What about the marriage vow portion “til death do us part” don’t people understand?

February 4, 2013 | By

Question by Richard H: What about the marriage vow portion "til death do us part" don't people understand?
It seems that the state of marriage today is a sham. People give excuses like: "we just fell out of love with each other". Marriage isn't something that is entirely emotional. Also, I have known a couple of people whose spouses cheated on them. Did they get divorced? No, they didn't. They worked it out and their marriage is stronger than ever. Marriage is work.

Best answer:

Answer by oracular
I dont understand why people get married these days anyways. It doesnt mean what it used to. And this is coming from a fifteen year old.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

the rest is history
marriage vows quote
Image by andrevanb
A sign on a wall in Vézelay, reading:

"L(...) DG Lovis VII
dit Le Jeune
2cn Croisam DG de 1146
St. Bernmard"

I was curious what this sign referred to, so I searched the internet a bit and soon got lost in those fascinating stories of the middle ages we learned about in history class at school - you know, the crusades, the knight templars, popes and kings, courts and monasteries..

If you're having a same kind of grey sunday afternoon as we're having over here I thought you might be interested in some background information on what happened in Vézelay, back in 1146.

It's taken from Wikipedia entries, for the most part - I tried to be concise :)


In 1145 Pope Eugene III received the news that the Seljuk Turks had recaptured the state of Edessa - one of the four Christian Crusader states in the Middle East that were founded at the end of the first crusade after the siege of Jerusalem in 1099. ( here's a map )
The news urged Eugene to call out for a second crusade, in the papal bull Quantum preadecessores of 1 december 1145. A few weeks later, on Christmas day 1145, King Louis VII "the Younger" of France expressed his own wish to go for an expedition to the Holy Land.

It's uncertain if Louis by that time had already heard the news of the papal bull, and perhaps he originally didn't plan for a crusade but for a pilgrimage. Some sources say he wanted to fulfill a vow to go Jerusalem that his brother had not been able to accompish before his death, Others suggest Louis was guiltridden and wanted to atone for his sins, because of atrocities committed in a war against Champagne, a few years earlier. Louis had been personally involved in the assault and burning of the town of Vitry, where more than a thousand people who had sought refuge in the church died in the flames.

In any case, the reactions to both the Pope's call for the new crusade and King Louis' plans were lukewarm. Louis' nobles objected as he would potentially be gone from the kingdom for several years. Searching to ignite their enthusiasm Louis appealed to abbot Bernard of Clervaux. Some twenty years before, famous "Doctor of the Church" Bernard had drawn up the code of the Knights Templar, which since then had rapidly become the ideal of Christian nobilty all over mediaeval Europe. Louis asked Bernard to publicy, via an oracle pronounce on Gods will with respect to the new crusade.

Bernard referred Louis back to Pope Eugene, who of course enthusiastically supported the kings plans. Eugene reissued his Quantum Praedecessores bull on 1 march 1146, and authorized Bernard to preach the news through out France.

A parliament was convoked at Vézelay in Burgundy in 1146, and Bernard preached before the assembly on Easter Sunday, March 31st . He stressed the importance of the "taking of the cross" as a potent means of gaining absolution for sin and attaining grace. Louis VII of France, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine , and the princes and lords present prostrated themselves at the feet of Bernard to receive the pilgrims' cross. An even greater response than that of the royalty and nobility came from the common people. The crowd enlisted en masse; they supposedly ran out of cloth to make crosses. Bernard is said to have given his own outer garments to be cut up to make more.

Bernard then passed into Germany, and the reported miracles which multiplied almost at his every step undoubtedly contributed to the success of his mission. At Speyer, Konrad III of Germany and his nephew Frederick Barbarossa , received the cross from the hand of Bernard. Pope Eugene came in person to France to encourage the enterprise.

The rest, as they say, is history.. The crusade was a total disaster. The Flemish and German troops couldn't get along with the French, there were miscommunications and big ego's, greed and mistrust, there were the lists and tricks of christian Emperor Manel of Constantinople , who had unexpectedly allied with the Seljuks, and above all the troops of Seljuk general Nur al-Din turned out to be far too strong and clever for the crusaders army. They crushed the Germans in Nicea - only one out of ten survived -, made the poor remainders of the crusader's armies cancel an already hopelessly divided attempt to siege Damascus, and forced to withdraw to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

An embittered Konrad III left the country in september 1148, followed on easter 1149 by Louis VII , probably even more embittered : his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had followed him on the crusade, had expressed her wish for a divorce. (The royal marriage was actually annulled a few years later, Eleonare would marry the duke of Normandy, become Queen of England and give birth to Richard Lionheart - the later hero of the third crusade)

Back in Europe, Bernard of Clairvaux was humiliated by the defeat. Bernard sent an apology to the Pope, which is inserted in the second part of his Book of Consideration. There he explains how the sins of the crusaders were the cause of their misfortune and failures. When his attempt to call a new crusade failed, he tried to disassociate himself from the fiasco of the Second Crusade altogether. He would die in 1153.





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Comments (18)

  1. Jessica

    Marriage is work and I meant my vows, but he broke his vows when he cheated and got her preg. So I had enough self respect to leave the lying, cheating azzhole

  2. Alissa Cruise

    Yeah, I saw this quote. “Marriage is the bond that keeps a couple together when they fall out love until they fall back in…” Amen, my brother. Haha!

  3. mbl

    It’s something you say on your wedding day. You mean at the time. Most people can not dream of not loving someone when things are great. But things and feelings change. This one life you’re given is just that – it isn’t a dress rehearsal. Why stick with something that isn’t working when there is happiness to be found for both parties elsewhere?

