Till Death do Us Part
If there is one line in the common wedding vows I heard I really utterly find horrifying it must be “Till death do us part”
Just try and think about it. You are young (mostly) in love (hopefully) and the day you have been dreaming of (when you are the bride) and the day you have feared all of your life (if you are the groom) has arrived. You stand there in front of whoever it is conducting your wedding ceremony. Both of you are nervous, emotional and probably beside noticing some lip movement not really paying any attention to the words that will make you man and wife. You promise each other to have and to hold, in sickness and in health till death do you part.
I think these are the perfect lines to come with some horror music on the background. It may seem so romantic and beautiful but you are made to make this promise not because you will most certainly live happily aver after! You are made to make this promise to each other at this specific moment in time when you want to be wed and all your loved ones are there to witness how you promise each other to stick together no matter what. To take care of each other even when hell freezes over. To stay together no matter how much of a mistake this marriage is till death will separate you.
The only good part about this typical ceremony is that both man and woman are made to promise and the woman as actually allowed to say so out loud.
O, this is not meant to be funny at all! I am not familiar with all traditional wedding ceremonies but I do know that the majority of them actually exclude and input from the females entering the marriage. In modern societies some ceremonies got some adjustments were women are enabled to drop in e few lines. This is considered very modern and sort of feminist add-ons if you will.
When I got married in 2005 in Israel me and my partner chose to have a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. It was beautiful! I wore my lovely white dress and my smile. My husband signed the “Ktuba” (the wedding agreement) in the company of my father, his father and two male witnesses. I had no input or what so ever on the content of that agreement and was not even advised about it. Once signed (not by me of course) we were blessed by the rabbi and my partner took me as his wife. I agreed by pointing out my finger and accepting the ring he put on it. We were now husband and wife in the eyes of god and Jewish law.
Thankfully I did have to opportunity to live with my partner under the same roof before we got married. I think I got to know him pretty well and was sure then he was the man I want to spend my life with. I still believe now that he is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with but looking back now and knowing what I know now I think the whole ceremony was a facade and not respectful towards me. To me, it wasn’t a biggy. I couldn’t care less. I just wanted this partnership and start a family with him. It didn’t very much matter to me that the ceremony was a traditional one and if it would be no ceremony at all I think I would have agreed to that too. It was actually my husband who valued this type of ceremony deeply and I didn’t think anything negative of it.
I am happy my husband is a nice person and that he really is a “WYSIWYG” (What You See Is What You Get) person. I have heard of people to be different after the wedding and even some turned out to be real monsters. (I am not only referring to men).
As much as the Jewish traditional ceremony as “Male Deal” to be made have a divorce is even worse! In order to divorce in the Jewish traditional way it is the man who has to agree to set his wife free of him and hand her, the “Get” (release form from marriage if you will). It may not sound that bad but many women have husbands that refuse to give them a get and there is not much they can do about it since the institution that is in charge of the whole matter is the “Rabanut” (Jewish Law) and they surprisingly all are ruled by men. Women who do not receive a get will never be able to remarry ever! Even if she can proof how much of an asshole here husband is she is totally depended on the willingness of her husband and the Rabanut.
I know for a fact that also the Catholic church does not encourage divorce. Not that I think divorce is such a great thing but what is broken can sometimes not be fixed and if broken marriages create unhappy people then maybe divorce should be accepted as a solution to the problem and not as a failure.
The whole concept of marriage is somewhat outdated. Why does a relationship that is supposed to be based on love, respect and trust need a piece of paper to confirm it? And if it does why isn’t that piece of paper a true agreement where both sides get to be represented equally? Why is he my husband and me his wife? I was much more pleased calling him my boyfriend and still now I prefer referring to him as my partner than anything else.
In the traditional marriage, we have created role models. The husband is the provider, the wife is the homemaker and bears the children. Even in my near circle of friends and family in the so-called “modern society” this is seen as standard and acceptable. Times have changed. Role models have changed. As much as it would be nice we are not able to live off one salary. Most families I know can’t. Almost all my friends have both partners work in order to provide, With this homemaking is not a women job by definition. Women working full time cannot also be responsible for all the chores around the house.
If a woman stays home to raise the children and take care of the house it should be her choice and she should be at peace with it. I know some of my friends actually prefer it over working outside of the house, Personally, I thought I could do it and be a better mother for my children if I would be home more but the truth is that in my case it caused me a lot of confusion, frustration, and insecurity. As much as my partner is supportive, respectful and understanding. Being a stay home mom was the most ungrateful job in my entire life and what’s more I never ever had financial freedom or independence which I use to have when I was still pursuing my career. If I would enjoy the chores at home and entertaining my kids all the time it may not have bothered me but after a while, it became more a must than a choice.
Our situation is now that not only do I want to go back to a full-time job I actually must go out to work full time in order to cover our expenses. I am equally responsible for providing as my partner and my partner is equally responsible for the laundry as I am. This is how we do it and it works for us. It is because of this way we live why the wedding ceremony and its agreement that was never signed by my is a useless piece of paper with no meaning to me at all. Luckily I married well and not a monster.
As long as we are able to make other happy, support each other, have some good fights we can make up over. As long as we both feel that the relationship is a good thing most of the time and we don’t feel sick when we look at each other it is worth fighting for and making an effort for. We both had to give in on matters we valued but we set our priority on making this thing we have work. Don’t get me wrong! My partners know better than anyone else I know how to annoy me and I am highly expertized in making him absolutely go nuts. We fight, we disagree and we say a thing to each other we regret afterward. It is what makes us human. We know how to make up, we know how to listen to each other and settle our disagreements. We know how to fool around, have a good laugh and enjoy making love. Yes, in troubled times divorce has slipped my mind and I am sure so did he. I don’t think it makes us abnormal or special. I never felt unwanted or unloved. Sometimes taken for granted but I am also guilty of that. We are very different persons. It is a thing our friends joke about a lot. Even we see how big the contrast is between our personalities. I don’t think we will ever agree about everything, which is fine.
I want to believe we both are in this marriage because it is what we both want and we will continue wanting it as long as it is working for the both of us. I don’t believe I need a side note that says “Till death do you part” I don’t even want to think about it. It will end when it ends.