November 19, 2015

Of White Elephants and Divorce

The Divorce White Elephant 

white el·e·phant, noun: a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of.

The above is what Google will tell you "white elephant" means. Originally a gift to obnoxious courtiers by the King of Siam, the "gift" of a white elephant was meant to drive them into poverty via its upkeep. In more modern times, it has come to mean an item that’s not useful or decorative, but it may also include the expensive and the odd, such as dams, buildings and aircraft. To my knowledge, however, "white elephant" has never been applied to divorce, but well it should. Divorce is well-deserving of the title for it is and always will be a useless and troublesome anomaly, an expensive to maintain option to a marital cure-all and most certainly, a difficult-to-dispose-of machine once it is in place. 

Yes, indeed...White Elephant fits perfectly.

Divorce, once "gifted" to the other spouse, is not only the driving force behind broken marriages, discarded spouses and devastated families, but also of the lack of attempted reconciliation of all three (this latter led in no small part by the "marital happiness" meme that has been in vogue the last 5 decades or so, especially within the Catholic Church). The White Elephant that is divorce is solely responsible for driving its main recipient into financial ruin and the family (aka the children) into non-existence (in its natural form, anyway). The upkeep required to maintain a divorce is astronomical, no matter the currency used. (Personal factoid: Since 2010, I've paid over $136,000 to maintain this particular white elephant - a "gift" I neither wanted nor asked for. Attorneys fees are currently north of $10,000.) No...I think "White Elephant" an apt moniker as it fits the accepted definition: "...a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of."  Indeed...

And what of  divorce petitioners? Aren't they also a "White Elephant" themselves once they decide divorce will be their cure-all placebo to happiness? I say yes, simply because of the Passions that must predominate Reason for divorce to even be considered. 

Consider what the Passions accomplish in a divorce:

- the trashing of the most basic notion of Catholic Charity (troublesome, as it ignores Catholic religious teaching, especially this Greatest of the Virtues).

- the trashing of Sacramental vows (troublesome, as it may call into question a petitioner's own state of mind when the marital vows were spoken).

- ignoring the known harmful effects of divorce upon any children (a useless position to take, as this refers back to the selfishness of the petitioner).

- the feelings of one supposed adult taking precedence over those of the children (another useless - and baseless - position to maintain, for it predominates a parent's desires over the needs of the children.).

- assumes the salary of one spouse will be enough to support two households when it barely was able to support one (again, a useless and expensive position to maintain as it requires ignoring the known facts of the single-income household and forces financial hardship on one or both spouses despite that knowledge).

- once initiated, the Petitioner will find it difficult to stop a divorce as it would require them to accept their own frailties within the marriage and their culpability in knowingly harming their own children. As many Respondents know, Petitioners rarely acknowledge any error. 


What do you think? Does White Elephant fit as an apt description of a divorce and a divorce petitioner? 

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

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