  4. ShaNayNay

    i guess the struggle is in the fact that it’s not so easy to get away with killing your spouse so you can fulfill the “death do us part” part. i mean – if there were a sure fire way to get passed that little obstacle i’m almost certain the divorce rate would be extremely low….i suppose the population would be low too!

  5. bandit196478

    i was wondering that also! I think its because there really aren’t contested divorces anymore most states have no fault which to me is a easy cop out of a marriage instead of working on the problems

  6. Christina

    You are absolutely correct.

    Another thing people don’t usually acknowledge is that the emotions of being “in love” are just a temporary high that leads you to get married. Once those emotions die down (and they will for every couple), you haven’t fallen out of love. Rather, you have left the temporary state of feeling “in love” and are ready to move with your spouse into a deeper love. A truer love. The kind of love you really only experience how great it is after years and years of marriage.

    Perhaps we should start educating children in high school about such things.

  7. Tabatha

    That is what I say all the time. I have been with my hubby for 10yrs now and married for almost 8. Every time things get rocky between us the first thing some of my family says is “leave him”, I married this man “for better or worse til DEATH do we part!!!” I do know if he ever became physically abusive or extremely emotionally abusive and there was just no way of working it out, then and only then would I leave. As far as cheating goes…I feel the same way!! Trust and respect is the biggest part of marriage, without it you have nothing!!
    PPL getting married and saying “if it don’t work out, we can always get divorced” wtf?? Don’t get married unless YOU KNOW this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with ppl!!

  8. sarah

    Well, now days no one wants to make an effort, it’s too much work. It’s a bigger and better generation. There is always something better waiting, so when something gets too difficult we throw it and go get the better. Few people want to take the time to work things out, it’s too hard, too much work. It’s sad, really sad. But I know I will do whatever it takes to make my marriage work. I know I married my husband for the right reasons, and I would never give up on him. So as much as I hate how people take for granted how special marriage should be, I have to just focus on me and ignore them.

  9. Stacey

    Yup marriage is work. I think (personally) the reason why divorce is so popular is because people don’t fear God anymore. (I’m not a religious person, I’m just saying 100 years ago people didn’t get divorced because they were NOT allowed to. Now it happens everyday.)

  10. Maxi

    I agree……however it takes two to make it work and if one doesn’t want to you can’t do very much about it

  11. ♫ Mad Luv ♫ aka ~Pril~

    i was told trust is one of the key elements to maintain a healthy relationship.
    once one brakes vows and trust by cheating. I was told to come up with a realistic way to have them rebuild trust. For the life of me i can’t find a way that anyone would trust agian. I did think hourly check in’s on the wear about’s but that just seems like more work for me to be available to answer the phone every hour.
    cheating and abuse are the only acceptable reasons to get a divorce. The key is knowing this prior to saying Ido.
    My husband isn’t a cheater nor does he put himself in sisuations where cheating could arrise frequently.
    and he shows no sign of being abusive.
    I plan to stay married for life.
    to him.
    if something does happen then i’ll most likely never marry again.

  12. no1advice

    A big part of this is people who marry now are getting married and acting like they are going steady.

    Many experts also say that divorce in the 20’s is quite different from that among older couples. Whereas people who divorce later in life are often the victims of a spouse’s ”midlife crisis,” according to Paul C. Glick, a sociologist at Arizona State University, ”those most prone to divorce marry in their teens and early 20’s.” ”They tend to have less education and lower incomes,” he added, ”and many also marry because of premarital pregnancies.”

    Family therapists hesitate to use the word immature, but many suggest that people in their early 20’s do not have well-developed identities and often lack the skills that could help them resolve problems. In general, young couples are emotionally not at the stage to be able to understand themselves. They’re often unable to talk about conflicts non-destructively, without either withdrawing or lashing out.

    As for staying together after cheating that is an individual thing. Trust is now broken and you have to learn together to re-gain that trust between you. It can be done but yes it takes alot of work and patience. Marriage is not for young people!

  13. Roberta

    People now put their own needs above those of others, even their children. Of course marriage isnt entirely emotional, neither is it entirely rewarding.

    As for cheating, for some people the concept of examining their own behaviour to see how they might have played a part in the mess that is now their marriage is simply beyond them. Its much easier to play victim.

  14. Lovebug

    Some people…
    Do it for the wrong reasons (more materialistic than emotions)
    Don’t want to work at it
    Are only in it for the good times
    Ignore the red flags because they want a “big day”
    Have less morals/beliefs
    Don’t see marriage as a life long commitment
    Don’t want to put in the hard work it takes for marriage to work

    Divorces are too easy to come by, there should be a limit on how many any one person can have in a lifetime. It’s the kids I feel sorry for, being brought up in such dysfunction.

  15. white girl style

    im just glad this is coming from a mans point of view
    good job!

  16. Sandy Ego

    Marriage is a social institution. And divorce is a perfectly acceptable and legal way out of the said institution. ‘Nuff said.

  17. Sandra M

    TY Jessica. Yes marriage is work and I am not the one that broke my vows, that was my ex who cheated and got some thing pregnant.

  18. Good Advice

    I completely agree. One of my favorite quotes, “Oh you fell out of love? mmm I fell out of a tree, but I climbed back up…” Jurgen Matthesious. The problem today is that people are misled by simple lies that justify their actions. The same person said, “Happiness depends on what happens, but Joy fulfills us regardless.” Everyone thinks that love and happiness is all about feelings, (since it’s feelings that got them to the alter); but those things are a choice! Marriage is only work when you expect the wrong things out of it. It feels easy when you both are centered on God being the head of your house because it’s not about you, or about them, it’s about living for something bigger than your marriage.