Divorce is a legal word meaning full and final separation so that each one is free to remarry or live alone at will. Ray E Baber defines divorce as, “Divorce is merely a process of un-marrying people who have been married. It is an official recognition that their marriage is a failure and therefore has more cause for terminating than for continuing. Divorce indicates the failure of a given marriage,” Marriage and Family, page 443. He notes; from 1867 to 1950 while the population increased fourfold, divorces increased thirty-nine-fold that is ten times faster than the population growth. He cites nine major causes, (1) “adultery, (2) desertion, (3) cruelty, (4) conviction for crime, (5) alcoholism, (6) impotence, (7) nonsupport, (8) insanity, and (9) living apart, for divorce. Drug habit, ante-nuptial un-chastity by wife, joining cults that disbelieves in cohabitation of spouses, vagrancy of husband, crime against nature, violent temper, leprosy, venereal disease, public defamation of spouse, gross misbehavior and wickedness are some of the thirty-nine minor reasons for which divorces were granted in various states as of 1950. According to one study, quoted in Bhoomiyil Parudeesa (Paradise on Earth) by Fr. Dr O Thomas, page192, there were 650 divorces in England in 1911. The number rose in 1951 to 28767, in 1971 to 74400 and in 1980 to 148200. According to United Nations, Demographic yearbook 1954, divorce is peculiar problem of America because each year
America grants more divorces than the rest of the world combined. In 1951 America reported 381000 divorces while all other nations combined granted 235000 divorces. In this third millennium, needless to search numbers for, one out of every two marriages ends in divorce and it is on fast climbing trend. As in many aspects in the case of divorce also, “America is the world leader.” Despite the crumbling relations, chaotic social situation and frightfully escalating divorce rate people still attach great importance to the institution of marriage at least in principle, according to a columnist. This being true, peoples’ understanding of marriage and family life is distorted and a source of great distress. I do not presuppose by a flight of fancy that just because most couples live together without divorce they all are leading virtuous family life.
There are couples disdainfully pulling together for various constraints. Looking at divorce by any standard there can be no greater tragedy in the life of individuals and society. Relationships are shattered, children stranded, finance crumbled, violence induced and hopes and aspirations devastated. The anxiety, fear, hate and feeling of insecurity which it creates carry for the rest of the life and pass it on a bad legacy to next generation. No one can ever replenish the void created. It is a dereliction from the basic duties as an individual and an affront to moral standards and God. Divorce itself is no sin but the result of sin.