Marriage, for the bazillionth time

I’m in the middle of reading Trouble, by Kate Christensen and Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Both are about divorced women trying to make peace with marriage. In “Trouble”, a woman decides to leave her husband after many years because, well, there’s just no more passion left.

My first response was that this is a completely different mindset than the one I’ve grown up with. This woman seemed to be immature and selfish. I’m all for divorce if there’s a necessary reason: abuse, arguing, unhealthy behaviors, etc. But lack of passion? Come on, tough it out. Don’t do that to your husband or your daughter.

However, I’ve recently started to wonder if my views on this are archaic. Perhaps marriage should be about mutual benefit, and if one partner doesn’t feel the benefit, they should leave. Perhaps having 3 or 4 divorces should become the norm. Maybe it’s just a social stigma that should be done away with.

What’s the purpose of marraige anyway? To provide a lifetime of commitment to each other? What happens when you no longer want to be committed. You fall out of love. Should you have to suffer the rest of your life because, well, you made a promise on your wedding day?

In Judaism, in order get divorced, the man must hand the women a bill of divorce. There is no way for the woman to get divorced if the man does not wish to do so. This has resulted in some women being “chained” into abusive, unhealthy marriages and unable to remarry. Many solutions have been proposed for this problem, and one idea is to simply not get married.

Is marriage becoming a thing of the past?

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