Saturday, July 3, 2010

If it's broke sign the papers

I never assume that I know what's going on in anyone's home - not my neighbors, not my friends, and certainly not people I only know through the media.  I have to admit though, that Al and Tipper Gore threw me for a loop.  Who doesn't remember "The Kiss" at the 2000 Democratic National Convention? And most of us assume that after couples make it to 40 years they are pretty much on the "til death do us part" home stretch. Surprise! Not so.  The Gores show that these days up until death you can still part. And I think that's great.

Disclosure: My own parents divorced while I was in my early teens.  My husband says this tainted me on marriage, and makes me more embracing of divorce.

I don't think I am tainted at all.  After all, I did adjust my early-held opinions on the institution, and bet on marriage myself.  I have not always felt like I was winning that bet, and that is reasonably expected.  For me, having divorce on my drop-down menu (my husband's words) makes marriage a choice, not a life sentence. I know what a bad marriage looks like - couples who are never in the same place at the same time, husbands who cannot stand the sound of their wife's voice, wives who turn a blind eye to philandering husbands - and I see a lot of them around. I wish those couples would do the Gore and just cut each other loose.

Life expectancy in the United States now stands at just under 80 years old. Considering that the last national census indicated the average ages at first marriage for men and women were 27 and 25 respectively, 40 years of marriage only takes a couple to their late 60s. Good physical and mental health prevailing, that leaves at least 20 good years that ought not to be squandered tolerating or putting up with anything or anyone.

Spouses can come up with a hundred new reasons to stay in a bad marriage - from laziness to fear - but Al and Tipper have now taken 'we've been married for so long' off the table.


  1. Words are powerful and so are actions... but is most important is the context in which they are done.
    Actions: That "Kiss" was a statement of a would-be leader and his wife as being 'solid' in the aftermath of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. The STAGED kiss was a non-verbal queue to state that there would be that kind of business going on in the Gore household. That kiss was a poorly-staged piece of PR if there ever was one. I believed that then (cynical me) as I do now.
    Words: I find it particularly disturbing when a spouse will use the actions of others as a baseball bat to indict his/her spouse as if to say because your parents did it, so will you! It's a cheap, deliberate and nasty indication of controling behavior. Your actions, and your actions alone, should be the indicators to determine the longevity of your marriage. I'm sure there are skeletons in your husband's familial closet. What if you used them as an indictment on him? I don't think he'd be too receiving of that condemnation either.

    As to a marriage, people generally aren't the same people 5, -10, -15, -20 years etc. from the time they wed. We all change. It's important to change and grow together and remember to keep our individuality respectfully intact.

    But what do I know?

    JoeyBaggaDoughnuts ;)

  2. Thanks for checking out A Piece of My Mind JoeyBaggaDoughnuts. I have to agree with much of what you said, particularly on the public relations spin that is often politics. I feel compelled to defend DH though. I happen to agree with his point (which he has not made for many years) to the extent that people's views are formed by their experiences. Our parents' marriages just put divorce in different perspectives for us. For me, it's an option that makes staying married more meaningful, for him it's not even an option.