I have been married three times. My three wives have had five other husbands. I have no idea how many wives those husbands have had, but it does make modern-day marriage look like a sort of relationship Ponzi scheme similar to the financial one masterminded by Bernie Madoff.
Obviously the people of my generation have taken "Til death do us part" as an advisory, rather than a mandate.
The Catholic Church, of course, will have none of this. Get a divorce and remarry, and you're out of the club. (Unless you have enough money and clout to buy an annulment, which is a divorce-only-we-will-call-it-by-another-name. But I don't want to get into that whole can of worms.)
As a former seminarian, I always found it curious that a man who has taken the vows in Holy Orders to become a priest can change his mind later on if it all isn't working out. Even if he gets married, it isn't a deal breaker with the church the way divorce is.
That is interesting for two reasons: 1) the guys making the rules have been much more understanding and easier on the penalties for breaking the sort of vows they have to take, and 2) the church seems to have decided somewhere along the way that breaking your vow to another person is much more serious than breaking your vow to God.
Gee, these are odd things to be thinking about. I guess it's because matrimony has been on my mind this morning. Today is the 27th anniversary of the day my true love and I tied the knot. And after more than a quarter of a century, 7/7 remains the luckiest day of my life.
By now we have been together so long that we are starting to become like one another. For example, I am developing hyper-organization habits; LK occasionally does something clumsy. (But only occasionally, dear, and I will never write about them. Promise!)
But we still laugh a lot with one another, do most everything with one another, care madly for one another and love being with one another. (Well, I love being with her. I am assuming she is cool with being with me since she hasn't run away yet.)
So I guess there's one fundamental difference to a financial Ponzi scheme and the marriage-go-round of my earlier years. With Madoff and the like, the last guys in are the ones who suffer the most. With marriage, the last one was winner-take-all. Love you, LK. Here's to many, many more great years together.