New Play Tells Story of the Left-Behind Spouse


republic of you

Went to see a play this week about a young woman whose husband leaves her. Sounds grim but it wasn’t at all.

The actress received a standing ovation. I think people, and much of the audience comprised women, were relieved to see this subject tackled honestly.  With 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 marriages (the statistics seem to shift, according to the source you read) doomed to end before death it’s all too easy for society to treat it as no big deal. It’s not. It wrecks lives – of the leaver and the leavee, of children, of parents and in-laws. The knock-on effects of divorce are enormous. There are financial, emotional, mental, physical, spiritual consequences. Few people outside of the church are really prepared to stand up and say this. even some of my friends won’t admit that divorce can be destructive (Marriage can  be too, of course.)

Even if a marriage is deeply, deeply flawed I believe that all efforts – and a joint effort at that, supported by a community that cares, as specified by Bill Doherty PhD – should be made to save it before calling it a day. If all efforts are made and still there’s no resolution then okay, divorce is the only sensible option.

Divorce may turn out to be a positive thing for me – eventually. (I still think it’s too early to say) but I do believe that divorce/relationship breakdown is a ticking time bomb.

If we are going to be living longer we need to rethink how we tackle marriage and the potential for marital breakdown. Marriage is still hugely popular.

How do we ‘marry’ our hopes for lifelong love with the reality of probable breakdown?

The Age of Loneliness Programme Delivers


What a fascinating programme on BBC One just now about loneliness. I truly believe this is the affliction of our age. I loved how they profiled people of all ages and walks of life, including those who feel lonely who are surrounded by people.

One guy summed it up perfectly: plenty of people to do things with (friends) but no-one to do nothing with – after, say, a bereavement or relationship breakdown.

As 42 per cent of marriages in the UK will end in divorce it is no surprise that loneliness is on the increase. I have lots of friends who seem to genuinely care about me, and my mum, but loneliness is an issue in my life. I may not feel as bad as some of the people profiled, and I am quite extroverted, but I definitely have regular bouts of loneliness. Sometimes daily, sometimes just at weekends. Male Platonic Friend has helped me in this respect.

However, church groups and church attendance really help. This is not just because one is with people but also due to the fact that we talk about our vulnerabilities – in Life Group, for example. Also, in worship you are communing with God, even if at times you feel somewhat disconnected from God. Singing worship songs helps us feel connected to each other and to a greater being. (The great I Am).

I think some people I know may feel less lonely because they have a deep spiritual connection. But I may be making assumptions there.