Pat Robertson: Divorcing your spouse who has Alzheimer's is OK
During an advice segment on Tuesday's (Sept. 13) show, a viewer asked about a friend whose wife has Alzheimer's disease. The friend has started seeing another woman, "because his wife as he knows her is gone."
Robertson's response: "I hate Alzheimer's. It is one of the most awful things because here is a loved one -- this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years. And suddenly that person is gone. ... So, what he says basically is correct. But I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something he should divorce her and start all over again. But to make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her."
Co-host Terry Meeuwsen asked if that wouldn't be breaking the "for better or worse" marriage vow. "If you respect that vow, you say 'till death do us part' -- this is a kind of death," Robertson replies. "So that's what he's saying.
"This is an ethical question that is beyond my ken to tell you, but I certainly wouldn't put a guilt trip on you if you decided you had to have companionship."
Later he advised the viewer to "Get some ethicist besides me to give you an answer, because I recognize the dilemma, and the last thing I'd do is condemn you for taking that kind of action." (You can see video of the full segment at Mediate.)
So, we get it now. It's for better or worse, till "a kind of death" do us part, and after that it's all good. Thanks, Pat!