Until Death?

I’ve been invited to three weddings this summer. Three couples are making the last arrangements as they prepare to start new lives together as husbands and wives.

Will any of them use the traditional wedding vows?

“I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”

When they take those vows, will they mean them? Statistics say they have about a 50-50 chance of staying together. Will they make it?

It seems lately I’ve been inundated with the subject of divorce. It may be one of those things that seems like it’s everywhere once you start paying attention. It started when I found out an acquaintance was “looking for a lawyer.”

The next day, old sitcom reruns on TV played on the divorce theme. In one episode of “Still Standing,” two teens bet on how soon their aunt’s marriage is going to end. On “Reba,” the title character’s ex is facing the possibility of a second divorce.

During a trip to Borders bookstore, I noticed there were more books about how to get a divorce than how to keep a marriage together. It seems our culture almost promotes divorce, rather than guarding the sanctity of marriage.

I’m not an advocate of divorce. I do know several wonderful people who have been divorced, and don’t claim to know enough about any of their situations to disagree with the decisions they’ve made. I do worry about people who are currently married and look to divorce as an immediate solution, rather than as a last resort.

I think most people want the ideal in marriage, the love relationship that lasts forever, two people who grow old together. I don’t know what changes from the moment two people walk down the aisle together to the point they cannot live together.

Like Reba said on her show, “If there’s a chance a marriage can be saved, you should try to save it.” I’ve been married 13 years. It’s not always been easy, or fun, or happy. I do have a husband who has been willing to grow with me, and has committed to stay with me. I don’t claim special luck or gifts to keep a marriage together, and there’s no guarantee it will last forever.

However, my husband and I have decided that divorce is not an option. We’re stuck with each other, “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health… until death do us part.” Except for the richer and the death part, we’ve been there. Like two people stuck on a reality TV show, we know we’re going to be together for an indeterminate amount of time, so we choose to make the best of it, and work toward the best relationship possible.

So far, so good.

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