Married to the Family

A family medical practitioner who often happened to be called upon in marriage squabbles once told me that there are most often three sides [or stories] to every divorce. I asked him because it was the first time I heard that.

 He said: “Well, you know, there is her side and there his side with the truth, the third side, somewhere in the middle.” I reminded me of what they say is a true story in a local rural community. It was the best farm in the region [everybody’s envy and the owner’s pride] and it was the fiftieth wedding anniversary. It was to be an all day affair and the old guy had decided to do the wise thing to throw it open to all comers; some total strangers came as he had expected anyway. There was everything, but everything, and plenty of it, free and on the house.

Towards early evening one of these fellows asked the old guy how they had managed fifty long years; what was the secret to be happily married for fifty years [he confided that he had had three failures in ten years].

The wise old guy said: “Regular holidays apart, son. My old girl came back two months ago from a visit to her family in Greece, and it has been bliss ever since, just like the time we got married fifty years ago.”

 “How long was she gone this time?”

 “Son, I shall tell you the secret only because you asked me. She has only been away once. I took her there two months after we got married because she always wanted me to meet the whole extended family and she was starting to nag me about it. I had the farm to run and came back after two weeks; she returned two months ago as I told you. She came over for short visits and I went over once in a while in between.”

He then pondered briefly before he added: “And you know what? Divorce is messy at the best of times, and a very expensive affair what with legal costs and court hearings. I didn’t have the guts for it and I didn’t want to lose my farm.”

 That’s the third side in the medical practitioner’s version; the truth is that people often marry the family or they are expected to do so. The family all want to advise and to do that they have to visit or you must visit them. Don’t tell them about you seafront cottage; they will occupy it all the time with you footing the bill for repairs, drinking and eating, plus new bed linen of their choice.

You can’t debate anything with that kind of family; and you are not allowed to argue or lose your cool with them because you will be accused of discrimination. They want to take over your whole life and run it for you; they want to make the decisions and you must obey, because you married the family with the spouse. It’s a kind of a package deal.

 “Why would you want to keep a milk cow in your city home, and feed the whole herd that she comes from on the open range as well if you can buy enough milk at the supermarket,” another wise sage once asked.

 So I am asking:

 Why does Obama want to marry America to the Middle East, and why, I mean what on earth for, would England want to marry the EU or Europe? Who is going to pay for the divorces?


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