Yesterday my mom told me that Morf, the son of one of her best friends, is definitely splitting up with his wife Bee after four years of a marriage that, as far as I can tell, never really took off. There’s a “for sale” sign in their yard, and Bee has apparently already moved out. Again.
Morf is a pastor’s son and attended Christian school all his life, including college. He was popular, good-looking, and athletic, and seems to be a romantic. (He gave his college girlfriend a promise ring. I remember groaning when my mom told me.) After college, Morf found some success as a salesman in the Chicago area, and it was during this time that he met Bee in (of all places) an internet chat room. In a stroke of fate, Bee turned out to be a hometown girl who had attended the same high school that Morf did, only she was four or five years younger. Bee had actually seen Morf way back when and immediately knew he would be her future husband. Morf and Bee began dating and married when Bee was 20 in a ceremony where they had written their own vows. The only thing keeping their story from being a Nicholas Sparks novel was that no one was terminally ill or in the military.
Unfortunately, the wedding was the pinnacle of their relationship. About a year or so later, my mom told me that Bee had moved back in with her mom and wanted out of the marriage. Morf tried to reason with her, explaining that they had entered into marriage for life, especially as Christians, but Bee flat-0ut told him that those rules didn’t apply to her. Eventually, Morf was able to convince Bee to come back, and for a while it seemed that things were back on track.
Except, obviously, they weren’t. Morf and Bee went to marriage counseling, but Bee had already checked out of the relationship. Her friends were still in school or starting jobs, living it up in Wrigleyville (the fashionable young people’s neighborhood in Chicago), while she was stuck in podunk town married to a guy who now was working for his dad’s ministry, a.k.a. not a road to riches and earthly glory. It seems pretty obvious that Bee had decided that a better life, free of the constraints of Morf, was out there waiting for her.
My mom is quite grieved that Morf and Bee’s relationship cratered, but in retrospect, the warning signs had always been there. For starters, Bee was an only child of divorce and was used to getting her own way all the time. She lived with her mom, and if her mom wouldn’t get her something she wanted, she would just turn around and get it from her dad. The fact that her mother allowed her to move back in the first time Bee left was a bad sign as well. Instead of telling her that she’d made her bed and now she had to sleep in it, Bee’s mother enabled Bee’s selfish behavior. But it’s not Bee’s fault alone: I suspect that Morf acted like a big, fat beta during their marriage. Even before Morf and Bee got married, Morf’s mom had mentioned that Morf could never say no to Bee. (Of course he couldn’t; he was the kind of guy who goes around buying promise rings.) When I spoke to my mom, she said that when Bee came back to Morf, Morf acquiesced to every single thing that Bee demanded. Which, as those of us steeped in manosphere principles know, NEVER WORKS. By trying to make Bee happy, Morf just confirmed to Bee that he was not the man she had signed up to marry.
I suppose the golden lining is that Morf and Bee’s marriage is a classic “starter marriage,” which means that other than any emotional lumps they’ve taken through this whole thing, they’ll pretty much be right back where they started. Not being rich, they have no significant assets to split. They have no children. And each is good-looking enough to attract a new spouse easily; Bee is cute, young, and vivacious, which is enough to make many men ignore all the warning signs, and women LOVE taking care of the good-looking, vulnerable men that other women abandon (it’s always a competition with women: “I won’t treat you like dirt the way she did!”). I expect both to be remarried within a few years, tops.
I could say that we should learn some very obvious lessons from Morf and Bee, but being human, we probably won’t. No one wants to believe that their beloved is a statistic, rather than the exception. Still, I believe Morf could have saved himself a lot of grief if he had more closely examined Bee’s character while they dated. Her cuteness, along with his general desire and readiness to Be Married, probably blinded him to her shortcomings, and now he’s paying the price for that. So, readers, choose carefully and look at the details as well as the whole picture. Being a Christian isn’t in and of itself enough to save a marriage, nor is being cute, or young, or popular, or nice, or “having good values.” You really have to get to the root of someone’s convictions.
P.S. As far as I know, there is no third party involved in this split.