The concept of marriage, as I understand it, is a one-at-a-time affair.
You promise to stay with someone forever--that forever being normally between 5 and 10 years--after which you get divorced and subsequently make the same promises to someone else.
So I am rocked to my Converses by the story of a woman who feared that her husband had already strayed from his eternal promise. Lynn France decided to endure the modern form of detection in order to find out whether her suspicions were founded.
Yes, she logged on to Facebook. There, typed in the name of the woman to whom she feared her husband had succumbed.
What she says she beheld was not a charming sight. Well, it was, in one sense. Her husband was dressed as Prince Charming in quite a few photos on the alleged lover's Facebook page. These photos appeared to indicate that he had married her (she being dressed as Sleeping Beauty) at Disney World. All this while still being married to Lynn France.
I was numb with shock, to tell you the truth," France told the AP. "There was like an album of 200 pictures on there. Their whole wedding."
There will, no doubt, be those who will blame Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for this painful turn of events. Amanda France's Facebook page was public. Her photos were there for all the world to ogle. She had, indeed, shared her life universally. If only, perhaps, she had been more au fait with her privacy controls, this might not have happened.
I suspect, though, that the (first) marriage would have come undone, regardless of Facebook.
During the marriage, Lynn France had noticed her husband had left details of a hotel on his computer screen. She went there and found him with, well, his girlfriend (now his wife). And then there was the time when he allegedly went on business to China and appeared not to have packed his passport.
However, John France, the husband, has a very simple explanation for his somewhat complicated situation. He claims that Lynn France is not his wife. He claims she was never his wife. He claims, in an interview with NBC's "The Today Show," that their original marriage in Italy enjoyed a "filing error."
The Facebook story, he said, is merely a publicity stunt. They do, however, have children. They did wear wedding rings. They did, apparently, file taxes together. And there is soon to be a court case with respect to the custody of their children.
John France, a dashing man with rather flyaway hair, managed to mix the names of his two wives up on "The Today Show." He insisted, though, that Lynn France knew about his new wife, Amanda, since 2007.
Indeed, his belief is that she created the Facebook story in order to gain public sympathy for the custody case which, he said, she is losing.
And so another woeful relationship situation is played out on the pages of the world's largest social network. One can only wait for news of their status updates.