The Gospel According To Saint Bob

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Bob Geldof declares the two parent family produces healthier, better educated children. There are occasions when two parent families offer children more damaging role models than would a broken home. Two parent families produce wealthier children, but not necessarily healthier children.

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The Gospel According To Saint Bob

(PRWEB) October 7, 2004 -- So Bob Geldof has nailed his colours to the mast in defence of marriage. In a programme to be broadcast on Monday 11 October, he states: ‘If our expectations of married life were more realistic, then the everyday reality would not be thought of as difficult, limiting or mundane, but rather as comforting and supportive.’

Band Aid, which he founded, may well be one of the great popular crusades of the 20th century. It is certainly one that shook millions out of their apathy. It also revealed Geldof’s true moral stature. Geldof more or less became almost the conscience of the nation.

As such, speaking now in defence of marriage, he has stated what most of us think – theoretically anyway. The good marriage, the mediocre marriage, or even the marriage where both partners feel mildly dissatisfied and long for something more, is, quite probably, the best environment for most children to grow up in.

When marriage produces a damaging environment for children.

But what about the bad marriage? What about the marriage where one parent is a gambler, who squanders the family income and assets? What about the marriage where one partner is an alcoholic? What about the marriage in which one partner is a drug addict?

Is it really in the children’s best interests to grow up in such a climate and with such appalling role models.    

Then there is the marriage in which one parent – usually the wife – is repeatedly beaten - bearing in mind that, according to statistics 90% of the children are either in the same room, or in the next room? Regrettably, such marriages are far from rare, given that in one year, 2000, police attended over 500,000 domestic violence calls – and it’s by no means every attack that is reported.

What about the marriage in which one partner, again usually the wife, is consistently emotionally and verbally abused, told that they are worthless, a whore and labelled with all the most offensive words in the English language? When a child grows up witnessing this kind of behaviour – and again, many thousands do – what do they learn about how men and women behave?

Sir Bob argues: ‘Home, after all, is where the head is.’ What evidence is there that either the head or the heart works to create a safe, nurturing environment where there is a deeply dysfunctional marriage?

    Where, indeed, is Sir Bob’s own head when he argues thus? He may be arguing out of his own passionate belief; he may still be arguing out of the hurt caused by his own marital breakdown and its tragic aftermath. But as the child of a father who was both alcoholic and violent, he as much as anyone, knows the ravages caused by such an upbringing.

Since women initiate 70% of divorce proceedings, Geldof suggest that they should lower their expectations, if things are to change. At this point Goldof’s thesis begins to sound self-serving, albeit unconsciously so.

There are many women who stay far longer than they should in fatally flawed marriages, because they have been so undermined by the cruel treatment they have been subjected to, that they have no expectations… beyond caring for their children and surviving another day – literally.

There are also many men whose expectation is that they are perfectly justified in visiting mental cruelty and physical brutality on their partner as much as they please. Maybe they need to review their expectations. Urgently. Or still more lives will be lost, more generations of children will grow up choosing the role of domestic persecutor in preference to that of victim, and the whole deplorable cycle will continue as it always has.

The truth about marriage, Sir Bob,is messier and more complicated than wishful thinking might suggest. Loving, supportive, emotionally sound parents produce healthier, better-educated, better adjusted children. But it’s not a numbers game.

Marriages in which one partner exhibits destructive behaviours, controlling, intimidating and undermining the other, may well produce wealthier children, than will the single parent family. The likelihood of them being healthier is far smaller.

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For further information contact Annie Kaszina at 01708 443435 mobile 07712 924124

Annie Kaszina is a writer and Personal Coach who is committed to raising awareness of the reality of domestic violence. She works with survivors of abusive relationships to help them go beyond recovery to self-discovery and has written an eBook The Woman You Want To Be for survivors of domestic violence to help them on their way.    You can order her book and subscribe to her enewsletter by visiting http://www.joyfulcoaching.com

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