually have no obligation to hold up their marriage when there is no love growing anymore between both of them.

On the other hand, I have such a disposition that is truly contradictory to her premise. I do believe that once a man and a woman have been engaged in a marriage, they have an obligation to keep their promise whatever the circumstances are. That is why I do support Christians’ marriage rather than any kind of marriage. It is not due to the fact that I am a Catholic, rather it has something to with dignity which I try to explain below and to make clear the disposition I hold.

In the name of “promise”

Every leader candidate who is going to take a throne always makes promises as part of his/her campaign. At the very least, the most often promise that is used is to alleviate the poverty lingering their current region or to disburse money to villages in order to develop its local businesses in the area. The question is: why do they make a promise?

The answer is quite easy. In a democratic regime when a leader is chosen by the citizens inside the region, promises can become a strong bargaining position to deal with the citizens: I promise you that your lives are going to be better once all of you elect me as your leader. The promise is indeed a deal or it can be said that a promise is indeed a debt: once elected, the promise should be made real.

Based upon this explanation, it is clear then why after a leader has been democratically elected, protests among the citizens often happen. This can happen because of one reason: the people demand the realization of the promises that had been issued once the leader was in his/her campaign era. People can get very angry with the leaders who are incapable to make realized the promise they have made. This can happen because the promise is indeed a deal between two parties. Once one party the promise, the other party insists to remember what the deal is. In other words: the promise is indeed a gentlemen agreement if it is not written clearly and just verbally issued. The point is same: the promise obliges the engaged parties to hold the promise and to realize it rather than to break it. The promise has then presupposed a moral obligation.

Furthermore, a promise is not just a kind of moral obligation between leader and those who are led. Promise is also about considering a new kind of lives that will happen in the future. When a conflicting situation happened in past, the only way to reconcile to face the future is a promise between the conflicting parties to make peaceful solution. This promise can arise because of one concern: they have the same desire to prevent the same conflict to happen in the future. They realized that the bleak situation brought no prosperity for the parties involved; thus they are able to promise to not engage in the conflict anymore.

This is why a promise is indeed an important thing in shaping sense of nationality. Once a conflict targeting the minority happened, the memory would not be easily taken out from the citizens. The only way to deal with it is to make a promise between the government and the people that government will protect its citizens in the future and also to take the perpetrator of the conflict to justice. This is the role of promise for building civic goodness in society.

About marriage

The question now is: how about the marriage? Should it be considered in the same way as the promise stated above?

First of all, marriage is indeed not a reconciliation process. A man and a woman are not in a conflicting situation as described above. In contrast, both of them are in the situation where they are going to promise each other not to reconcile but to strengthen their unity. Thus, the marriage promise is not about reconciliation but about strengthening what has been built before.

Furthermore, the marriage is not about the leader and who are led. In marriage promise, a man and a woman are equal in their nature. Both of them will promise to be together until the death separates them. Thus, marriage promise is not a kind of a leader who promises in order to seduce others. Rather, it is a kind of giving loyalty each other. Thus, can it be described as strictly as above?

The answer is undoubtedly yes. Even though it is not a reconciliation process or a process to gain vote from others, promise in marriage has also presupposed a moral obligation in its nature. And this promise is to love your partner in every possible circumstance that you will face.

Thus, when a man or a woman says that he/she will be with their partner forever, it has presupposed that they are obliged to do so whatever the circumstances are. The condition between marriage and governmental situation may be different but the essence of a promise never changes: it is a kind of moral obligation that should have been seriously taken out from the deepest heart of the partner. A marriage promise is also indeed a debt that should be paid by to be together in every circumstance they will face; either it is good or bad.

A promise is also indeed a dignity: once you break the promise, you also break the trust that has been given by your partner and you will be less trustworthy. This is indeed in contrast with civic goodness that places trust as one of the supreme value. Thus, a promise has also a correlation with trust. This condition is important to be understood because people can very easy to make a promise without considering the consequences following the promise made.

Hence, in regard of marriage promise, what is important to note is people should make a deep consideration before they promise each other and put their trust upon. This step should be completed in order to realize that the partner you will promise to is your partner for the whole of your life no matter what the circumstances are. Thus, a marriage cannot be conducted in a spontaneous manner. Both of the partners involved should be quite sure that they will not leave each other. This explanation is also to justify that divorce should be prohibited if there is no one of them who breaks the promise; and, undoubtedly said; a couple, in this manner, has their dignity by keeping a marriage promise.

Back to the premise above, can a divorce be justified in dynamic circumstances? My answer is absolutely no. The circumstances faced by a couple may be difficult but it never justifies a condition to make a divorce to the promise that has been made. If it always the case, I may no longer wonder why government leaders can easily break their promise because from the very smallest sphere, namely dealing with the affection in their conscious, people can easily neglect the essence of promise and in this nasty condition, no one is trustworthy. Furthermore, she same question may be actually asked: if you are an activist, why should you demand government to realize its promise and when you get married, why should you break your promise? Does it seem very contradictory?

Should we face a condition where a promise is indeed no more than words out from mouth? It will, if everyone no longer places promises in a transcendental way of thinking and just let it flows according to the circumstance. These people just like last men who just want that everything is going to be easy as they desire. That is why I take a disposition to let not a divorce to happen just because of unacceptable reasons since promise is indeed about dignity and so does the marriage promise: it is the dignity that should be realized as a mode of responsibility as human beings.