Stop This Ride, I Want to Get Off!!!

One of the many things that tridentantifa – btw, thanks, guys, for all the traffic to my site. It really helps get my work out there — complains about in my work is my support of dowries and marriage contracts. Since I’ve already written about the importance of a dowry and/or a trousseau elsewhere (1), this article is going to tackle, very much in brief, marriage contracts. It came up today in a conversation within my household after we saw an interview in which the subject of a pre-nup arose.

There is so little available beyond 101 material that discusses how to build a functioning, sustainable community (2). The key building block of a community is the household, which ideally in a traditional community begins with the married couple (3). A marriage contract is a legally binding document, signed by all parties prior to the actual marriage, that protects the interest of each party in the event of death or divorce. It goes beyond the boundaries of a pre-nup, which usually only deals with distribution of assets between spouses in the event of a break-up, and versions of the marriage contract date back at least to the early medieval (if not farther back, because really, these things varied considerably country to country, culture to culture, class to class). One thing that it emphasizes is that marriage is not just about the individuals, but is a matter of, at its best, uniting households and families. It ensures that both parties and their assets are protected, but also extends that protection to any children too. 

Now, when I got married, my husband insisted adamantly on having a pre-nup – not for his benefit, but for my own. He never wanted it to be said, as a certain nithling in the community has hinted, that he married me solely for his own material gain (4). Our marriage contract almost made his lawyer cry, because Sannion was insistent that in the event we divorce, he leave with only the goods with which he had entered our marriage and nothing more. Despite the existential pain this caused his attorney, he got his way but had we intended to have children, it would have been far more complicated. A good marriage contract carefully lays out in legally binding terms the following:

* The property, wealth, and assets with which each partner enters the marriage

* who gets what in the event of a divorce

* each partner’s will and testament (I suggest updating these every five years)

* each partner’s health care proxy and instructions in the event this is needed (do you want a DNR, do you want all life saving measures, etc.)

* who gets custody of any future children in the event of the parents’ death, and how do you want those children raised (i.e. polytheist)

* in the event of death, how are one’s assets to be divided vis-à-vis the children?

* what financial arrangements are you both making for any children’s future education, etc.?

* wergild in the event of adultery (and the right to pursue but not the obligation to do so).

Now, looking at this, you’ll see it combines a marriage contract with end of life issues, and some of the latter will be necessarily updated in an ongoing fashion. I think that the contract should partly be worked out by the couple themselves – when they are in love and want the best for each other, not later when there may be disagreements – but each family or representatives thereof should have a strong hand in working out the boundaries too (because when we are in love we are idiots and hopefully elders from one’s family will have one’s own interests at heart more than a love struck fool), and then finally it should be evaluated and witnessed by an objective party – and in the type of community we want to see, that would be a priest, elder, diviner, or some other specialist. I can’t help thinking of ancient Rome where wills and other contracts were maintained in the temple of Vesta. 

As an aside, I also think a lot can be said about a person and perhaps about the marriage’s future chance of success by the care one takes in the contract. If one partner is arguing vociferously over taking care of the other partner (or future children) in event of a break up, well, maybe think twice. Also, it can highlight potential points of fracture and discord, giving the couple a chance to discuss these things and start working them out (raising future children, for instance, or how one manages one’s finances. Priorities and values become significantly highlighted during the process of writing a contract like this). Of course, I also think clear provisions should be laid out in the event of a violation of one’s marital vows (adultery) too. Better to do it all before animosity threatens and colors one’s sense of right and wrong, then at the height of justified fury (5).

The important thing to take away here is that the purpose of a marriage contract is fair protection and care of each party, and any children. Each contract is customized to the parties involved. There is no single all-encompassing format. It’s flexible, and each household is able to choose what matters to them. In the event of adultery or other violations of one’s marriage vows, having pre-set penalties may help limit violence and unchecked vindictiveness. One could even include the option to leave in the contract in the event of XYZ. This also ensures that one places a priority on maintaining one’s tradition and clean transmission of that to one’s children. 

Please feel free to post questions or comments below. 

