That article was a follow-up to the video with Elizabeth Gilbert talking about relationships, love and sex. In her discussion, she also talked about the institution of marriage.
In the article on a brief history of marriage, I mentioned how marriages were once all about money, power and survival, but over the ages marriage have predominantly been about love. Yet, at the same time, divorce rates are much higher than they were in the days when people married for reasons other than love.
Today is an interesting story, about a couple who married almost 12 years ago. They were strangers when they met, and yet 12 years later, are extremely happy.
This is not the story of an arranged marriage. Both these people are Americans, where arranged marriages just don’t happen.
Well, I take that back. Maybe this was sort of an arranged marriage. It was arranged by the groom’s friends at a shopping mall, and the bride and groom met each other briefly before they got married.
Let me tell you more about this.
In 1998, David Weinlick was a 28-year-old graduate student in Minneapolis when he decided that on June 13, 1998 he was going to be married. The only thing is that he didn’t have anyone to marry. But he had determined that he would get married on that day.
So his friends, feeling sorry for him, banded together and decided they would find a bride for him on June 13, 1998.
They set up shop on that day in a mall in Minneapolis and started handing out questionnaires, and more than 300 women applied. The friends had a selection committee, and then whittled down the applicants to 36.
By 3pm that day they had narrowed the choice down to three, and an hour later they had chosen their candidate, a 28-year-old nurse named Elizabeth.
Right after that, David and Elizabeth said their first formal hellos, and an hour later they were saying “I do” at a mall ceremony.
The reception, a barbecue at a friend’s house, followed right after.
Crazy, right? Bizarre, yes? No doubt. And I’m sure you figure they ended their gimmick wedding after they came to their senses a day or two later.
But no. Almost 12 years later, and with four kids – ranging in ages from 7 to under a year – David and Elizabeth Weinlick, both now 39, are still married and madly in love.
“We live a charmed existence. He’s a splendid man to be married to,” says Elizabeth. “We’ve never regretted it. It sounds like a crazy thing to do but there was instant chemistry – and we did our dating after we married.”
And David says, “It will show everyone who thought our wedding was just a publicity stunt we fell in love for real.”
And so, even though we’ve seen that the history of marriage is that people now marry for love – and divorce just as readily – this couple didn’t marry for love. But they connected, bonded and worked it out, after the fact.
On a similar note, a woman named Terri Carlson has made a public proclamation that she is willing to marry for health insurance.
She is 45 years old with a genetic immune disorder called C-4 complement deficiency. Her Cobra insurance terminates at the end of the year, and insurance companies right and left are denying her coverage because of her pre-existing condition.
So she’s willing to get married if it means getting insured. She writes on her website:
“It is not easy living with my disease and now that I have the genetic answer for my health issues, every insurance company uses the information to deny me insurance coverage. You know, I am not happy I was [dealt] this deck of cards in my life. However, if I don’t fight for myself nobody will. While the [government] fights over healthcare reform people like me suffer. I will continue on this crusade for healthcare reform.
“And yes, as drastic as it sounds, I will marry for health insurance!!!”
Terri is quite serious, so if you’re interested, check out her website at WillMarryforHealthInsurance.com
And perhaps, for the person who marries her, the marriage will go as well as the marriage of the Weinlicks. Of course, Terri’s story is a sad reflection on the current state of health care and insurance in the U.S.
No person should have to resort to what Terri’s having to do, but this is the sad state of affairs in this country. This is best left for another discussion, and I promise you that I will in the future run a series on health care reform.