Friday, May 19, 2006

Tompkins v. Tompkins, 92 N.J.Eq. 113 -- Great Judicial Writing

After five years of marriage, the parties still had not consummated the relationship. Impotence is a ground for annulment of a marriage, and usually the party seeking annulment has the burden of proof. Some courts, however, will apply a rule that after three years of no hanky-panky (I think that’s the legal term) the burden will shift to the husband. Here’s some of what the court had to say.
[T]he question comes to one of belief in his story of forbearance for five years, under most trying circumstances, simply because sexual intercourse was painful and distressing to her I have misgivings. Such solicitude of a groom is noble, of a husband, heroic. Few have the fortitude to resist the temptations of the honeymoon. But human endurance has its limitations. When nature demands its due, youth is prodigal in the payment. Men are still cavemen in the pleasures of the bed. . . . And if, in fact, he had the physical power, and refrained from sexual intercourse during the five years he occupied the same bed with his wife, purely out of sympathy for her feelings, he deserves to be doubted for not having asserted his rights, even though she balked.
(Emphasis added)