Notes: 

  1. Namely, having a trousseau, if not a dowry, helps prepare the young person for eventually setting up a functional household. See my article here
  2. My husband pointed out that one notable exception to this is Amber K’s book “Covencraft.” This book is really a must read for anyone who is running a religious group, even if we do disagree with her theology.
  3. Personally, I think the healthiest households are multi-generational and extended, but each healthy marriage is a further link in the chain of properly transmitted religious tradition and cultural norms. 
  4. Yes, dear, I know who you are, and I’m aware of the foul, untruthful shit that you spew. Having seen your dysfunctional relationships, and the utterly disgusting way you treat your partners, despite touting yourself as some sort of super feminist, I don’t think you have any room to talk. Kindly eat a dick. 
  5. This is, by the way, the ONLY legal document that I think should come into play with a marriage – if one has more than one spouse, work it into the contract (I don’t think polyamory is ideal, but like anything else, it can be done well or poorly, and while there is a standard norm, there are always functional exceptions to that norm). Frankly, I don’t think the government has any right at all to determine how consenting adults structure their households, so long as everyone is consenting and of legal age. Pedophiles should be burned alive. A marriage contract and later a marriage license that, in a perfect community, would be notarized at the appropriate temple are all that should be required. 

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About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on September 29, 2020, in community, Lived Polytheism, Misc., theology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I for one love marriage. My wife and I have been together for 27 years. We have different religious beliefs and we don’t always like each other, but we made an oath to one another. We make it work and our sons are better for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Meanwhile over at John Michael Greer’s Magic Monday blog, someone asked why people are saying you are a Nazi and Fascist. The consensus was to tell people to read your writing and decide for themselves. That people shouldn’t accept rumors or the say so of others.

    Interesting that the people who spread shade about your writing and the people who listen to them all depict themselves as independent thinkers. Only sheeple read your stuff. (hmmmmm)

    Liked by 5 people

    • I tend to be deeply suspicious of anyone who says, “don’t read this, I”LL read it for you and tell you want to think.” yeah, right buttercup. how ’bout no. I have a functioning intellect, thank you.

      I like John Michael Greer’s work. it’s solid, thought provoking and makes me look more deeply at my own magical practices.

      as to my work: if you want a balanced view, read and decide for yourself.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Even today, contracts are standard in Jewish marriages, known as a ketubah. And per custom, the contract is framed and displayed in the home. And they tend to be these beautiful works of art too. Some of my friends it’s there almost as soon as you walk into their home, or displayed in the living room in pride of place. A daily reminder of the commitment they’ve agreed to. And I think that’s a lovely tradition. 🙂

    I think some of the tendency against contracts in the modern era, is this backlash to antiquated notions of arranged marriages, and where women were treated more as property without a say. But you’re talking about each partner coming to the contract and deciding for themselves what they want to agree to, and formalizing and thinking it through. Maybe our divorce rate wouldn’t be so high if people actually tackled some of the issues ahead of time: like finances, children, religion.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Never understood the logic…the people that turn their nose up at a Ketubah seeing it as antiquated harkening back to the time when women were “treated as property”…and yet squee with delight when they hear their favorite Hollywood couple sign a pre-nup agreement (I guess now-a-days it’s basicly the woman gets everything and the man gets a cardboard box to sleep in if he’s lucky).

    The topic of Marriage Contracts and Dowery(for the longest time in the South, women had a Hope Chest with each successful generation til probably mid-20th century), reminds me of my positive thoughts on Menses Sheds. But that can be a topic for another article. 🙂

    Like

    • ganglerisgrove

      I’ve written about hope chests in my dowry article — definitely a fan. 🙂

      We were watching a documentary last night on the Kalash people — polytheists who are managing to survive despite being surrounded by hostile muslims (Afghanistan and Pakistan). They have menstrual huts, but the hut is like a spa. it’s kind of awesome. i’m not against the idea, but i think work is more important than biology and if we were to incorporate something like that in a community and tribe, i’d want to also have something worked out to allow for those who just didn’t have time to sequester. work is too important to miss in my world, so i’m always torn on things like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I made a mistake by checking out tridentantifa and oh boy was that a mistake. Their objections on you are sh*t. It is as if they just screenshotted you without reading or contemplating anything that they pictured. It is more likely that they just cherry-picked what they wanted to support their beliefs though. They seem fundamentally incapable to comprehend the difference between not supporting organizations that fail to uphold ideals to not supporting certain ideals themselves.
    Oh, and lest I forget, they have multiple blatant indicators of being anti-theistic as a whole (why would one approach traditions fairly if one is coming at it believing it to be fundamentally wrong and problematic to begin with).

    Liked by 1 person

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