My middle brother got married last weekend. This was his third wedding. He had married his high school sweetheart in his twenties, divorced and immediately remarried in his thirties. Following his second divorce, still in his mid-thirties, I told him, half jokingly, “You know, maybe you ought to think about waiting until your forties before marrying anybody else.”
Nope. Immediately after divorce #2 came fiancée #3. They just got married last weekend. I couldn’t attend for lack of funds. I told him, again, half jokingly, that I only budgeted for one brother marriage per decade and he’d have to wait until 2010. I’m thinking, who knows, maybe I can attend wedding #4 by then.
I’m hoping for the best and only want my brother to be happy. His wife is a nice person, from what I can tell at a distance. I worry for my nieces, now 14 and 11, and how Stepmom #2 affects their understanding of relationships, but they live with their mom mostly and she’s sot a good handle on things. Personally, I have no issue with how many times someone wants to get married; I have relatives working on their 8th and 9th marriages. I don’t get it; I tell them, “You know, you can shack up for a while, it ain’t illegal.” But I don’t make it my business to worry about what’s going on in other people’s bedrooms. If they’re happy, good for them.
My cousins, however, are none too pleased about this situation (I’ve gotten the Idaho family news report tonight from my wife). My cousins are Christian types of the Born-Again™ Evangelical variety – not the rabid type, maybe a 45 guanolocons* on the 1-100 American Taliban Wingnut Scale, where Jimmy Carter is about a 2 and Fred Phelps is about a 98. Apparently they are distressed that my brother is not taking seriously the Sanctity of Marriage™.
These are the same cousins with whom I’ve had many heated email discussions regarding same-sex marriage rights and Prop 8. And it occurs to me that they’ve been fighting the wrong battle all this time. They’ve been opposing people who want to get married for the first time. Wouldn’t the sanctity of marriage be better preserved by fighting for stricter divorce and remarriage laws? How about a “three strikes and you’re out law”? How about every time five heterosexual couples get divorced, we let three gay couple get married? (There is a history in this country of 3/5ths compromises…)
I’d be against that, too, but at least it would be a little more logically consistent. If it were up to me, I’d really open it up – temp marriages, renewable marriages, gay marriages, lesbian marriages, multiple-partner shared child-rearing communal co-operative marriages, let ‘er rip! – but I’m just a secular atheist radical progressive whose mind was warped by too many 1960’s sci-fi novels.
Oh, and a secular atheist radical progressive going on eight years of marriage to my first and only wife.* Guanolocons are the official international measuring unit of bat-shittery. Detection of guanolocons is often accompanied by elevated kiloguckert readings on RoyCohndar.