Pancakes
Master October 2015

First and Only Marriage

Pancakes, on August 29, 2014 at 10:03 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 67
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I have heard that phrase a few times from people and every time I see it, I roll my eyes. Why do they feel the need to say only marriage on there? Why can't they just say "I'm getting married" instead of "I will be having my first and only marriage"? I'm not divorced, but I'm going to bet that every divorced person out there went happily into their marriage. They didn't realize it was ending in divorce, which is why they got married! People just changed, or moreso became themselves Smiley smile

I know this is probably going to be a touchy or offensive topic, but I am really intrigued as to why people feel the need to say that.

67 Comments

  • KayDwitWill
    Master May 2015
    KayDwitWill ·
    • Flag

    Good question. Now I am intrigued.

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  • Janeen
    Master January 2015
    Janeen ·
    • Flag

    Yes, of course I considered my first marriage a starter marriage, right?

    I remember this woman that I interacted with on a message board about 10 years ago was so smug and said that she would never get divorced because she read a lot of books about marriage. Maybe she is still married, I dunno! But with the attitude like that, he would be the only person willing to be around her. Smiley winking

    Often when I see people say their "first an only marriage" they are often the ones who are living in dreamland alone, versus reality where non-romantic stuff like being on the same page with money, children, parents, and oh I dunno....communication skills....

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  • Angie
    VIP August 2015
    Angie ·
    • Flag

    This is going to be my first and only marriage! LMAO I never said that before! I have never been married before, but I think the fact that we waited 8 years to get married instead of months is a good start. I agree though, you never know if it's going to be your ONLY marriage! Even if it doesn't end in divorce, if your FS dies, do you plan on living alone for the rest of your life as a widow?

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  • Nancy Taussig
    December 2019
    Nancy Taussig ·
    • Flag

    I had a bride who must have said:

    "My first and only marriage..."

    "My second and last marriage..."

    "My third and last marriage..."

    "My fourth and last marriage..."

    "My fifth and last marriage..."

    "My sixth and last marriage..."

    "My seventh and last marriage..." - the one I officiated and I hope #7 was her lucky number!

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  • DisneyNut
    Master October 2014
    DisneyNut ·
    • Flag

    I didn't know I was getting divorced until he actually told me. I had NO clue. We had been married for 10 years and had a 4 year old. So yeah it wasn't something I planned on.

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  • DanieGee
    VIP October 2014
    DanieGee ·
    • Flag

    I have a friend who says that ALL THE TIME. It does bother me, because yes, no one goes into a marriage thinking about their next one. And there are plenty of unforeseen circumstances that can cause a marriage to end - what happens if a spouse dies? Or, in another situation, a friend of mine was married for several years and had a child with her husband before realizing she was gay - she and her husband had an amicable divorce, they are still friends, and she says she still cares about him, but she loves her new wife. Or another friend who filed for divorce after she discovered her husband was beating their son.

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  • jnissa
    Expert September 2014
    jnissa ·
    • Flag

    I could not agree with you more, but I also went to a wedding last year where things went in the opposite direction and I was like "whoa." Their actual vows said, "Whether we're together 10, 20 or even 30 years."

    The whole audience squirmed. I mean, if you think that there is 100% chance that your marriage will last forever then you are crazy (after all, you only have 50% control over that anyway). But let's at least not include vows that are like 'You know, we may or may not last more than 10 years."

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  • Janeen
    Master January 2015
    Janeen ·
    • Flag

    Jnissa, that could be referencing the above mentioned widow/widower situations.

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  • Kianna
    Expert September 2014
    Kianna ·
    • Flag

    Hahahahahahaha nancy!

    this is just as annoying as married people telling you "everything changes once your married", "dont do it", "are you still going through with it".

    I do think people should be going into a marriage thinking first and only, but there is no need to annouce it, nor do you know how the future will play out.

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  • Enya
    VIP July 2015
    Enya ·
    • Flag

    I was at a wedding where they did a similar thing jnissa and i squinted.

    i was married before, my FH has been engaged before - both reasons why it took us so long to get to this point - super gunshy. when the first and only comes up, i just ignore it. it's a kind of smugness that comes with youth and wishful thinking. they don't know what's going to happen in the future any more than Miss Cleo knows.

    all that being said, Jeff and I have had determined conversations about the whatifs. Death do we part, dammit. Relationships are hard work, yanno? I don't want to go through this with someone else - it took me YEARS to get this one trained! (and FWIW, he says the same thing about me)

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  • KarenM
    Master November 2014
    KarenM ·
    • Flag

    Having been divorced once, I can say never say never. That being said, I went into that marriage knowing that I was settling for 2nd best. FH and I had broken up at the time and I knew I would never love anyone the way I loved him, so I settled.

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  • Angie
    VIP August 2015
    Angie ·
    • Flag

    And what about those people that get branded (Having so's name on them)? By the way if you don't know that is a BAD omen! I'm wondering if saying "first and only marriage" is a bad omen too! I'm a little superstitious but I have seen many relationships fail after being branded! Why jinx yourself!

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  • Rachel DellaPorte
    December 2019
    Rachel DellaPorte ·
    • Flag

    Oh, sure. It's their first and only marriage...until they find out their spouse is sleeping with somebody at the office, or until they find out that their spouse has a serious gambling addiction and owes money to loan sharks, or until they find out that their spouse has a criminal record that was never disclosed, or until they find out that their spouse is a kleptomaniac who can't be trusted in other people's homes, or until they find out that their spouse has been using the mortgage payments to hire high-priced escorts, or until they find out that their spouse is a domestic abuser, or until they find out that their spouse has two kids that were never mentioned, or until their spouse passes away and the surviving spouse falls in love for a second time...

