"Till Death Do Us Part" who started this anyway?

Is this biblical?

and if NOT the actual request/demand of God… which biblidoperperson started it?

I know back in yonderly olden days, most people died fairly young and thus it was easier to mouth these words…

But… NOW we are living an extremely LONG time…

and it seems like an awful lot to take on…

Hey, I’ve got 25 years invested but sometimes wonder if we should promise someone else a LIFETIME together…

Wouldn’t it better just to have a 5 -10 year contract and let everyone go their merry own way if both parties so choose at end of said contract… and just RENEW said contract if desired by both parties… with >> NO STIGMA attached <<

Now I realize ANYONE can do this at ANYTime, but what would it take to make this a NORMAL everybody/everyday occurrence?
Do you think it could happen? Or will people ALWAYS want to pledge a LIFETIME

and YES, I know very few people KEEP that MAJOR promise… but still…
Would like to hear others opinions

Good old Random House Talking about the Book of Common Prayer in olde England they say


I’m all for this idea, as long as provision is made for the support and shared parenting of any children. It fits reality better, these days, than the “death do us part” idea.

Ha, its funny you should mention this. Just the other day I got called a cynical bastard (jokingly) by some of my female coworkers. They were asking me if I believed in love or not and I said: “Yeah sure, I just don’t believe it has to last an entire lifetime (for me anyway)”

I like to love my ladies for short periods of time; about six months to a couple of years or so. Or however long it takes before you start being crapy towards eachother.

This is probably pretty easy for me to say though becuase I refuse to share a home with a GF ever again. To much protest I might add.

Sorry, but I couldn’t resist:

Darling, Will You Spend The Next Six To Ten Years With Me?


In the Book of Matthew, Chapter 5, Jesus said:

31"It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’[1] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

No, Jesus himself never used the words “til death do us part,” but the man who DID coin the phrase was unquestionably conveying the essence of what Jesus said.

Before Jesus came along, it was quite easy to get a divorce under Jewish law. Jesus changed that, and stated that the sanctity of a marriage was all but absolute. So much for the notion that Jesus was a nice, pleasant hippie who wasn’t a stickler for rules.

So… if you have a problem with the notion that marriage is permanent, take it up with Jesus.

Although 50% of marriages end in divorce, I don’t see how the becomes very few people that keep that MAJOR promise. One could turn that around and say very few people don’t keep that MAJOR promise.

I am a 64 year old male who has kept my promise.

Well, you’re one of the lucky ones, kniz, and I envy you. :slight_smile:

But, the fact that half of all marriages are not terminated does not, in any way, indicate that half of all married people are living by the vows they made during the ceremony. There are an awful lot of marriages where one or both parties have long ago ceased to “love, honor…”, etc. Not to mention infidelity, which some studies put at a whopping 60% of all married people.

Some people feel it’s better to stay together, regardless; some don’t.

I think it originated in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament.

Well, I honestly think that the reason so many divorces occur is simply because they go into the marriage thinking “if it doesn’t work out, I’ll just get a divorce” rather than trying to work out any problems that crop up. Too many people think problems = failure, and they don’t realize that even great marriages have problems. I also think people rush into marriage too quickly and don’t think about whether or not the person is truly right for them. That’s not to say that sometimes, the people just fall out of love with each other…I know there are legitimate divorces that don’t involve adultery, but there are a lot that could have been avoided.

I for instance did not marry my ex, even though we’d been together 5 years and we both loved each other deeply. I just knew in my heart that we’d have 5-10 years of blissful marriage before it would come crashing down, and I did not want to do that. Then, my fiancee and I started dating and I just KNEW that she was the one, and I have no doubts. Now, could we get divorced? Sure, I suppose, but after knowing her for 12 years, I am as confident as one can be that we won’t be. I think changing the wording is just likely to make the institution of marriage even less meaningful as it already is, which makes it harder for those children whose parents didn’t think things through ahead of time.

Again, I know there are plenty of unforseen things that can make staying together the wrong choice, but I’d wager at least half of the 50% of divorces could have been avoided if the people took time to work out the problems, or took time in the beginning to find out if they could really live with that person forever. IMO, if you can’t see yourself living with that one person till you die, you shouldn’t get married, just live life together until it’s time to part.

There are a number of SF stories (I know Spider Robinson wrote a couple) which describe contract marraiges that expire after a certain term. If the happy couple wants to stay together, they renew; otherwise, they part. The contracts generally stipulate who gets the kids, if any, at the end of the contract period, and what the other partner is obliged to contribute towards them.

Doesn’t sound any worse than the current system . . .

Part of the problem with marriage as it currently stands is that the spouses make a series of vows to each other, and we as a culture are not very good at considering and making vows. Too many people, IMHO, don’t really understand what a vow is, and don’t consider the vows they are making when they get married. I appreciate those who are careful to write their own vows, even if they often end up being sappy - at least they’ve considered what they are and are not willing to vow to each other and themselves.

The Spouse and I vowed “till death do us part,” but we emphatically did not vow “forsaking all others,” for instance.

rumraisin, while the Ruth passage’s often applied to romantic love, Ruth was vowing to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi, after her husband’s death. So while it’s a beautiful passage, I don’t think it quite applies to the question being asked.

For years after we married, on our anniversary I would tell my wife that I was going to renew her contract for another year. This year while discussing the fact that our 40th was coming up, she said she didn’t remember if I renewed her contract last year. It was a joke, but it made us realize that there was a contract in existance.

We are too interested in our individual rights. In a marriage, both parties must recognize that "it isn’t you; it isn’t me; it is all about us!

That is if they paid attention to the fact they were making a vow. Many times the emphasis is on they fact they don’t want society telling them what to do. Again, they want to be expressing their individuality instead of recognizing the fact that they are entering into a union between two people.

My dear beloved I shall stay with you until I find something better or until things get hard.

Gee, who wouldn’t want to take up that offer? It sounds like a way to insure that one eventually lives alone. I suspect folks who proscribe to such a philosophy always see themselves as the one’s doing the leaving. I also suspect there is a good deal of emotional attachment that is being denied. Not to say that two people couldn’t hang out for ten years and then amicably part, but in my opinion I just suspect that at some point in life, particularly later in life when one is not quite as cute and one’s needs impose more hardship, such arrangements will be more hard to come by and cause heartache when they end.

I guess the contract thing would be okay for some people. But I’m holding out for the real thing.

My guess is that it was the first guy to premeditate a spousal homicide…


Part of the problem is that you could have an idealistic spouse feeling he/she has made an irrevocable decision married to an unidealistic spouse (or a spouse who loses his/her idealism over the years) whose program is more like “'Til one of us doesn’t feel like it anymore,” which is what the current divorce laws in my state basically say.

I made the terrible mistake of predicating many important decisions on the mistaken assumption that, as long as I didn’t commit adultery, beat my wife, fail to provide, etc., and I wanted to stay married, we would have to work out our problems. My ex- felt otherwise, and she got her divorce so easily my head’s still spinning a decade later.

That’s what the OP is proposing, only with the addition of legal recognition of the partnership. That way, the partners have some rights that they’re currently denied, even though a married couple, who may not stay together as long as the UNmarried couple, does have those rights. Something I think is just plain wrong. And, the contract would negate the stupid argument that “We have no way of knowing you’re really a couple, or how long you’ll stay together”.

So, you’re looking at a spouse as being pre-arranged live-in nursing care? How sweet. And, breakups cause heartache no matter what the age or marital status.