The past week had me glued to Yahoo News Updates on the Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner divorce – an uncoupling that had been sending waves of disbelief around the globe; Not that I’m a fan of the couple, even though I liked their chemistry on “Daredevil” — the love story was cute 🙂 . (I also watched Elektra by the way: I’m a sucker for female action movies, regardless of the number of imaginary believe buttons I’ve had to push)
The Affleck-Garner union was something we had conceived would go the distance. Both husband and wife project angelic faces and images after all.
But as they say: When seasons change, the snowman melts.
People grow and evolve. Feelings fade away. Although marriage permanently works for some, it does not for most of us. Marriage is really nothing more than a piece of paper; That I’ve come to believe.
There is no divorce in the Philippines. It’s a rotten circumstance we have to deal with here. We are a fractured culture on this area as the privilege of an average filipino to gain freedom from a previous marital oath remains practically impossible to obtain. It manifests of a very wrong system – because the government and the Catholic church have always been intertwined. Therefore, the no-divorce policy is something we may be stuck in for eternity.
Annulment of marriage is our sole method for the liberation of a couple from a legal bond – which takes lots of money and a long time to procure. So you can just imagine the millions of adults here who have moved on in many different ways after the dissolution of their marriages – but have nonetheless felt trapped by that lawful contract from a former nuptial.
The father of my son and I were wed in a quiet civil ceremony some twenty two years ago. Our wedded alliance didn’t work out. We’ve had no communication for more than ten years now and I have no idea what has happened to this “ex-spouse” of mine. So technically, yes, I am still a married woman. My case, however, is merely a dot in the millions of filipino women who have been separated, with children, and have had to deal with its various complications.
Probably the most dreadful ramification I got to face for not having undergone a lawful separation process is the unpleasant-sounding surname I am compelled to keep – for good. My original surname is always music to my ears — how I long to have it back — but only through informal ways am I allowed to use it.
No chance divorce would be pushed in Congress given our dense politicians who carry supine standpoints on just about everything. The nation gets saddled with incessant troubles that could press on for generations to come, while its citizens over and over are left on their own to roll with the punches.
So, bottom line: In paper, I’ll remain tethered to a previous vow made to an ex-husband…until the day I die. Worse, one or two weird conditions might have prevented me from ascertaining my true status: I may already be a widow and don’t even know it when I should. Hu hu hu…what a misfortune.
To Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, and to all of you out there who can avail the divorce course of action, do consider yourselves a great deal more blessed. Because nothing is forever.