A reader’s response.

Annunciation Catholic Church
Catholic church.

Leah responded to my “Marriage and KS95” post:


I must admit your honesty was refreshing regarding the whole issue of marriage contracts.  I have studied religion my whole life and have even turned it into a healthy career.  I was raised Catholic and realized early on that the religion is more about the hiding of fact than it is a true religion, so I’ve spent my life studying all religions in an attempt to bridge the gap and eliminate confusion among the different factions.  You’d be surprised as to how similar they all really are.

What you said about the roots of marriage is mostly correct (in a general historical sense).  The only thing I’d add is that “marriage” in ancient terms was also mostly “’til death do you part”, but the responsibility was on the part of the woman.  In many cultures that practiced civil marriages, men could choose as many brides as they wished, and if it meant casting out an old bride for a new one, then the old bride couldn’t remarry.  A woman leaving her husband or expressing interest in not wanting to be with him (or fulfill his needs) was often times punishable by death, which is where the “’til death do you part” idea came from.  As time went on, the males were also eventually asked to make this promise to the woman in civil ceremonies.  When the church made marriage ceremonies a religious ceremony and had it translated into the Bible as it was being changed from Arabic to Greek and Hebrew (then to Latin and so on), the ceremony was also changed to make the promise to God as well as the bride and groom, thereby structuring fear into the equation because no one wanted to break a promise to God.

Anyway, enough of the history lesson.  You did a great job and I admire you in saying you’d still promise to love someone for life.  My question to you, is how would you look past the other things?  For example, if you promise to love someone for life and they elect to get a sex change or become horribly disfigured, how do you feel it would change your relationship?  Would you still love them for life?  Would you still stay married?




Thanks for the additional history Leah.  Great stuff!

To answer your question, I could love someone for the rest of my life if I’d made that decision, however, the sex change would probably be a deal breaker.  Don’t even get me started on why, it’s a long discussion.  Let’s just say, that when one organ turns into another, it’s not something I would be comfortable being in a marriage with.

Sex changes aside, I could honor my promise under all circumstances.  To me, marriage isn’t about sex, money, or anything superficial, it’s about forging a lifelong happiness with someone and figuring out the puzzle of how to be happy together.  We all get old and wrinkly, we stop feeling sexual, some have health issues and die early, and some live just long enough to see their time on Earth expire.  In the terms of time, a lifetime isn’t a long period of time.  Mountains take thousands of years to shift and transform.  Dinosaurs took millions of years to become extinct, planets sometimes take billions of years to form and destruct, so 50-70 years of time to me is a blink.  I can love someone for that time.  I don’t look at it as the fear of growing older and losing our attraction.  When I’m 80, I doubt I’ll be looking for sex.  I think it’ll be more about how I can enjoy life without breaking a hip.  I’ll look back at a lifetime spent loving someone and know that everything was worth it.  The sex will have been great while it lasted. People also do become horribly disfigured as you said, and that is also something that wouldn’t change my promise.  Things come up in life and we deal with the challenges as they happen.

That last paragraph was a bit scattered.  To sum it up, sex change is a deal breaker..all else is still a go for marriage.