Hearing someone promise to love you until the end of his or her life is pretty powerful stuff. In fact, I find all the statements in popular wedding vows to be quite powerful and significant.
That’s why I don’t understand how some people can take such vows so lightly, although it apparently happens daily in view of current divorce rates. I understand that some people don’t give much if any thought to swearing vows before God, but what about swearing before their mate, their family members, their friends? Don’t promises mean anything any more?
I guess I’m feeling especially sensitive to these issues right now because I recently learned that yet another friend of mine is leaving behind a long term marriage. It saddens me to think of the other spouse and the children and the loss they will experience. I’m also a little angry at my friend, who happens to be behaving quite selfishly.
Not being one to pull punches, I said as much. My friend is not too happy with me at the moment either, but this person knows me well enough to realize that I’m not the type to just say what someone else wants to hear. I responded, “I say what I think and feel, for better or for worse.”
My friend was not amused and quickly snapped back with, “Yeah, whatever. So what if I’m being selfish? It’s my turn to be selfish!” I’m not judging and I can even relate to having similar feelings on occasion, but I simply cannot get over how quickly this marriage ended. It took nearly 20 years to build, but it was completely destroyed in less than 6 months.
What’s wrong with this picture? How did we get to a place where it’s so easy to toss people aside, even after swearing to love them until death do us part?