I just met my future ex-husband! By K Parris

One of my favorite peeps, Caterer and Event Planner Kimberly Parris, wrote an awesome piece on The Sanctity of Divorce that I just had to share with all of you!  Be warned it's lengthy, but fits right in with our array of topics from last week on relationships and is a great, things that make you go hmmm, thought provoking piece for the attached and single alike... completely un-altered, no Carrie interpretations or opinions added!  xoxo Carrie


My favorite line of 2010 has been: "I just met my future ex-husband/wife". I mean, what better way to express your attraction to someone?

O_o

As this Caribbean rambler approaches 30, I've found myself in attendance at many a wedding. As a caterer and event planner (http://www.kimberlyparris.com/), I've found myself planning a few weddings. Either way, the past six months to a year have been a blur of weddings, both planned and unexpected, the most recent of which was a few weekends ago. As the over thinker that I am, I found myself listening intently to the vows with which my good friend and her husband took. I noted that these vows are the same vows that many of my other friends and family members have taken. I even took a moment to jot them down. This may seem strange, as the traditional wedding vows (http://www.weddingplanninglinks.com/planning/traditionalweddingvows.html) very rarely detour from the original, but humor me:

"Do you, GROOM/BRIDE's NAME take BRIDE/GROOM's NAME to be your husband/wife – to live together after God’s ordinance – in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon her your heart’s deepest devotion, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?"

Insert "I do" here.

Weddings, particularly grand, methodically planned ones that I and others like myself pride themselves on planning, are tear jerking events that leave many single folks such as myself momentarily considering 'jumping the broom'. From the "I do's" to the cutting of the splendiferous cake (yep, I said splendiferous), to the first dance to the tearful best man/maid of honor/parents of the bride and groom toasts, the concept of the 'perfect wedding' is a sight to behold and one that has been cultivated and has grown tremendously over the course of the decades.

Of course, so has the 'perfect divorce'.

I had a client who, when asking me about some of her wedding details, asked me the fastest way to get an annulment. It took me aback, admittedly. Here this beautiful young woman was, about to marry the 'man of her dreams', and already you're thinking about an annulment? Something is wrong with this picture. In another scenario, a wedding that a friend of mine catered upstate asked for the 'richer or poorer' portion of the vows to be removed from the spiel, because she was "definitely marrying for 'richer' and there would be no 'poorer'".

The above, my fellow rambling fans, would be a direct quote. Something is wrong with this picture.

And on it goes. Nowadays, at least 50% of marriages end in divorce. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm) 50%. That's half of them. Many of the marriages that have ended in divorce, statistically, are due to monetary concerns, infidelity, inability to have children, etc.  I have never been married, but I can tell you as an outsider looking in, from a logical point of view, that often times, the reasoning behind divorcing a spouse stems from an inability to commit. Why? Consider this: if you look above, I highlighted the portion of the vows that state: "in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy". When you hear of someone divorcing, if you hear nothing else, you hear interpolations of "I didn't sign on for this".

Except...that you did. When you took those vows, you did sign on for EXACTLY that…right?

Unless you wrote your own vows and carefully phrased them, you did sign up for the worse...if your spouse cheated on you, is it worth forgiveness? If your spouse suddenly becomes ill or can no longer bear children, do you allow yourself to continue? Do you find a way to make the impossible possible? If your spouse makes a bad investment that renders you broke...is that a deal breaker? If so, why? Is that not all a part of your vows...the ability to find the compromise to work through difficult situations? Do all the little things that a person does, the little things that permeate a person’s character and make them who they are, do those things constitute irreconcilable differences? Perhaps it is my naïveté, having never been married, that is causing me to pose these questions...but it is something that I constantly consider when I watch the divorce rate climb every year.

Am I saying all situations are workable? No. Sometimes, divorce is the only answer...but it should not be the default answer, it should be a last resort answer, in my personal opinion. For example, if your partner for the rest of your life has another partner for the rest of their lives…I’d consider that a deal breaker. (So does the law. Bigamy is illegal in 48 states.) If your partner is living a double life, I think it’d be ok to say, “Who the &*^$# did I marry?” (http://thefreshxpress.com/2010/08/who-the-bleep-did-you-marry/) But if your partner happens to have a porn addiction, my advice would be to install a projector and get Pinkie, Mr. Marcus, and the Penthouse gang to teach you some tricks. (Not that I know anything about that.) Or…you could sign your significant other up for PAA (Porn Addicts Anonymous – yes, it really exists) and help them through it. It’s the least you could do since they rubbed your cruddy feet, greased your flaky scalp, and built you a bed. (I’ve been reading Getting To Happy. Sorry.) Seriously, though…wouldn’t that be considered some of the ‘worse’ that we should be guiding each other through?


So here are the questions I’ve been posing internally that I now pose to you: is a deal breaker really a deal breaker? What constitutes an absolute fail in a marriage? Where do you draw the line at trying to fix a relationship/marriage? Can a person truly judge another’s actions based on their imperfect model? Why is there such a big fear of genuine commitment? Is it a fear of the loss of control?

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