Disposable relationships. Marital do-overs. Not sure where I'm going to go with this, but I was reading the July 6th post on ~d's blog and towards the end she asks, "Do people really change their whole lives mid-life for someone new?" Of course, she mentioned other things, but that one question struck a chord.
The answer to ~d's question, of course, is yes. People do. Brad Pitt did (although, in all fairness, I don't think the horse analogy works when you're talking about Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie, but I digress...). Eddie Fisher did. Out with the old (Debbie Reynolds), in with the new (Elizabeth Taylor). Then consider Henry VIII. Not only did he have six horses, but he sent two of them to the glue factory! (I'm having way too much fun with the horse analogy.)
Dear Hubby's childhood friend (and best man at our wedding) came from a family of do-overs. He has commented to me in front of his third wife that he and Best Man's mother (Wife #1) would still be married were it not for his in-law's. Best Man's father married Wife #2 and started a relationship with a married neighbor, who eventually became Wife #3. They've been together for at least a couple of decades so it appears he finally found The One. (or wait, was "The One" wife #1?) Anyway, Wives #1, #2, and #3 all attended Best Man's own wedding approximately 18 years ago. It was all very civil.
Best Man married his boss's daughter. Not a great career considering the marriage fell apart perhaps 5 years later. No children. Best Man, now divorced and unemployed, joined the military. This was around the time of the first Gulf War. He wasn't sent overseas, but he was sent to Indiana, where he met Wife #2, who had a young son. Instant family. They had two more children together and moved to Best Man's native Louisiana, then back to her native Indiana where they bought a house. Somewhere along the line, Best Man decided to change horses. Out with the old (Wife #2, stepson, two biological kids) and in with the new (Wife #3). The trail stops there. We've been out of touch for several years. It's just as well. I have trouble keeping the names of my own children straight, much less having to keep track of his revolving wives. To this day, he is our most-married friend, a title he's held since his 3rd marriage at the age of 32 in 1999.
My own parents were married for 30+ years. Growing up, I never really understood their marriage. They'd argue (loudly) and bicker (constantly) and I'd wonder why they didn't just get a divorce already. (I was probably one of the few kids who actually wished their parents would split.) But no, they stuck it out. What's the secret? Beats the hell out of me.
Something weird happened nearly 30 years after their wedding. They rediscovered romance. With each other. I was 24 and absolutely mortified! My parents smooching in public. Not the face-digesting public displays of affection you see from adolescents these days. But if you knew my family, then any display of affection - public or private - was, well, alarming. But I didn't go blind as I initially thought I would, and eventually my appetite did return.
This is getting awfully long, so I'll take a break here and pick up the topic another day...