August 11, 2010 in Features

Carolyn Hax: Could her third wedding be charm?

Carolyn Hax Washington Post

Hi, Carolyn! My wife has a good friend who will soon be married for the third time. Her first two marriages ended in divorce. The woman’s soon-to-be husband will also be married for the third time. (One divorce – his second wife died.)

We attended her first two weddings, and now she wants us there for the third. I see this woman perhaps once a year, and I’ve never met her intended. They live locally.

I really don’t want to go; I think it’s a farce. A third wedding, even if at their house, seems a bit much. However, I know I’ll end up going. My wife doesn’t ask much from me, and yes, she thinks it’s a farce, too.

I have all kinds of great lines that I’m not going to be able to use, but I’m at a loss.

I don’t remember what we gave her for the first two. Any suggestions? – Baltimore

I agree, the worst case is that this wedding is a farce and your swallowed one-liners will be wittily accurate. But it’s also possible this is a chance at happiness for two people who have been through the wringer. I’d rather not be photographed in that particular piling-on.

For people who can’t take the charitable view (or won’t agree to have it forced upon them), my advice is normally to decline to attend. Either you root for the marriage or you don’t go.

However, your reason for going is actually a sweet celebration of marriage unto itself – your wife doesn’t ask much, and this is her good friend, so of course you go. Maybe that’s the smile you bring with you to the ceremony: gratitude for having what so many people are willing to try more than once to achieve. A supportive partnership really is a beautiful thing.

And if that doesn’t move you, then try the numbers: With three divorces between them, they’re averaging 1.5 per, and they’re getting hitched at their home. Surely it could be worse.

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