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A dignified divorce; VIEWS.

GETTING a divorce is a monumental and sad event in a person's life, particularly so when a couple have been married for 57 years as in the the case of former Birmingham Labour MP Roy Hattersley and his wife and Molly (Mail, April 13).

I wish the 80-year-old former deputy leader of the Labour Party well.

But I can't help but feel sorry for his ex-wife. It seems unnecessary and insensitive for Roy Hattersley to say, despite having been separated from his former wife for five years, that he would now find it intolerable to live with her. It makes Molly sound like an ogre.

If a marriage has irretrievably broken down and there is genuine incompatibility, it's perfectly reasonable to state this in grounds for divorce but, wherever possible, there should be a dignified alienation and consideration for the feelings of both parties.

Its reminds me of the insensitivity shown by the novelist Charles Dickens when he separated from his wife Catherine, who bore him ten children and was a devoted wife for 22 years.

He had met and become infatuated with an 18-year-old actress named Ellen Ternan who was rumoured to have borne him an illegitimate child.

Poor Catherine was banished from the matrimonial home because she was no longer attractive and Dickens was tired of her.

Dickens alleged that Catherine was mentally unbalanced and an unfit wife and mother when the real reason was he wanted to pursue a younger woman away from the watchful eyes of Catherine.

Peter Henrick, Northfield
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 19, 2013
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