Yoh! WTF? Is divorce the right answer? I have done some thinking about that – yep I expect that some of you may say that I should not exert myself because the last time I did that involved an ambulance and the administration of oxygen, but hear me out. First of all just so you know, this musing does not take into consideration abusive relationships. Great, that’s out of the way we can started – Generally when we talk about divorce it is in the context of people who were once in love, now living in a loveless marriage. So instead of the word divorce I would like to explore the words loveless marriage.
What the hell are we thinking about when we bring together two words like this? Ranks right up there with an oxymoron like Mercy killing. Let’s face it a killing is a killing is a killing. Mercy my left foot! I remember my father who was on his deathbed. His body was ravaged with illness but he held on to life with every last bit of strength that he could muster; or even better what about Dress shirt – I mean is it a dress or a shirt? We’ve gotta choose one and go with it but both cannot work. In the same vein comes loveless marriage. This term only works if we try doing the liberal thing and define marriage as a social contract and then proceed to take the next logical step and absolutely malign the very essence of the reason two people want to be together. Yet never let it ever be said that I did my mudslinging at liberals and neglected to adorn conservatives in the same manner; for we can also do the conservative thing and make marriage into a duty to be performed under obligation…for family and country and any other ‘higher than thou’ bullshit one might come up with. Or we can do the human thing and admit that the words loveless marriage don’t go together like a baby carriage.
In my lifetime I have seen the death of the essence of marriage. Did I mourn you ask? Well no not really, because, frankly my dear I don’t give a damn. Now before you go off on some high horse and start judging me, allow me to clear the air. When I met my partner (sure if you’re the ultra-conservative type then go ahead and read wife instead) some 30-odd years ago and fell in love with her I told her that in my mind we were married – we did not enter into a legal social contract until 12 years after that. Does it really mean that we were not married before that? My parents lived together as unmarried sinners for most of my life. Sure that made me a bastard child in more ways than one, but it also taught me that you don’t need a ring to prove love or commitment.
Lesbians and Gays have fought tooth and nail to be recognized as married couples – but it’s not because of love. It’s because they want the same RECOGNITION, RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES that are given to married heterosexual couples. Marriage is seen as an institution, something entered into that gave to the participants’ financial, economic and political benefits amongst other things. I don’t blame lesbians or gays for this, for to me we are better off with this social contract that with any other. We need some sort of bureaucracy to manage the shit out of marriage (and don’t forget divorce).
So what am I talking about when I say that I witnessed the death of the essence of marriage? Well when we shifted the meaning of marriage (and let’s not argue whether that was bad or good) from being the union of two people who are committed to spending the rest of their lives with each other to that of two people who enter into, for legality’s sake, as a social contract we have eliminated the real reason two people might want to do such a thing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing! What’s bad is that we have no other description to replace the term, for in my lifetime I have also seen the transmutation of the meaning of love.
I have had to fight for my marriage; and I am positive that if I did not fight at that time it would have ended in divorce. It would have been the greatest mistake both my partner and I would have made in our entire lives and we both freely agree on that now after the fact. So that perspective begs the question: Was it a marriage to begin with or just another social contract in the hearts and minds of the couple involved? For if it was a social contract then divorce is absolutely acceptable; but if this was a relationship that transcended the many words and descriptions we usually ascribe to love then all of my musings would be worth shit.
- “Marriage: What does it mean to you?” (deannaschuster.wordpress.com)
- A marriage that glorifies… and a marriage that offends… (theonegaz.wordpress.com)