Marriage is not a sport, it is a team effort


It was just a little something I overheard from a television report. I don’t like television much and could very happily exist without one. This little blurb that has stuck with me is one reason I would prefer not to hear so much of what is reported as news these days.

Actor Charlie Sheen, having earned the reputation of the bad boy of Hollywood, is again in the news because of marital troubles. Two television reporters were discussing his latest domestic situation, and one of them was quoting from the pre-nuptial agreement that he and his wife Brooke had signed.

Agreement signed

In the agreement, the bride was to receive $500,000 initially as part of the marriage pact.

What? I thought I heard it wrong, but it was repeated for clarity. The one reporter said he saw nothing wrong with this, saying it is much like a signing bonus offered in sports. For each year that his new wife remained in the marriage, she was to receive $350,000.
I turned the television off and went outside. I tried to erase this stupid report from my brain, but it just would not go away.

A signing bonus? Cash exchanged for a wedding is a foreign concept and a very ominous one. When the reporter compared this to a professional athlete signing on with a new team, he said it as though it makes perfect sense.

Not a sport

First of all, marriage is not sport. Even if it could be considered in this light, I can’t help but think that huge signing bonuses have ruined the overall world of professional sports. Remember the olden days when a player happily landed with a team and remained loyal to it until the dawn of retirement? Even then, an athlete would stay around, offering all kinds of moral support to his life-long team. An athlete’s name was forever linked to a particular team.

Now there are sports trades mid-season, making the roster of a favorite team nearly impossible to keep up with, and team loyalty is pretty much a laughable concept.
Marriage vows are to be taken with a sacred and solemn heart at the beginning of a lifetime together. In recent days, a big Hollywood wedding is more like half-time entertainment in a long life of seasonal trades.

Not easy

There is nothing easy about a life-long marriage. Every day is not filled to the brim with happy moments, and it’s foolish to think otherwise. Life is typically a whole lot of days at the grindstone with some great days thrown in for our enjoyment. Trade one partner for another, and there is still going to be the tough stuff of life. In fact, there will be even more complications on the other side of that fence. That’s just reality.

Alan Jackson sings about his father’s life, having had a long marriage blessed by four daughters and one son. At the end of his father’s life, he asks his children not to cry for him because he sees himself as being very blessed, leaving this world with angels who will take him to a better place.  

Blessings come to those who are faithful and true, standing strong even when it’s not easy.


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.



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