Regarding Paul Rampell’s Aug. 5 op-ed, “Till wedleases do us part”:
As an ordained minister of 44 years in the United Church of Christ, I have performed hundreds of weddings and have reached the same conclusion as Mr. Rampell. I fully support what I prefer to call “term marriage.” Couples should have the opportunity to be legally married for a certain time period, with a contract that would expire unless they renew it. As a spiritual guide, I affirm that a couple should stay together not because they have to but because they want to. In my premarital counseling with couples, I encourage them to write their wedding vows. Some years ago I was taken aback when a couple asked that their vows end with the words “as long as love lasts.” But the more I thought about it, the more I came to agree with the concept.
Jim Todhunter, Bethesda
Paul Rampell did not mention anything about the emotional upheaval on members of the family. How would sensitive children handle the normal family spats knowing that there are term limits approaching in the parents’ “wedlease”? As a widow, I am grateful that my husband and I endured some tough times without a “wedlease” to cloud our later years of bliss. This op-ed column was nothing more than an article viewing marriage and children as a glass half empty.
Harriet Tobin, Fulton
Paul Rampell argued that because of the large percentage of marriages that fail, we should change our approach, making marriage a legal structure similar to that of property ownership. Modifying marriage is not the answer. Instead, we should modify our behavior to suit the commitments we have chosen. Our focus should be on educating and preparing people for marriage.
I was raised Catholic, and one thing I think the church got right is that it required marriage preparation. The church’s six-month program involves regular meetings with a priest and a weekend retreat to confront the core issues most likely to break up marriages today. If you don’t complete these steps, no wedding.
As a divorcee, I am fully aware of the imposing odds when you get married. Even with all the preparations that my ex-husband and I completed through the church, my marriage still failed. I remain hopeful, though, that a long and happy marriage, as it was intended to be, is possible and worth having. I would sooner stay single than enter into a “wedlease” that reduces the union of God and two people to a real estate agreement.
Katherine Thompson, Falls Church