Tuesday, 15 December 2015

He's my husband. Not my partner.

Something I noticed living in the UK is that people refer to John as my partner.  It's the polite and politically correct thing to do, even though our rings are displayed for everyone to see.  Er, that's the whole point of the rings, actually.  ;)

No jumping on the bandwagon; I won't be an offended American, and I'm really not.  I just know that for me, whenever I refer to John, I will call him my husband.  And for John, he will call me his wife.  That's not a political stance.  It's a fact.

My husband is not my partner.  A partner implies someone you go into business with; in the broader sense, someone who works together with you for a common purpose.  The other performer in a two-person act.  It implies a kind of synchronicity and harmony that, let's be realistic, is missing in many, many marriages--some of the time, if not most of the time.

There were lots of times in our going-on-six years that my husband and I were not in harmony.  We did not work together.  In fact, we were at odds with each other, in very painful ways.  We each had our own interests in mind.  We had different "business plans," and it almost ruined us.

We've worked really hard to come out the other side, and our work is not done.  If we were merely partners, though, we would have parted ways a long time ago.  Cue hackneyed excuses: It's not working out.  We have different visions for the future.  We're two different people.  This arrangement is no longer productive.  Checkmark the carefully contrived phrase "conscious uncoupling."

But, thank God (and some times, in my weakness, I do the opposite), I didn't enter into a partnership.  Marriage isn't a contract, it's a covenant.  More specifically, it's a sacrament.  If my husband were my partner, we wouldn't be partners.  I'm going to take a guess and say that's so for the longest lasting and most successful marriages.  So no, it's not offensive for people to refer to John as my partner.  It's just inaccurate.

In other words,

"Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honor should decline." -- G.K. Chesterton


Curious about the Catholic stance on divorce and annulments?  Try here, here, and here.

For further reading:

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