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Quaddie

The Marriage Vow / "Contract"

18 posts in this topic

I'm not religious so I could be off base here, but I have an idea....

See, yesterday I had lunch with a former colleague, who told me her sister had suddenly taken her toddler and left her husband, and wasn't talking about it, and wouldn't talk to him, either.

You and I all know what that sounds like, right? So I said it sounds like there might have been domestic violence involved.

Her family is religious, so colleague said yes maybe, but when you get married you take a vow, for better or for worse, her sister should be helping her husband, they should work through it, counseling, etc., and her sister is very demanding too.

I didn't pursue the topic further, because there was really no point to doing so, and didn't want to "get into it" with her, iykwim.

But it started me thinking....

In law, if I'm not mistaken, you can't enter a contract without informed consent. So, you can't enter into a binding agreement without having the opportunity to know what you're getting into.

But a marriage "vow" is considered a "life-binding" contract, but especially in abuse, there's no informed consent. When you make that vow, you're susceptible to whatever lies, false fronts and manipulations your spouse has perpetrated on you, creating this "falsehood of love" and manipulating you into entering into a one-sided "contract of the heart" for their own non-real-love agenda.

And then of course you feel bound by that vow, even though you had no.way of knowing he was actually a manipulative abuser who is incapable of a normal relationship and does not, cannot, love you and treat you the way that was surely intended by the vow and by god.

I'm pre-caffeinated so I may not be explaining my.thoughts well... :-/

My thinking is that without informed consent it's unreasonable to expect a human to be bound by an agreement. I think most people, if they'd known what they were getting into.with.their abuser, would never have done it. Abuse is not a "for worse." Abuse is not love, and abuse kills - the mind, soul, body. Therefore I believe abuse actually nullifies "the vow" as contract, and in fact it was never a real contract in the first place as the abuser entered into it for nefarious purposes and without good faith or intentions.

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Hi Quad,

There is a Religious and Spirituality Forum back up level with the "Main Forum" where these issues have been debated. It may be helpful to you to have a scroll through.

I personally agree with your thoughts. I also don't believe the marriage I commited to was "Christian" given the values my husband brought to it. How can I then apply Christian law to it?

Divorce is an issue in my father's mind, however I think he resolved it by determining we were never made "one flesh". We never went from two people to become a working unit together, instead I dissapeared and my husband expanded. This is not 'marraige' as spoken of in the bible.

Another thought I had is that there are multiple verses in the chapters following Matthew chapter 4 (this is the first time Jesus teaches) where Jesus talks of wolves and people who hurt people and all those sorts of things. The intent is very clear, Jesus hates people who hurt his people, and/or hurt those who can't defend themselves. I cannot fathom that God would want me to stay in a relationship where I am being wounded instead of cared for.

I hope this helps.

Escapee

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Interesting thought process to think through! I just finished my first semester of law school and contracts was one of my classes! I just ran through the "legal contract" elements and got to this one:

6. Object of the Contract. A contract is not enforceable if its object is considered to be illegal or against public policy

I'd say domestic violence and abusive behavior is against our public policy and also often illegal when it involves coercion, blackmail and physical violence. So in legal terms, abusive behavior breaches the contract and therefore makes it unenforceable.

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Edel, I thought you might have some input on this :D.

Escapee, I'm not into religion so I don't read in that forum, but rather I guess I was trying to give a perspective to those who come here feeling the same way my colleague does, that a vow is a forever contract, be it with their god of choice, with their heart, or wherever... My point being the contract of the vow doesn't really exist, because it wasn't made under proper conditions. And the "love" one feels for an abuser, usually isn't actually love for their actual self, anyway... it's often based on an illusion, or "potential," or something that doesn't really exist. The abuser is generally not genuinely loving, and is not at all who their spouse generally thinks they are, at all. In fact, in advertising terms, it'd be a "bait and switch." (Also illegal, right?) So the "vow" actually doesn't even pertain to the abusive partner, as "they" were always a facade, a construct. It wasn't real.

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I'm not religious but still Feel guilt when thinking about our vows as professed in the catholic church 30 years ago. They still have power over me...yet all that is discussed here makes sense. This helps me deal with the guilt and leads me to member Why I removed my wedding rings over a year ago. He has never mentioned that. Thanks for the insight.

