When I married my husband, I did so with the knowledge that I was taking a risk. That he could get sick, that we could live in poverty, that any number of things could happen to change our lives from what they were when we married to something else. But that's why they are marriage vows - you are promising the other person something, that you will stick together no matter what and that you are joining your lives together. Your description of what marriage is is EXACTLY what most people see it as today, but it's not what it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be a vow, a promise, a sacred commitment. (And now, before the mods step in, I will extract myself b/c I know we're getting off topic. Sorry!)
I would LOVE to see a really well developed Aunt Lydia backstory. I find her fascinating and would love to know how she landed in this position, etc.