Remember the days of commitment ceremonies, domestic partner benefits and single LGBT parent adoptions? These are now a part of our LGBT history. Same-Sex couples can now legally commit to each other just like our heterosexual counterparts. Yet, if fifty percent of heterosexual marriages end in divorce, what makes you think yours won't?
I know you are in love. You can't ever imagine a life without your partner in it. You are perfect for each other. You can't wait to raise a family of your own and buy your white picket fence house (or your high-rise apartment in the city). The world is your oyster. I was in that space, too, for fourteen years.
But, we are only human. You are probably seeing it already; some of your friends are heading in that direction. So humor me, what if your marriage fails? Are you ready for the legal consequences, changes and challenges that come with divorce?
I'm not saying you will divorce. I hope you grow old together and live happily ever after. I'm saying fifty percent of our marriages will also end in divorce. And in a lot, if not most of those cases, divorce won't be pretty.
If I could do it all over again, I would have prepared for a worse case scenario at a time when love, respect and compassion reigned in our relationship.
Right now, you are re-writing your will, making sure your spouse is the beneficiary on your retirement, life insurance policy and making decisions of who will care for your child should something happen to both of you. These are important things that need to be taken care of, for sure. But, why not go a step further?
As you prepare for life with your spouse, think about talking through what a separation between the two of you, given the legal complexities and entitlements of divorce, would look like. The same way you talk about building your family, you need to talk about protecting each other and your children from the unexpected.
We don't marry to divorce. But, if divorce happens, how wonderful would it be to honor each other in the same way you honor each other now . As much as you love her now and as much as you see your spouse as your greatest ally, you will be on opposite sides of the fence.
I guarantee you that this is the best piece of advice on marriage you will ever get. Regardless of whether you live happily ever after or not, this one document will guarantee that the happily ever after ending, even when it ends in divorce, will be one you can both live with knowing you are doing what is best for the both of you and the children you will continue to raise.
I realize that this is one crazy idea and if you agree or disagree, I want to hear your thoughts on the matter. Cheers to a long and happy life!
Marjorie Soto's gay marriage ended in divorce. Marjorie believes that there is a persistent denial that lesbian divorce exists. She blogs about this and other LGBT divorce issues at LifeInJeans.com. She helps lesbians impacted by divorce find community so they don't have to go at it alone. Life in Jeans provides support through real stories and experiences.