I have clients whose parents came here many years ago, off-the-boat parents, to make a better life, yet their soul remained with their country of origin. Through the years they visited family and friends still living in that country as a form of keeping the soul connection alive.
As the years passed, and the children grew up, one of the parents returned to their native country to live out their life, while the other remained in the US, either because they believed their destiny was here, part of their family lived here, or they no longer belonged with their marital partner, yet divorce was not part of their customs.
A divorce does not have to be on paper. It is often about 2 people growing part and separating physically, though still giving the appearance they are married. Many people do not believe in divorce. You marry 'till death do us part'. Others do not divorce for financial reasons, benefits and inheritance.
In some cases there is a third person involved for many years during the marriage. Generally the husband has had a lover and is now moves on with that person, while the wife returns to her roots, visiting the grown children on a regular basis.
Sometimes we discover that there is one soul for marriage and family, and another soul 'of the heart', leaving us to wonder why the second person didn't come into our lives when we were younger.
There are couples who do not have partners outside the marriage, but find it more compatible living in different places, getting together from time to time, but no longer caretaking.
Every society has its customs, the guidelines through which we experience while trying to find some degree of happiness and balance, especially as we grow older.
Of course there are parents who live in the same country, never divorce on paper, and prefer to live apart.
Sometimes separation, without daily caretaking works best for everyone, and the couple find happy times when they get together.
Happiness is about balance, in space and time.
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