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L J Hippler

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When-and Where-You are Gaius
9/15/2008 3:28:29 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Doctor Phil said it; and I believe it. Fifty percent of first marriages end up in divorce court. For second marriages it’s seventy-five percent. Those are the kind of statistics that there are no answers for, only opinions about. Ask 100 people why so many marriages fail and you’ll get 106 different opinions. This is my blog, so I’ll take my shot at it.

If you went to a wedding in ancient Rome, a wedding of either a Plebian or Patrician couple, you would have heard the bride and groom say the same phrase: “When-and where-you are Gaius, I then-and there-am Gaia.” Literally it means: When-and where-you are the Mister, I then-and there-am the Mrs.
Call me strange, but I found those words very touching. They connotate, especially in that place and time, tremendous respect. They showed a personal respect and also respect for the offices of husband and wife that the couple were about to take on. Probably because in ancient Rome most marriages were arranged, public professions of romantic love were minimal. The bride agreed to the wedding by holding hands in public with her future husband. But in a society where family was the primary building block of civilization, the couple made a powerful statement.
Ask a friend what marriages in our society are based on and I’m pretty sure they’ll say love. Love is a wonderful thing. But if it’s not coupled with respect, it won’t get you through the tough times. People sometimes do ugly things to people they love. Picture an abusive husband being put into a patrol car. “Sure I smacked her around a little,” he might say, “but I still love her.” It doesn’t only happen on Cops or on Jerry Springer.
There was even a song titled: You Always Hurt the One You Love. Casually mention that song title to your friend. Note that your friend will be nodding her head and going “Um hmm.” That’s because we’ve all seen the things that people do to those they supposedly love. Note too that there is no song entitled: You Always Hurt the One You Respect. That wouldn’t make any sense.
What’s lacking in our marriages is not love, too often its mutual respect. I think it’s that simple. I think we need to acknowledge that. “When-and where-you are Gaius, I then-and there-am Gaia.” That’s my shot at it. And I like to think that Dr. Phil might nod his head and go “Um hmm.”

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More Blogs by L J Hippler
• A Little Validation - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
• Curb your enthusiasm – but let the bigotry fly. - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
• Best Case, Worst Case and Most Likely - Monday, December 29, 2008
• On Hotness - Sunday, November 16, 2008
• The Week That Was - Sunday, October 12, 2008
•  When-and Where-You are Gaius  - Monday, September 15, 2008  
• Dialog - Monday, August 18, 2008
• Recession, Economics and Dead Men Walking - Wednesday, July 16, 2008
• There’s No Place Like . . .Where Your Stuff Is. - Monday, June 30, 2008
• A Little Validation - Thursday, June 05, 2008
• Money, Class and Living Well in Fiction - Thursday, May 08, 2008
• LIVING small - Monday, March 31, 2008
• Who is bigger-than-life? Who’s not? - Friday, February 29, 2008
• You write what now?” - Thursday, January 31, 2008
• About last night . . . - Monday, December 31, 2007
• Here's the thing . . . - Thursday, November 22, 2007

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