Monday, October 02, 2006

Am I being too sensitive?

It always irks me when I see someone say that marriage is no different than having a long-term partner. It irks me when I see long-term relationship and marriage in the same category.

I made a promise to God to love, honor, and obey my husband for the rest of my life. A promise to God, people. I, a lowly human, made a promise to the creator of the universe. I also made a promise to my friends and family. I promised everyone in attendance at my wedding that I would love, honor, cherish, and obey my husband for the rest of my life. I also made a promise to Drew himself that I'd love, honor, cherish, and obey him. In case y'all are counting, that's a whole crazy mess of promises. I would fight tooth and nail to honor that promise.

In case that's just words to y'all, I also signed a legally binding contract stating that I'd stay with my husband. The ramifications of breaking that contract are numerous, and are nothing to be scoffed at. The law is NOT on your side when it comes to divorce.

A long-term relationship, while fancy and good, has none of those benefits, none of that commitment. Being with the same dude for 10 years is NOT the same as a promise to God, their family, their friends, or the state that they'll stay together for the rest of their lives. Where is the long term, enduring commitment in a boyfriend? There would be a costly divorce and a broken promise to God himself if my husband were to want to leave me - not to mention a hard-core butt-whuppin' from every member of my family and a few of my friends. If a woman's boyfriend wants to leave her, well, that's the breaks. Nothing's binding him to her at all. There is no commitment in a boyfriend, neither tangible nor in the form of a promise.

Why do people not differentiate between the two? Even if you don't believe in God, or couldn't care less about sacred vows, doesn't the whole marriage license thing bring a relationship to a whole nother level that is so far beyond a boyfriend or girlfriend?

And that's it for today's episode of "What's Got Stacey's Panties in a Bunch."


Vicki said...

I must play devil's advocate here. Is a marriage and a long term relationship the same? Certainly not, but the commitment to each other can certainly be the same. Look at Robert and Laurie. They were together 10 years before marriage was right for them. Did that mean they weren't seriously committed to each other before they spoke vows? No. Did that mean they weren't going to spend the rest of their lives together? No. We all knew they would. They knew they would. To say that they could just walk out of each other's life prior to that marriage and it would be a case of easy and that's the breaks, is crazy. In a marriage, if one person breaks those vows, does that still make their marriage more valuable than a long term relationship with continuing love and respect? I don't think so. Is an arranged marriage more valuable? They have spoken those same vows and have made those same promises. Regardless of any ceremony, if the love, respect, and honesty isn't there, it is worthless. Just because there was a marriage doesn't mean that relationship is more worthy than another. *stepping off soapbox now*

cncz said...

preach preach sister stacey...

shiksa said...

I'm not sure if I would have said this before I got married: it is different now than it was before. Yes, we would have endured significant hardship of separating possessions, domiciles, friends, family. But there would have been zero legal ramifications, and undoubtedly someone would have said, "It's not like we were married or anything." I've been to two weddings in one week and at each, the celebrant asks the congregation if they will do everything in their power to help uphold the promises made in this ceremony and they are supposed to answer "we will" with gusto. Marriage is a public event. You are asking others to bear witness to your promises so they can help you keep them. Religious or not, merging property and money and space and life takes a certain amount of faith. And as my husband says, for him it wasn't anything like marriage until the ceremony happened. Then it was OFFICIAL and FOR KEEPS. Skin in the game. This is the same reason why I do not agree with the Catholic church anulling marriages. To annul a marriage is to make it like it never happened in the eyes of the church and I'm sorry, but that's just plain nonsense. You can't make a marriage un-happen, any more than you can erase it from the minds and hearts of the individuals who were involved. That's why the preacher man gives the speech about how marriage is not to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly and people are meant to speak now or forever hold their peace. They should ditch the double standard and either accept divorce or get rid of annulment. To have it both ways dishonors the sacrament. I'm with Stacey - everything before the rings and the license was a commitment, but it was not the full enchilada with sour cream and guac. The sermon endeth here.

erindomeyer2000 said...