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I love the application of legal analysis :P

I think bait-and-switch might be covered under the statute of frauds, but I'll have to look it up (I think it's still considered fraud whether it's expressly listed there or not). Also it could be considered "false advertising"

both would be contract breaches. So, when you're in a bad marriage and you think there is some "binding" to this contract, it's important to realized that the abuser ALREADY BROKE THE AGREEMENT when they started to behave abusively!!

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I think it all has to do with "good faith," yes?

And I think the abuser broke the agreement much earlier than when they started to behave abusively.... I think they entered into the contract falsely, by putting on a false front of non-abusiveness in order to get the other person to agree to the contract. So it is fraud in a way. Before the contract was even formed. It never really existed, it was built on lies and subterfuge.

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I dont disagree with this, but another part of the problem is the isolation, self doubt, etc when one tries to get away.

Most of us blame ourselves, or feel we have a fault or deserve, or dont understand, etc etc what is occurring.

And many of us have dealt with it alone, or we cant always PROVE the abuse with physical evidence.

So when one tells another person they were abused, they are often asked if they were "Beat" had filed police reports, seen a dr, had evidence, taken proper legal actions for the proof.

Many havent, and with verbal and mental, thats is very difficult to often prove for most of us. Many of our abusers are charming to the outside world or phony there also.

So then it becomes a matter of "Proof" Of the abuse, and then there are those who use the "I was abused" angle for legal manipulation when it isnt true, and then a whole other series of messes occurs.

So I agree it totally breaks the contract, but most of us are not in a right place to even gain that type of insight till later on.. and the outside world (friends, family, lawyers, judges) often are not much help either.

And for being in the church, which I was, my abuser went around and said I was the one with the problem once I started to try and get away from him,, he gathered his allies and went to work to discredit me. I was the quiet one not telling people what was going on in my home, nor did I understand, I was reading books on how to be a better wife, submissive, living in lock down and thinking if only I could do better, and beating myself up for it.

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If it's one's own insides that feels "they cannot break the vow," then they need no proof for others.

This part anyway, I think, seems to happen after people realize for themselves they are being abused. "Yes, I think I'm being abused, but I took a vow, for better or for worse, and I cannot break it." This is for that stage - after realizing themselves abused, but before realizing they have a right to their own life... the self-argument, perpetuated and ingrained by society, church, family... but in the end, only the self can decide for the self. Free will.

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Doesn't for better or worse refer to if one person gets Cancer or is ill? I wouldn't think that it means you put up with disrespect.

Isn't Catholics the only anglosaxon religion that doesn't believe in divorce anyways?

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My thinking is that without informed consent it's unreasonable to expect a human to be bound by an agreement.

I agree, there is absolutely nothing in the marriage contract that outlines what exactly “or worse” is and if we were asked to enter into any other contract under the same conditions would any of us sign up for it? No way.

So then “or worse” is left open to interpretation. In your friend’s case she doesn’t see domestic violence as something that warrants leaving a marriage, but if her sister’s husband was suspected of something such as pedophilia, bestiality or having an affair with a transvestite, would she tell her sister she should be helping her husband and staying in the marriage? I don’t think so, that would be "different".

In the absence of any clear cut definition of “or worse” people set their own boundaries and when your personal boundary is crossed then it’s time to go, regardless of where other people may have set their boundaries for themselves or for you.

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Doesn't for better or worse refer to if one person gets Cancer or is ill? I wouldn't think that it means you put up with disrespect.

Isn't Catholics the only anglosaxon religion that doesn't believe in divorce anyways?

No, there are many churches that believe the woman is subject to her husband in all things and divorce is not approved of. Many women have been run out of their church for leaving an abuser. The church's argument is that the only biblical grounds for divorce is infidelity, and even then they want you to try to reconcile first before you divorce. Some church's will allow legal separation, but not divorce. And in that situation they want you to be working toward reconciliation. That's why you'll see some women WISH their abusers would have an affair because it would give them a biblical reason to divorce.

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No, there are many churches that believe the woman is subject to her husband in all things and divorce is not approved of. Many women have been run out of their church for leaving an abuser. The church's argument is that the only biblical grounds for divorce is infidelity, and even then they want you to try to reconcile first before you divorce. Some church's will allow legal separation, but not divorce. And in that situation they want you to be working toward reconciliation. That's why you'll see some women WISH their abusers would have an affair because it would give them a biblical reason to divorce.

Wowzers that sux then. I thought all other religions believed in divorce cause henry the 8th (or someone like that) invented it so he could remarry.

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To bump and add another element,

Under the Statute of Frauds contracts are void when made under false pretenses as well. (i.e. you can't lie about the condition of a house or a car and expect it to be a valid contract when selling it, IF it's a significant flaw in the house or the car that is expensive to repair if reparable at all).