    Do people truly believe divorce is merely a decision to upgrade? It's a nightmare, and people that have gone through it never want to go through it again. The truth is, the only people who can say, "first and only marriage" are the ones who are lying on their death bed, and they've only ever been married to the person holding their hand. All marriages start with the best of intentions, but you never know what life is going to throw at you.

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  • Shannon S.
    Master March 2011
    Shannon S. ·
    • Flag

    I got married at 26 thinking that was that, and that I'd be married forever. I was divorced at 29. Oops? There are things I could have done differently. Maybe I'd still be with my first husband, but we wouldn't be happy. We weren't a great fit, and we had very different ideas of what marriage meant. All marriages take work, but if all you do is work with zero joy, then you have serious compatibility issues. I'm not proud of my divorce per se, but I am proud that we handled it with grace and dignity (zero yelling, go us!), and that I learned so much from the experience. I figure it isn't a "failed marriage" if you learned something.

    I find "first and only marriage" brides to be tiresome and smug. Life can knock you onto your butt at any time for any reason. You could divorce, your spouse could die, anything. That doesn't mean you should go into a marriage with an exit strategy in mind. It does mean that you should say to yourself, "Love is a choice, I choose to love you and treat you with respect and affection. The rest is of it isn't up to me."

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  • B
    Expert September 2014
    Blue one 4 ·
    • Flag

    I've never used that phrase and would never think to! My parents divorced when I was young and I know they didn't go into it thinking it would end as it did.... That being said FH and I have had serious talks about this seeing as My parents divorce truly fd up me and my sister ( it was a horrible drawn out 13 year divorce ughhhhh) we have both agreed that we will never approach divorce as an option until every other avenue has been exhausted or unless one of us feels like we are in physical danger when around the other one.... I told him before he asked me to marry him to only ask if he was ready to be with me through good bad and ugly .. I hope this is my only marriage but there is no way of knowing that until life plays out however it is going to ...

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  • rusticbride
    Master May 2014
    rusticbride ·
    • Flag

    Yeah, uh, that's a nice thought and all... but if you think about all of the bad things that can happen to a married couple (The Center Piece Flowers mentioned a lot of them), and then you factor in if people are widowed from the first marriage.....

    Nothing's a guarantee. I feel like it should be a GOAL to have only one marriage, but sometimes people can't reach that goal with one person for whatever reason(s).

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  • Janeen
    Master January 2015
    Janeen ·
    • Flag

    "Do people truly believe divorce is merely a decision to upgrade? It's a nightmare, and people that have gone through it never want to go through it again. "

    Absolutely. It takes 2 years to get divorced in my state. My ex-husband and I did so very peacefully with no stupid fighting (at that point) and it STILL took two years. The end of my marriage was heartbreaking and I'm lucky to have not been financially devastated by it. I do not go into my second one lightly.....nor did I do that in the first one. I can look back and see all the signs that things weren't right, but hindsight is 20/20.

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  • Shannon S.
    Master March 2011
    Shannon S. ·
    • Flag

    Centerpiece, my mantra is, "Divorce never, murder maybe." I tried to work that into our vows, but DH thought it would shock his grandma.

    I also love people who are like, "It's easy to get divorced!" No, it bloody well isn't. Screw you, Pollyanna. Divorce is hell. There are tremendous logistical and legal challenges (I crash-landed in my hometown unemployed, fairly broke, crashing on a friend's futon, and not even owning forks). But the emotional challenges are far more overwhelming - you're erasing every plan you had for the future, you're mourning your marriage (it really does feel like somebody died), and you lose confidence in yourself. Even an amicable divorce is incredibly painful and I've never met anyone who took the decision to divorce lightly.

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  • Pancakes
    Master October 2015
    Pancakes ·
    • Flag

    Yes, I think the "whether we are together __ years" thing refers to the fact that you never know what happens and how long you have left in this life. I have a high rational way of thinking (not quite to the Bones level, but higher than most people) so I appreciate the honesty. And I hear this equally from older people and younger people. Not just teens who are engaged to their 3 month long boyfriend. I just find it odd and, as another mentioned, smug. Obviously, we hope to not divorce, but if something happens that can't be fixed, it would be an option. My sister has a friend who started a child prostitution ring (I don't know if he included his own young child) at their christian academy the little girl was attending. And my sister and her husband (and the entire church) are mad at the wife for divorcing the husband. Because in religion, apparently child prostitution is a cake walk. But divorce? No way! So since I don't understand that, I doubt I will understand anyone trying to explain the logic to me. But I thought I would ask for a different perspective.

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  • SunshineJenn
    Master August 2014
    SunshineJenn ·
    • Flag

    I joke that I'm only getting married once. And I really hope that's true. But let's be honest, our odds are not in our favor: he's been divorced before and my mom and dad have NINE marriages between them.

    That said, I did tell him there was only one way this marriage was ending, and it wasn't divorce LOL. I've had a rough go of it in terms of past relationships. Lee and I are...easy. Five years in and we still just fit really well. If this doesn't work out, I simply don't think I'd get married again. I wouldn't swear off relationships, I just wouldn't want the marriage part. But, never say never.

    Kathleen, are they Catholic? I'm just curious.

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