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Open Features: It's Never The Ones Ya Hope

"Is it any wonder we feel like marriage is doomed to fail? If we look around, we see divorce everywhere.,'' writes Shannon Appleby.

Is it any wonder we feel like marriage is doomed to fail? If we look around, we see divorce everywhere.

My Aunt and Uncle are getting a divorce, my parents are divorced, and my friend’s fiancé cheated on her. That’s right - I’ve got every side of the spectrum covered. My dad’s second marriage ended in divorce, my mother-in-law is separating from her second husband, and I spent four years working for a very successful divorce attorney. A “successful divorce attorney” ... hmm, who knew one could be successful as the legal advocate for romances gone bad?

And it’s never the ones we hope for. It’s not the religious nut, with the ultra domineering husband. It’s not the abusive father who legally severs ties and gets his no good ass out of town. It’s never the stuck up bitch that made your life a living judgment day in high school. No - the rich, God fearing, pretend-parent, professionally macho jack-ass sticks it out. But the best friends fragile ego - that get smashed. Your second parents happily-ever after - that get deleted with no warning. And we’re all left to choose sides and second guess ourselves. Does love ever last a lifetime? Will “my love” last a lifetime?

These legally binding breakdowns of romance are everywhere, and it seems no-one reports the true-grit love stories of reality. So I thought maybe today, I would change that. For instance, did you know that Britain’s longest lasting marriage was 81 years? And when the husband Frank ultimately passed at age 101 he died holding his wife’s hand? That’s a real story. Look it up. And did you know the hot-headed, politically celebrated Winston Churchill married for love and lifetime when he wedded Clementine in 1908? Another long British marriage, (maybe the Brits have it right!) Noreen and Don Dickinson, are celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary this year. And how are they celebrating? ... By RENEWING their marriage vows. Woop, woop!

The point, is simple. These good articles and anecdotes are the hard-to-come-by stories. The true life romances are not in the public conscience. Can we stem this tide? Can longer life expectancy be tied to longer life partners? Can “till death do us part” still bind us, or is it just something we say? Will we interrupt the next wedding we think is a sham? Or will we just mutter under our breath, “it’s never the ones ya hope.”

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