And they lived happily evermore...
There are two sides to every good love story… a front side and a back side.
At the front of the book is a story of how two people met, worlds collided, they fell in love, they got “married”or “civil unioned”or remain “defacto” or “engaged” or wait countless years for the laws to change, and then live happily /ever after…
What’s on the back side?
I should know, I recently fell flat on mine!
When my long term parter, friend and condfidant of four and a half years and I broke up recently, I realised that I am the most ignorant of all. Not to mention hypocritical.
I am founder of the Evermore Pledge; a legal, lifelong contract that gives, to every couple, the same rights and responsibilities that are assumed by married couples under the Marriage Act 1961.
More specifically, it addresses the end of a relationship. Let’s face it, morbid as it may seem, a couple will either part because of a break up or death.
Some couples may have read about the Evermore Pledge and thought “that’s not for me, that will never happen to us, we will be in love forever”. But it is for them. It is for you. It is for me. It’s for everyone who has planned their life alongside another person. Or simply thought about life and death at all.
You see, even though we’d planned to love each other forever, Greg and I didn’t take the Evermore Pledge, nor did we marry. Yes, we were de facto, but contrary to popular belief, de facto couples do not have the same rights as married couples.
As every couple finally address the end of their relationship, the concept that seem unfathomable, problems begin to present themselves.
“As life goes on, it is no longer about the roses, chocolates and who chooses to go to dinner.
It’s about the house, car and who chooses the aged care home.”
Enter the Evermore Pledge; a realistic, educated, formal agreement that is designed to care for the ones you love.
The binding union of couples may change and expand from church to government, from marriage to civil union to same-sex marriage rights; at the end of the day, the way in which we part ways will remain the same.
It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking. And let’s face it, no one wants to think about it not even you reading this right now. But it is a fact.
Taking The Evermore Pledge is like adding a page to the back of the storybook.
An additional section reads:
“And many happy years later, days of living together and loving each other, building memories together and raising families, they parted ways.
“When one was ill, the other was financially secure enough to care for them.
“When one passed away, the other had their beautiful home and money to retire with.
“When they chose different paths altogether, they respected each other, the time they had together, and both started their new journey far richer in coin and love than when they had met.”
Some have said I’m not very romantic at all to be thinking in such a way.
I think quite the opposite. I like to think that when two adults love one another enough to make promises, they will keep those promises, even when circumstances change.
The Evermore Pledge is like saying – “hey lover, I said I’ll always take care if you. Sign here because I mean it!”.
So when your back side may be a little tender from the fall, you can turn to the front page and remember the good times all over again.
Director The Australian Marriage Service
Founder of the Evermore Pledge