Friday, May 20, 2011

A divorce party?

The New York Times always has some new social arrangement to discuss. This time it's a party to celebrate the divorce of Charles and Bonnie Bronfman. You see, they've decided that their differences make them better friends than spouses. And why not take a little time to celebrate with 100 of their closest friends? If you received an engraved invitation to attend the event, then you would have seen their words: “As we change the parameters of our relationship, our mutual admiration and caring is constant.”

Last time I checked, marriage was an institution whose parameters were unchangeable. Yet somewhere along the line, we've decided that marriage can morph into whatever it is we want, and that we can raise our champagne glasses to inaugurate the change.

Mr. Bronfman said in an interview with the paper:

“Our differences were in everything we do. We thought those differences could mesh, but we found out the opposite. So we thought, why not tell our friends and thank them for helping us out?”

If there is no realization from the beginning that marriage is a lifelong commitment between two people who are different (let's start with the fact that they are male and female), then I'm not sure the shocking reality of experiencing the perpetual difference of another as a blessing will ever really settle in. Marriage enables us to welcome another who is different, to see that we can never encompass the whole of reality, and to accept the invitation to be brought out of our self-centered existences into the path of another, walking together toward the same goal.

That's why the marriage party I am looking forward to attending is one in which this reality is accepted, welcomed and celebrated -- the upcoming wedding of two JPII Institute grads.

While we pray for those who are preparing to enter the Sacrament of Marriage, let's also remember people like the Bronfmans, who haven't yet realized the gift they were given three years ago.


  1. Aww, Emily, I'm so honored to receive an (anonymous) mention on your blog! At first I thought you linked to our wedding website, ha ha =) We're so excited you'll be there to pray with us!!!

    About the story - crazy! Your point about difference is spot on - difference is fruitful in marriage (quite literally!), not something to be feared.

    God bless and take care!

  2. Also, the idea of planning a huge "divorce party" just 3 years after planning a huge wedding gives me shivers...

    (sorry, that's a bit of my 8-days-til-the-wedding stress escaping...but seriously!)