Now, I could be completely maleficent and leave the post at one word, but to do so would go completely against my character. (whistles Dixie knowing she has done it before)
The caption above could branch into many different places, but for now it will be focused to the marriage vows exchanged at the wedding. A few of you commented on the tacit vows we make to one another and the ones which are not explicitly announced during the wedding. Both lead to the questions we will discuss in the end.
Shy the Buddhist vows, the examples from I Take Thee, Mate, all use love as a verb. Merriam Webster defines the verb love as:
- to hold dear: cherish
- a. to feel a lover’s passion, devotion, or tenderness for;
b. (1) caress (2) to fondle amorously (3) to copulate with
- to like or desire actively : take pleasure in
- to thrive in
- to feel affection or experience desire
The second definition covers the physical aspects of love at a basic level, yet physical, marital love is far more diverse than the three choices in b. Arguably, this aspect of love is the one which impacts marriage more adversely than is perceived at the time of the wedding.
Four and five cover a lot of emotional ground which is the foundation of most marriages. Marriage creates a safe haven for affection, desire and success.
Reminds me of a funeral.
When you dream of a funeral, it is said to be the harbinger of a wedding. (Read into that whatever you will.) Just before my baby sister’s wedding, I attended a funeral. The husband stood to deliver his eulogy of his wife. He listed her charitable characteristics and included this opinion (despite society-accepted evidence to the contrary):
She was sexy.”
Laughter broke out in the funeral parlor. As much for his singular opinion as for the unease of the guests in the idea this was an inappropriate setting for such a statement.
Back to Weddings
The lack of specificity in the wedding vows leaves me cold. Or perhaps I just perceive laziness or an acceptance of the English language as lacking to adequately describe the love of spouses and soul mates.
The ancient Greeks had thirteen (13) words for love to describe the many splendored emotion. English, on the other hand, has four (4), three of which are defined as a type of love in a second or subsequent definition. Half are used in the traditional vows (love, cherish). Treasure and adore are not.(1)
Where’s the fine print?
Marriage is a contract. Contracts should be explicit in their expectations, even if it is in the fine print definitions which are often longer than the contract itself. Even if we can agree the unspoken terms are as relevant as the ones we say, it requires both Mates to agree to the terms…in advance.
Dearest M3 Readers,
I have often asked you for your opinions. About this subject, I am seeking as many opinions as possible. Please comment with your feelings about the above and your answers for the questions which follow.
Tonight, at 2000-2200 EDT (GMT-5) I will be here to discuss this matter with you in real time. I will be answering your comments as you make them. You have been shaping the course of many series on M3. This one has already detoured from its original path by your comments to the last post.
I welcome your responses and look forward to spending time with you tonight in pursuit of this subject.
- What does love between spouses really mean?
- Is it adequately represented in the wedding vows discussed?
- Would your Mate agree to your definition?
- Have you ever asked?
- If so, what answer did you get?
- How does the lack of specificity bear on those who feel marriages fail?
(1) As a noun, four (4) synonyms have love as a second or subsequent definition: