Many of us have entered a hospital, hospice or bedroom only to be welcomed with a blank face and a confused "who are you"? We choke back tears and continue on in the role God expects of us - caregiver, friend, family member.
Often the role of spouse continues because of love and loyalty. Often the role continues to ensure health insurance benefits.
Is there a time when the "healthy" spouse can morally and ethically "abandon" the technical role of spouse and begin a new relationship while the suffering spouse is still alive?
At what point do the marriage vows "until death do us part" take effect and the marriage end? Obviously, divorce can end the marriage vows but the parties are very much alive. What about a serious illness? Cancer? Terminal illness? Coma? Alzheimer's?
Moreover, what does it say about our society that we would institutionalize our ill and suffering with strangers (where abuse is rampant) so that we can continue with our lives? We think we deserve something other than caring for those that suffer. What precisely do we deserve that is more honorable than caring for the suffering among us?