It’s a busy, busy week here at Baa Ram U. and Historiann.com HQ, so I’m going to let my friends do the blogging for me. If like me you want to savor Betsy Markey’s schadenfreudelicious victory (by TWELVE POINTS!) over Marilyn Musgrave last week, click on over to GayProf’s meditation on Obama’s victory and California’s passage of the anti-gay amendment, and read his discussion of gay marriage and gay divorces over at Center of Gravitas:
Several years ago, an eight-year relationship that I was in ended quite badly. When my Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) decided that he no longer loved me, he also decided that I warranted as much consideration as a used Kleenex in a wastebin. Though certainly imperfect, legal mechanisms exist for heteros to divorce in ways that provide mediation and balance to an otherwise emotionally impossible event. I did not have access to any of that legal recourse.
Therefore, I was left to either battle it out with the Liar Ex on my own (something that I was too hurt and tired to do) or to bow to his decisions and whims. He saw nothing unfair in the fact that I struggled to pay both rent for my own place and also half the mortgage in the house where he lived (and where I didn’t reside for over 1.5 years). On the contrary, he astoundingly imagined that he was the real victim in that situation. Isn’t it interesting that, no matter how outlandish and hurtful our actions, we never can see ourselves as the villain in the story of our own lives? When it came to the division of our meager positions, his notion of “fair” was that anything I owned before we met was “mine” and anything that we bought after we met was “his” (unless he clearly didn’t want it). We won’t even get into the question of ownership of debt. Had the state recognized our relationship in the ways that it recognizes equivalent hetero relationships, institutional structures would have existed that would have protected me from a truly callous and self-centered ex.
GayProf is a dewy 29 and holding, so he may not have thought about this yet, but marriage may become more important to people as they leave their devil-may-care twenties and thirties behind and enter their ohmigod-be-careful forties and the who-will-care-for-me fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond. Survivor’s benefits and rights, and who makes end-of-life decisions, were at the forefront of marriage rights cases, not the admittedly more fun and picturesque decisions about what kind of wedding to have and where to register for which china patterns. (If only marriage was just a big party, all of the time, with presents!)