Features » You Cannot Be Serious!
YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS - Would you renew your marriage licence …?
Bernie Comaskey / 2011-04-14 12:00:36
“The first man was shy, the second rude, the third was desperate and the fourth was too eager.” Lads, doesn’t that just show you that there is no pleasing some women?
That opening line is from the court case brought by a lady called, Annemarie McBreaty, against a Donegal dating agency because none of the men measured up to her expectation. Holy God, after reading an account of the court case in the Irish Independent, I hid the paper under a cushion before Mrs Youcantbeserious realised that she had married a man with all these highlighted defects and a dozen more if she choose to take it to a higher court. While later moving the newspaper from under the cushion to the shredder, I read about another skirmish of the sexes taking place down in Tipperary. Apparently this couple love their house but hate each other, so they have built a wall right through the middle of the house and garden. Oh, they both love the dog, which refused to take sides, so they left a dog-sized hole in the wall. Presumably the dog doesn’t carry any tales back and forth.
Couples are still getting married despite all the impending pitfalls: In fact marriage rates are up slightly in the past couple of years. Recent surveys show that 94% of twenty-something men and women say they hope to get married some day. But there are more divorces than marriages in the Ireland of the 21st century. We have almost caught up with the UK and America in the realms of marriage break-up. Some hold that this is due to the log-jam which was waiting for divorce here to be legalised in 1997. Not so, I’m afraid: In Spain and Italy legalisation of divorce made little difference, where the figures are still on low single figures, while in Ireland we are approaching 30% of marriages ending in failure. If these trends continue, Ireland could have the highest rate of marriage break-up in Western Europe by say 2030. And in the interests of pub “slagging”, your chances are less than average if you live in Limerick - which has the highest rate of divorce.
Where children are involved it is always a seriously sad scene; where there is no answer for the hurt, and we won’t purport to give one here.
It is doubtful if there is such a thing as “an amicable divorce”. Even where proceedings commence in a civilised manner, the splitting of assets will bring out the worst in human nature and further sour the parting. It can become a game of “snap”. I know a couple and the first thing she did after he made a mistake in the range of his secretary’s job functions, was to fly to Spain, transfer the entire contents of their joint account to one in her own name, use her dual power of attorney to remove his name from the properties and fly back to Dublin that evening. He was easier dealt with as a result! (New secretary!)
If both parties are in agreement, a do-it-yourself divorce can be had for a thousand Euro or less: But the man I once heard say, “Sure if we could agree on the settlement, we could have agreed on anything, and we split in the first place because we couldn’t agree on anything!”
Most couples enter a marriage with the “til death do us part” intention, but going on the above statistics, the odds of waiting for death to bring about the final separation are increasingly grim. There is further bad news, I’m afraid, for those hoping to get it right second time around. A second marriage involving either party from a previously unhappy liaison has almost twice the chance of breaking up as well. If you are coming out of a disastrous relationship, the best advice is to totally focus on living your own life and not on ruining your ex’s. Get over it and move on: Time spent on revenge and hatred is time subtracted from your own living.
I know of cases where both divorcees continue to socialise in the same area and with many of the same group of friends. Not a good idea, folks – even though quite often the pair gets on better than when they were married. Avoid family functions together: Socialising as a divorced couple will only confuse friends and give false hope to families. Convenience or social sex with an ex should definitely be a no, no, no go area. This is not as uncommon as you might think and they even have a name for it in America, (surprise surprise!) “Ex Sex”.
I have a friend in Mullingar, who shall be nameless, in order to protect his good name. Joe has a theory on marriage, which in fairness, is at least entitled to have a case made for it. According to … let’s just call him Joe, a marriage licence should be like every other licence and expire after a given time – to be renewed or not. A TV licence, driving licence, dog, gun, etc, will lapse after its mandatory period – so why not a marriage licence, asks my learned friend? It should come up for renewal every few years and would keep us all on our toes. What do you think? Personally I have to agree that Joe makes a very good case … as I stretch for the shredder again!
The only thing a divorce settles is whose mother was right in the first place.