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Intergenerational Marriages

Posted by Gatekeeper on Sunday, September 27 2009 at 8:22:13PM

Will and Ariel Durant are two of the world’s most famous writers. “William James Durant (5 November 1885 – 7 November 1981) was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for the 11-volume The Story of Civilization, written in collaboration with his wife Ariel and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for his book, The Story of Philosophy, written in 1926, which was considered "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy." -

One of the most fascinating facts about Will and Ariel Durant is their marriage. Ariel was born Chaya Kaufmann in Russia. “When Chaya was 14 she transferred from the New York City public schools, where she had gone sporadically, to the anarchist-inspired progressive Ferrer Modern School. Her teacher was Will Durant.
‘She thought him somewhat ridiculous, being short and shy. Nevertheless, a bond quickly developed between the 14-year-old (Chaya) Ariel and the 28-year-old teacher. Passion and love quickly followed, and they were married on October 31, 1913, after Chaya rollerskated to the New York City Hall for their civil ceremony.’” -
Today Will Durant would have been branded a “child molester” and persecuted, if not prosecuted.

From "Young People Can Love", The Case Against Adolescence by Robert Epstein, Ph.D.:
"Mary Onesi...and her husband of just over eighty years were interviewed by the Associated Press in 1998. They had been honored on World Marriage Day in 1995 as the longest-married couple in America... She married her husband Paul in 1917 when he was twenty-one and she was thirteen. By all accounts, their marriage was happy and successful, and it was certainly prolific."
In his introduction to this chapter Mr. Epstein writes, "Contrary to popular belief, psychological research suggests that young people are capable of experiencing mature love.... Laws restricting marriage or sexual relations involving minors...have been applied in ways that have caused great pain to innocent people."
He goes on to write, "Around the world, it's still common for people to marry young, although pressures from Western culture, especially from American culture, are challenging the ancient patterns. This is especially ironic given that our own system of marriage is the least successful in the world."

On Monday, January 20, 2003, The Los Angeles Times announced that "Gertrude Janeway, the last widow of a union veteran from the Civil War, has died...." "...John Janeway, who married her when he was 81 and she was barely 18."

Jerry Lee Lewis, born September 29, 1935. In 1958, when he was 23 his new bride was 13 years of age and his second cousin (twice removed). He was blacklisted, and it took until the 1960s for him to regain his rightful place as one of music's all-time greats.

Perhaps Loretta Lynn's marriage to Doo Lynn is one of music's, or at least country music's, best known intergenerational marriages. There marriage was rocky, but it survived 48 years. Loretta was age 13 and Doo was 21. Before she turned 18, Loretta had four of her children with Doo. Looking back on her marriage, after Doo died, Loretta said, " overrules everything. When you look back, it's love that remains."

In recent years, probably the most recognized intergenerational love relationship, which led to a successful marriage, is that of Mary Kay Letourneau and Villi Fualaau. From a May 05, 2006 People article: "Ten years ago Vili Fualaau, then a sixth grader in suburban Seattle, and Mary Kay Letourneau, his 34-year-old teacher and a married mother of four, began an affair that produced two children and became a national scandal. // "Although Letourneau spent seven years in prison for second-degree rape of a child, she and Fualaau never stopped professing their love. Last May, nine months after her release, they were married...." // "He and Letourneau devote most of their time to their kids, but every Saturday night is couples night." It is acknowledged that, like all marriages, the road has had its potholes for Villi and Mary Kay, but overall they seem to be loving each other and raising the children, hers by her first marriage also, well.

Love rules.


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