The French have made verbal abuse of your spouse criminal.
Politicians from the left and right supported the passing of a law which singles out “repeated” verbal actions intended to hurt the victim’s rights and dignity or their physical or mental health. As well as a jail sentence, offenders could be ordered to pay a fine of up to €75,000 (£66,600).
I’m not sure such a law would be enforceable in the Untied States. I first heard reference to it while listening to a podcast of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, one of our favorite radio programs. One of the comedians on the panel immediately reponded with”But that’s what marriage is!” Everyone laughed.
Every church I’ve served, and almost every group of people I’ve been a part of includes married people who cannot stand spending time together. It seems sit-coms rely on marriage meaning poor relationship for at least half their humor.
When Rachel and I married a little over three years ago. I can tell you honestly that even through the challenges and disagreements, our marriage has and will continue to be strongly based on respect and love for each other.
Yes, we actually enjoy spending time together. No, I won’t laugh along if you try and tell me some lame joke about how husbands can “choose to be right or happy.”
So, back to the new French law: in France it is now illegal to say bad, mean, derogatory things to our about your spouse.
How about if we could all at least follow that advice all our parents taught us by the time we were 6: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
At least when it is about the person to whom you have pledged the rest of your life.