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Some church's will allow legal separation, but not divorce. And in that situation they want you to be working toward reconciliation. That's why you'll see some women WISH their abusers would have an affair because it would give them a biblical reason to divorce.

This is true!

I lived with my EX for two months after we divorced. I caught him writing notes to his first girlfriend. Then I live another two months with a girlfriend. I can tell you this I knew he would sleep with her out of wedlock. The divorce contract could be by man but if you look at through gods eyes. The actual act is the conception. You do not need to have a marriage ceremony conception is the act of union. So I knew exactly when he did it. I had a huge nightmare that night. I then emailed him the dream to his phone. Then he came home and accused me of spying on his new girlfriend I knew too much. I said you accuse me of not being spiritual but the spirit is what told me all that happened. In my dream an angel removed a seal from him and handed it to me. From that point I knew I caught him writing the girl he is married to now he cheated in his heart. He was the first to do the deed after we left. I did remarry and I wait to my wedding day. I can not explain it. This is why in the bible if a girl has been raped she gets paid a dowry. I do believe a girl can get remarried I do recommend to make sure the guy has sex first. He was looking at contracts only not just the spiritual binding. I do think that if you want to evangelize and do bible study with people it is best not to remarry. I have opted to be a good note taker and find some else to study with some. I have been hurt enough in life and need love in it. Just working on being a good person free from anger. I think it is more important to not get hung up on the details. The laws were written to convict but I do believe the my savior has the ability to forgive. I do not take advantage but I will not pretend I am perfect either.

The contract:

I took business law an anticipatory breach is a form of breach of contract in which one party makes it unequivocally clear that he or she will not be fulfilling the contract. By law, the other party is released from the contract, since failure to uphold the contract makes the contract void. In addition, the performing party who is not breaching the contract may be able to sue for damages under breach of contract laws, even though the contract may not have officially been breached yet.

I say by not learning who I am and being able to love through the things that make me feel love and appreciate was a breach The fear and intimidation would make an business partner dissolve a union. The management of the bills would have closed the doors on business ten times over. The forcefulness would have turned all his customers away. I felt very ripped off!

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Some church's will allow legal separation, but not divorce. And in that situation they want you to be working toward reconciliation. That's why you'll see some women WISH their abusers would have an affair because it would give them a biblical reason to divorce.

This is where I'm at. It would be great for me if he'd have an affair now. I'm frustrated by the fact I think he has had an affair in the past but I ignored it. I had no proof... other than seeing how the woman was acting around him. Flirting like crazy and definitely giving me the I own your man vibe. Her husband ended up leaving her saying she had an affair. I also ignored his accounts on singles web sites and the time he came home and confessed he had been flirting and getting phone numbers. I ignored the po rn. Now he tells me the po rn had been going on the entire marriage. Supposedly he'd just given it up a few months before I asked him to move out.

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This is where I'm at. It would be great for me if he'd have an affair now. I'm frustrated by the fact I think he has had an affair in the past but I ignored it. I had no proof... other than seeing how the woman was acting around him. Flirting like crazy and definitely giving me the I own your man vibe. Her husband ended up leaving her saying she had an affair. I also ignored his accounts on singles web sites and the time he came home and confessed he had been flirting and getting phone numbers. I ignored the po rn. Now he tells me the po rn had been going on the entire marriage. Supposedly he'd just given it up a few months before I asked him to move out.

Kal -- you don't have to have solid proof. This woman's husband left her because she had an affair and you believe that the affair was with your husband. AND he's admittedly been using po rn. That in and of itself is having an affair, and that is biblical.

Matthew 5:27-28 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

You do not have to forgive him and you don't have to listen to the people that say "if you didn't kick them out then then you don't have the right to now." And I'm SURE they're saying it to you. And again, he can tell you all he wants that he's given it up, but IMO you shouldn't believe him. I mean, he's given you no reason up until now to believe he's telling the truth so why would he suddenly change.

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OH yes, definitely hearing the you let it go then and now it's ancient history. Also hearing that I should take the high road... even if I have grounds for divorce that doesn't mean I should sink to that level.

And I don't believe that he is truly past the po rn. He only confessed in an attempt to show me how he was already trying to change so I shouldn't be asking him to move out.

The problem is that I'm not just hearing this from people I'm hearing it from myself. It's just going to take time to sort through all this and figure out what I really believe.

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