That was a rhetorical question. My own parents didn't understand, so why should you? Actually, I would not have understood beforehand either. It really is true, the old adage, "You learn what you live." You had a long happy marriage before losing your wife. I'm sure that you think of her and really miss her. Given that experience, how could you think otherwise about my situation? I absolutely believed in the "til death do us part" fairy tale, and I too tended to assume that the guy must be more at fault if his wife wants away from him that bad.
My analogy was really to show the absurdity of marriage as we know it. It is a far-reaching legal and financial agreement, but one that really isn't spelled out. Often, people don't realize the terms of marriage until the marriage ends and their attorney is explaining the deal to them. Isn't that a foolish way to devise a key societal institution -- don't let the participants know what they really signed up for until the union ends? Are we afraid that no one would marry if the terms were spelled out prior to saying "I do"? We would otherwise never (if we are sane) sign a business/legal contract without reading it and knowing what we are signing. Yet, one of the most important steps any of us will ever take -- getting married -- is entered into with the focus upon emotion and not reason.
That is why I favor doing away with marriage and replacing it with a formal contract that spells out all foreseeable eventualities -- including in the event the union is dissolved, division of property, who gets the kids, what each parent will pay for and be responsible for. Prior to signing the contract, each party must show that they consulted legal counsel and understand all of the terms. Emotion could still have its place, but not at the expense of making an informed, rational decision. This would also side-step the issues that complicate "gay marriage", including religious aspects. People could still seek a non-binding spiritual union ("marriage"), but that would be optional and totally separate from the legal/financial agreement. And, we should allow anyone to enter into the contract, regardless of gender, and it would not be limited to couples (plural unions). I think that would be a much better, more rational and kinder process than the one now in place.