Friday, April 25, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 145: Forest/trees/toothpicks

More or less the conversation SH and I had last night. I wanted to talk about the emotional impact of bigamy and some of the logistics and who SH would marry if he could add a second wife and would it mean that life would be easier for me or harder for me.

Me: So the premise of this book is that the man, a Stanford physician, has three wives.

SH: Three wives? How did he do that?

Me: With the approval of his first wife. She said she would never divorce him but that he could have affairs.

SH: But with the marriage license. Don't they check?

Me: I don't know. I thought they asked on our marriage license if either of us were married.* But three wives! Can you imagine?

SH: So he lied on his marriage license?

Me: I guess. And then he dies! And the wives meet each other!

SH: That's perjury, isn't it?

* And now I am remembering that not only did they check, but SH also had to show his divorce decree. Used husband, etc. But I married so late that my grandmothers' and mother's lack of desire for a divorced son in law was subsumed to their wish just to see me damn married already.


Joy said...

I did not marry extraordinarily late--I was 31--but my husband-to-be and I had been a couple for five years and living together for two. When we got engaged, we first called our parents to tell them we were getting married, and they were happy, but they basically said, whatever, we figured you would eventually. Next I called my grandmother, and having made less than a splash with the parents, I said, "I'm sure this comes as no surprise, but we're getting married." Her response? "I AM surprised! I thought you were NEVER going to get married!" "Grandma, why did you think I was never going to get married?" Realizing she'd been a little tactless, she hemmed and hawed and finally said, "Well, you're just so....MODERN." She had the grace to refrain from saying, "I despaired of you, oh granddaughter of mine, living in sin lo these many years," but I know it's what she was thinking.

Class factotum said...

Yes, we were also Living in Sin. We even Bought a House in Sin, although for us, it was more about logistics (in Wisconsin, you have to wait six months after a divorce to marry, but SH's lease was up and they wouldn't go month to month, etc, etc) than any desire to defy convention.

I don't really care about convention, but I do care about legal protection, which is why we are married - I want a contract that says I get SH's assets when he dies.