Joceyln's O Mighty post about exploring temporary housing overseas, which may or may not have included a year long divorce, got me thinking
uh oh, clear the room.
Yesterday I was reading Mother Jones magazine in my doctor's waiting room. How's that for a waiting room rag? That would not fly in 99.9% of Texas towns, now would it? Reason number 2033 Why I Love Living in Austin.
So in the new issue of Mother Jones I read Nadya Labi's article about the tradition in Iran of temporary marriages. Where a man and a woman can be married by a cleric for the express purpose of relieving their sexual (his) and financial (her) tensions.
Where a temporary marriage can last anywhere from one hour to 99-years.
Where a man is allowed four full-fledged wives and unlimited temporary wives. Where a woman is allowed one full-fledged husband and no temporary husbands but if she is unmarried or widowed, she is allowed one temporary husband at a time. No mas.
Where a man can choose to extend or cut short the temporary marriage, depending on his whim. Where the woman's only choice is to remain married until the end of the contract, i.e., wait and see what her temporary husband chooses to do.
Are we seeing a pattern here?
Where the temporary husbands get to brag to their business associates about how many temporary wives they have, while typically keeping it secret from their legitimate wives. Where the temporary wives don't dare tell a soul because it is considered undesirable and cheap.
Where women seeking temporary husbands can be found lingering outside a certain shrine, identified by their inside-out chadors.
Where we in these wicked United State think this sounds an awful lot like one of our infidel customs.
There was much debate presented about the fairness of these various arrangements. Widowed women with little or no financial options who appreciated a temporary marriage allowed them to earn money as opposed to starving or begging. Who preferred to obey only their temporary husband's sexual demands compared to full-fledged brides who must obey their husband's every demand. Who were glad they didn't have to live with the dude every single solitary day of their married lives.
Yes. I can see the benefits of temporary marriage. I surely can.
This idea plus Jocelyn's post got me thinking about temporary divorce. Where husband and wife live separately for a period of time decided upon by both parties. One hour or 99-years. Joint custody arrangement, of course. Alternating weeks of utter quiet, solitude, undisturbed blogging. No dinners, no dishes, no homework, no taxi-cab service, no policing of computer time.
Weeks of space where we marrieds get to see what life is like without each other. Of sleeping in the middle of the bed or on his side of the bed which you haven't slept on in 18-plus years because he is that determined to sleep on his side of the bed no matter where we are in this world.
Weeks of having full control of the remote. The luxury of changing back and forth between Judge Judy or Women's Lifetime Channel or Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D List or the tail end of a TMC movie because, yes, those last three minutes still make me cry. Without having to listen to his heavy sigh because you can't help it if he can't follow your random train of television viewing thought.
Weeks of no Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoons. No San Antonio Spurs-only because-they're-in-the-playoffs week nights.
So hmmm, would the temporary divorce take place during the last part of football season when the playoff games go into infinity or during March madness when the tournament games go into infinity overtime?
But aside from the petty gains of a temporary divorce, perhaps something more substantial would take place. Maybe we would grow more appreciative of the many things we do for each other. We might focus more on how much we miss our temporarily divorced spouses than on how much we wish he would wipe the crumbs off the stove top. More on how nice it is to have someone to snuggle under the covers than how annoyed we are by the fact that he is in the bathroom at just the very same minute I need to be in there.
How about you, Reader? Any thoughts on temporary marriages and temporary divorces?