What Does Death Have to Do with Marriage?
Isn’t marriage about new love, new life, and the future? As weird and unhappy as the words “death” and “marriage” sound together, they do go together. At least sometimes.
How and when does this happen?
Hadassah Magazine in its Family Matters Column [June, 2015] takes up this question when they write about second weddings.
If there’s a second wedding, there must have been a first wedding. One or both partners could be a widow(er); but more likely, the first marriage died because of divorce for one or both members of the new couple.
Hadassah Magazine looks at these situations and the upcoming second marriage ceremony very well. What they overlook because it’s uncomfortable and taboo is how did the new couple meet and how did the divorce come about. This is where affairs come in.
The Impact of Affairs on New Marriages
An affair is a frequent cause of divorce. If the new marriage came about because one member of the new couple had an affair, and if the affair was with the person he or she is now about to marry, death is all over the place.
And lies–death of the truth. Because every affair involves lying.
“It’s almost like a death,” Brandi Glanville, star of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was quoted as saying [Celebrity News & Gossip, July 14, 2015] about her pain as a result of husband Eddie Cibrian’s affair with LeAnn Rimes. “You mourn. You die a little bit. Who you were as a wife and a mother dies and you’re no longer that person.”
Brandi is the ex-wife, not part of the new couple, but most likely Eddie Cibrian, whose second marriage to LeAnn started with an affair and then divorce from Brandi, feels that death too because the life around his first marriage has died.
He undoubtedly felt it even as he stood there giving his vows to LeAnn. And it is likely that his family felt it—his children with Brandi, maybe his parents, other relatives, his good friends.
The Funeral Wedding
That’s why the second wedding ceremony has been called the ‘funeral wedding’*. There is mourning at this kind of wedding, as well as joy.
The new wife feels the joy because this is very likely the day she has been waiting for. But, she may also feel some impending mourning.
“There was one moment before they were married when [Janet] Strassman Perlmutter remembers feeling uncomfortable–when she met his ex-wife. ‘She seemed like a really lovely person,” Strassman Perlmutter recalls. “And I felt this sudden jolt of ‘Uh-oh, if their marriage could fall apart, maybe ours could, too.’ ” [Hadassah Magazine, June, 2015]
The magazine’s Family Matters column also says, “Every second marriage is built on the ruins of the marriages that came before.” It’s not the easiest foundation for a marriage to start from.
* While it is not mentioned in “The Script: The 100% Absolutely Predictable Things Men Do When They Cheat”, co-authors Elizabeth Landers and Vicky Mainzer used this description in book readings and articles.