Im not sure what to say to this. Jason and i have been together for almost seven years and i feel that we are just as committed to each other as we will be when we get married. But thats just it we are getting married. I believe marriage is the true ultimate committment to each other and it shows God and everyoe else that we plan on lasting forever together. I dont think people should take marriage lightly it is forever and people who say they dont know if they will get divorced should never have gotten married in the first place. I believe that my relationship is just as strong as all married couples if not stronger than some. We have dedicated our lives together and that is what is truly important. Professing it to God and our family will be my final step in this committment.

Tony said...

I must step in and defend Holy Mother the Church at this point. Annulment is not "Catholic divorce", and they are not even related to each other, for the following reason:

The Church is appointed by Christ to be the guardian of the Sacraments, among which is the Sacrament of Matrimony. As such, it is to her that the authority to decree when and how the Sacraments are to be administered has been granted. Sacraments are valid if the matter, form, and intention are valid. Thus, a priest cannot confect the Most Holy Eucharist from pizza and beer, since the matter is not valid, and likewise a
bishop cannot impose his hands upon a woman and ordain her to the priesthood, because she herself is not valid matter for that particular Sacrament. Defect in form is the reason for the invalidity of the baptism of the Latter Day Saints, because the proper formula is not used - "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
However, defect of intention equally invalidates a Sacrament, meaning that, although in outward appearance that Sacrament seemed to have happened, it in fact did not. Thus a priest who does not intend to consecrate certain hosts that were inadvertently placed on the altar, does not consecrate them. While this is by far the most difficult defect to recognize, and it more often than not is never known to the public, the fact remains that certain sacramental actions that appear to be taken are in fact not taken due to defect of intent. This is what happens in many "marriages" in which the couple, due to inadequate or erroneous formation, inability to grasp the nature of the commitments that Matrimony entails, or the commission of an outright lie at the altar, do not intend to keep the promises of lifelong fidelity and marital fruitfulness that are essential to the creation of the bond of Christian marriage, or are in fact not free to make such promises. Thus, a marriage that to outward appearance happened, did not in fact happen. The Sacrament was invalidated due to defect of intention. This is what the Marriage Tribunal determines to be the case when it makes a Decree of Nullity, commonly called an annulment. It is not an action by the Church to "unmake" a marriage; rather, it is a determination made by the Church, after great deliberation and investigation, that the Sacrament did not occur. Nothing that happens after the vows are made enters into the discussion - the entire proceeding seeks to determine whether the proper matter, form and intention existed at the point at which the Sacrament is supposed to have occurred. There is a presumption in favor of the bond of marriage that must be overcome by evidence to the contrary. The Church herself is the only institution that has never failed to defend marriage to the point of never allowing divorce, but she is also the guardian of the Sacraments, and must proclaim the truth about them. She also does not want to force people to live in a situation where a marriage has failed without substantial hope of reconciliation(an annulment proceeding generally must be preceded by a civil divorce or separation) and it which it is clear that, since the Sacrament never occurred, the couple does not have the grace of the Sacrament to draw from. That is why the Church decrees some marriages null, but never allows divorce.

As far as the difference between long-term relationships and marriage, "seriously committed" can mean whatever people want it to mean - it's inherently relative. (Christian) Marriage is concrete, absolute, and involves very specific promises to each other, not to mention that it bonds the couple together spiritually, emotionally, and even physically in a very real way that no mere "commitment" can short of marriage. If people truly intend to spend their lives together, to be faithful to each other, and to raise a family together, there is no reason not to marry and to obtain God's favor and help in doing so. Failure to do so, in my eyes, speaks of a lack of commitment, whether due to fear, immaturity, or laziness, cannot be equated to the total commitment of marriage. The ceremony is not "worthless", but rather imparts God's blessing and the grace to do precisely what the couple is called to do in their relationship - bring each other to Heaven. Without that grace, it is much more difficult to maintain even the best of intentions. Not to mention that it's God's will that couples be married if they're going to engage in certain.... activities. No relationship can be considered equal to Christian marriage that inherently involves causing your "beloved" to live in a continual state of sin for the sake of your own pleasure, comfort, or inability to man up and make yo' baby momma an honest woman.

Sorry for abusing your blog recently, Stacey. I think I need my own.

D-Mac (AKA the MVP) and the Birds are comin' for your boys on Sunday. Get ready for the bloodbath. Reggie who? Reggie Brown, that's who.

That is all.