When is it right for a wife to leave her husband? Of course we will all agree that if a husband is physically or emotionally abusive then the wife should definitely without question leave the relationship. If the husband is cheating, it is up to the wife to decide if she wants to forgive him and give their relationship a chance to work.
But what about when it does not include abuse or infidelity and the wife just want to be in a better position in her life? Does she have a right to leave her husband then? Or should a wife be bounded by “for better or for worse… till death do us part” unless there is cheating or abuse?
This question came up on a discussion about Buju Banton’s wife leaving him for another man after he got incarcerated. The woman obviously was not willing to put her intimate life on pause and wait around for 10 years until Buju was free?
There are some who agree with the women while some vehemently disagree.
What good is a wife who will not stick around when the going gets tough? Which sane man wants to marry a fair weather wife? While these are legitimate questions, we also have to look at things from another angle. Which human being deserve to have to give up 10 years of their life for another person’s mistake like in the case of Buju Banton?
The Buju Banton case is just one example but there is also the case when a wife ambition outgrows that of the husband and she starts feeling like the man is holding her back in life.
Imagine a couple that met and fell in love while working at McDonald’s and got married while still at the fast food joint. However, the wife went to college graduated and is now working on Wall Street. The man however does not have any interest of getting into the backstabbing hustle and bustle of corporate America and just want to work at McDonald’s for the best of his life. Now the wife wants someone who has the same status career-wise as herself. Does she now have the right to leave the husband and find herself someone in corporate America?
How does one even make sense of the whole marital vow? It is even possible to make sense of it?
Maybe there needs to be some adjustment to marital vows. Instead of making marriage a lifelong institution, the union should be treated more like drivers’ licenses, passports or leases. You can have a driver’s license but every 10 years it has to be renewed and if you choose not to renew it, you are no longer able to drive legally. Or you can rent an apartment with a 5 year lease, both the landlord and the tenant are bounded by that lease for 5 years but at the end of the term, either party can decide that they do not want to carry on with the lease. That is exactly how marriage should be.
If the woman who worked her way from McDonald’s to Wall Street decided that her non-ambitious husband was just holding her back in life, she would have to him half the wealth she accumulated if she decided to divorce him. That is the way the system works today. If we change marriage to a renewable contract, however, when a wife ends up with a non-progressive husband, she could wait for the current term of the marriage to end and move on with her life, without risking half of what she has worked hard for.
So a wife should be able to leave a husband for greener pastures, however, unless she has nothing to lose or does not mind losing half of her assets, marriage as we know it does not provide for that.