“The Triumph of Hope over Experience”

So I joked with PL that our wedding vows in a Church is “til death do us part”. No divorce. Only murder.

I wonder why the Church is so… bloodthirsty. Must be the wine.

That turns into the blood of Christ.

Anyway, it is an unfortunate fact of life that at this point in my life, 3 of my friends have been divorced.

That I know of.

At least two of them married young. Maybe the third too. I didn’t asked.

One has stayed unmarried after her divorce. Not for lack of trying to find life with someone. But luck or fate or whatever just wasn’t with her.

The second one remarried. And then divorced number two. And then remarried. And then divorced or separated. She rightly wonders why she is so damn unlucky.

The third friend is Catholic, so she could not divorce in the eyes of the church. So she had to apply for some Papal Dispensation (or something) to annul her marriage in the eyes of the Church. I assume civilly (or secularly), she would also have to go through divorce proceedings.

Anyway, recently she invited us to her wedding.

Who was it that said marriage is the triumph of hope over commonsense? *

Or as I told my colleagues who recently got married (to each other) – “You’re stupid to get married. And a fool if you don’t. Spoiler alert – I went with fool.”

I meant my wife, of course.

For divorcees, if you don’t remarry, you will forever be known as a divorcee. If you do, you might be called a slut. And if you have a series of divorces (like my second friend), you might be called a bitch.

But I would just call you friend. I don’t judge.

Though I will make jokes and insults. Because that’s who I am.

When my third divorced friend announced her coming wedding, I wanted to say something to let her know I was happy for her, that she found someone new, and that I hope this one will work out better.

So I wrote, “congratulations!” via WhatsApp.

Because I am a succinct kind of guy.

I guess I empathise? Felt her anguish over struggling with her faith and her happiness?

I dunno.

I guess I take all these divorces as a warning not to assume that I am immune. People separate and divorce for very mundane or no “real” reason at all.

So it happens. To the best and worst of us.

And I felt it would have been condescending to say more than just “congratulations”. I don’t know the answer to a good marriage any more than anyone else. If mine is good, it is as much my wife’s efforts as it is just blardy stupid good luck. If I did anything right, it was an even chance that it was dumb luck.

In other words, you can do all the right things and still get divorced. And all the wrong things and still stay married. And you can deserve all the happiness in the world and still be unhappy. And deserve nothing and be in a happy place.

Pure. Dumb. Luck.

And it takes courage to try again.

To take a chance a again.

To triumph over your (bad) experience.

So my bitch friend who married a third time – she’s actually damn brave.

“First marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.”

Third marriage? That’s dumb, stupid, courage? The triumph of stupidity over reason? The triumph of “I can’t be THAT unlucky right?”

If it is not clear how I feel about my divorced and remarried friends, I have admiration for their courage.

Courage to give up what is obviously not working. And then courage to hope again, to try again, to triumph over their bad experience and still believe.

I wish them happiness. They deserve it if for no other reason than because they searched so hard for it.


[* The quote is by Oscar Wilde.]

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