Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Marriage is a Dying Institution
I found out that the whole idea of “until death do us part” is no long valid, that is, according to Debra Messing of Will and Grace fame. It saddened me to read an article about an actress I’ve always liked in the June 2012 issues of Ladies’ Home Journal and find the following:
Would you say that you and your husband grew apart?
No. [She pauses again.] I think the institution of marriage is a noble thing. I think the idea of a partner for life is incredibly romantic. But now we're living to 100. A hundred years ago, people were dying at age 37. Til death do us part was a much different deal.
Messing was answering a question about her split from her partner of 20 years - husband of 10 years, as posed by Johanna Schneller, author.
Twenty-six years ago my husband and I exchanged wedding vows and included “until death do us part.” I didn’t say until I reach the age of 45 and get tired of being with you. My husband didn’t say until she starts to get gray hair and complains about her job. I totally get that people grow and change and perhaps aren’t perfect for each other anymore, but people should admit that and not hide behind some crazy statement. It’s ridiculous to declare that the institution of marriage was only really meant to last because people were only living until 37 and now they are living until 100.
I hope Lionel and Ellen Buxton don’t read that interview. This couple has been married 82 years and offered marriage advice on Twitter this past Valentine’s Day at http://twitter.com/#!/lionelandellen
I guess what irks me more than anything about the quote in the LHJ interview is Messing made it seem that those of us who are still with spouses after years together – my marriage at 26 years and my in-laws at 61 years – just haven’t grown or changed. That’s what the whole idea is of partnering with someone for life. It’s to grow and experience life with them. It’s to see things through with them. My husband has stood by me through times where I’m sure it would have been easier for him to leave, but what would that have accomplished? We would have lost out on great memories together and the achievement of making it through tough times and celebrating happy times.
And again, I’m not saying that some people shouldn’t be separated or divorced, but claim it as a failure, learn from it and don’t put some lame excuse to it.