I can’t help but worry about what marriage will be like in another 20 or 30 years. On the one hand, our culture celebrates marriage, but on the other, we constantly criticize, attack, and redefine it. Especially the wedding vows. For example, the rising acceptability of cohabitation begs the question, “Is marriage even necessary?” The subject… Continue reading The Vows Redefined

I can’t help but worry about what marriage will be like in another 20 or 30 years. On the one hand, our culture celebrates marriage, but on the other, we constantly criticize, attack, and redefine it. Especially the wedding vows.

For example, the rising acceptability of cohabitation begs the question, “Is marriage even necessary?” The subject of homosexual marriage begs the question, “Was marriage intended solely for heterosexuals?” And the topic of divorce raises the question, “Do our marital vows truly mean anything?” You have redefined marriage if you can redefine the marriage vows. 

Defining Vows

He had a minor physical disability, but his cognitive impairment was severe. He couldn’t sit still, was confused and angry to the point of violence, and had significant language issues. And he had no recollection, either short or long term. 

Page first cared for her husband at home. Still, after a few months, physicians advised that he would benefit from the regular assistance of professional carers and the routine of a suitable institution. Robert has been living in an assisted-living facility since then, and his condition has stabilized and improved. Page pays him numerous visits every week. But he’s an entirely different guy now. 

… it’s apparent within seconds of meeting him that his thinking is damaged. Even when he answers a question, it’s difficult to tell how much he understands. The conversations are brief and fragmented. 

Suffering Through It

He occasionally focuses on the sounds of words rather than their meaning, such as stating, “Give my compliments to Broadway,” when he is informed a friend “sends his regards.” He frequently resorts to stock words or song lyrics. 

The most noticeable aspect about Robert is his personality. Robert, who was formerly quiet and distant, is now chatty and enthusiastic. He seemed to be overcome with wide-eyed excitement and appreciation. He addresses everyone as “darlin’,” “babe,” or “bro.” 

Page had “made peace with her existence” by 2008. But then the tale takes a turn for the better. 

Moving On

She went to a college reunion and reconnected with Allan, whom she had known since kindergarten. Allan informed Page that he understood any future with her would include Robert, which was a watershed moment in the relationship. 

As he began to fall for Page, he told her, “I see this burden that you have, and I want to assist you with it.” I realize this is a bundle deal.” 

“That’s what sparked the relationship,” Page explains. “He saw that Robert was essential to our lives and that we needed to look after him.” 

Her guilt was alleviated when she spoke with her pastor, who informed her that she was still keeping her vows as long as she cared for Robert. She told Robert that she and Allan wanted to marry, and he responded, “You should marry him.” He’s a nice guy.” She also spoke with Robert’s brother and father, who both gave their approval.