What if you found that the person you planned to marry would likely get Alzheimer’s by his or her 50th birthday?
This week’s question is a follow-up to last week’s question, which asked if one would go through with a marriage if one’s betrothed were to somehow become disabled prior to the wedding.
So, as a follow-up, I guess the heart of the question is, would I go through with the marriage if I knew my fiancee would suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease by the age of 50.
Here’s the thing… Personally, I’m only 10 years away from that age. At this juncture, I’m not sure I’m likely to take a wife.
However, should that happen… or, should it have happened 15 years ago… I don’t think this premonition about my future wife’s mental health would in any way affect how I feel about her. If I were to recite those wedding vows, “in sickness and in health,” I would take them seriously. I know that roughly half of humanity does not, but I think it should be a promise that means something.
Not to get on a soap box about my feelings regarding marriage, but I think there’s a serious misunderstanding of what it means to love someone when it comes to being married. At least, in a lot of cases, anyway. Love isn’t just a feeling. If it is, then no one should get married for any reason. People who treat love as a simple feeling are the ones who give up on marriage a few years in because they don’t feel the same way they did about their partner when they first said, “I do.” If more people would embrace love as a verb, rather than an emotion, a lot more marriages would go the distance.
But what about you? Would you follow through on a marriage if you found out your significant other would likely develop a debilitating disease in middle age? Let me know in the comments!
*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.