Thursday, October 13, 2005

On Marriage...

So many marriages are crumbling. Whether it’s people in the spotlight or people in our personal lives. Marriages currently seem to be more like short-lived excursions instead of life-long, fruitful journeys. At this rate, the only couple who looks like they’re going to make it is Whitney & Bobby. Recently, I told two of my friends (who’ll be tying the knot June 2006) if they end of like Babyface and Tracey Edmonds I’m going to cut them both. But seriously, where are the marriages/relationships like Ruby Dee & the late Ossie Davis? You know, marriages like our great-grandparents, grandparents and quite possibly our parents….When the love just seems to get stronger and stronger and the relationship seems to get better and better. When problems arise and they’re able to keep it civil, work it out and stay together….

Today, it seems like people are getting married for all the wrong reasons. Lust. Money. Security. Because a baby is on the way. Not because you want to but because it’s expected. First and foremost it’s supposed to be about love. At the same time, marriage is a business. Once you sign that contract, you’re making an arrangement between you, your spouse and the state (or government). Maybe this part is irrelevant. Then again maybe not. My point is this—why get married if your heart isn’t in it? Why make these arrangements or this commitment if this isn’t the person you truly love and desire? If you’re marrying only for security, what happens if it turns out to be a false sense of security? Marrying for children or because there is a child on the way doesn’t seem to be any better, especially if one (or both) of you has resignations about going thru with it. As we all should know, the children will be affected either way. Even more so if they have to endure unstable, hostile relations between parents who really don’t want or need to be together.

It should be a requirement that before you walk down that aisle, make sure he or she is the one. You also need to make sure you really know each other. There’s nothing worse than getting some unexpected surprises down the line. If there’s something you want or feel you need to know, you better ask! You need to discuss money, children, jobs, relocating, etc., before you jump over that broomstick. Because it’s so easy for any relationship to end, but it’s work if you want the relationship to last. If one person is trying and the other person fails to even make an attempt, you’re going to have some issues.

Another hot component to this discussion is the sanctity of marriage. But this typically comes up with yet another hot button issue—gay marriage. In all honesty, gay marriage is not going to burn down the house of holy matrimony. Newsflash everyone—the sanctity of marriage was already in jeopardy long before the gay marriage debate began. Take a look at TV today. When you have reality shows (really faux reality shows) like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Who Wants to Marry My Dad?, Wife Swap, Trading Spouses, and the like, it signifies a big problem in our society with marriage. There are larger issues to consider when statistics say that marriages nowadays are more likely to end in divorce. How about considering many of the following questions: Why people don't stay together? Why people commit adultery? Why people lie? Why fewer people are deciding to get married? And just how does gay marriage threaten anyone’s idea of marriage? You're not directly influenced by it – especially if you’re involved in an altogether different relationship. So still, how does it affect you at all? And furthermore, what right does anyone have in invalidating another's relationship by saying their relationship is insignificant (because of their sexuality)? But I digress.

Maybe the other part of this discussion needs to be reconsidering whether a traditional relationship is right for you. You may not be a fan of traditional. You may want a relationship that’s a bit more radical. Possibly an open relationship. A committed relationship without the basis of monogamy. Or maybe you want the fruits of traditional marriage without all the hoopla. As far as I know, no correlations have been made specifically stating that relationships more often than not fail to endure if there’s been no exchange of rings or a formal ceremony. Marriage, the idea or the actual experience, is not for everyone. You may have to walk down the aisle a couple of times before you figure it out (sadly). But hey, that’s just how it goes.

With all the many wonderful things that we encounter and achieve in this life, isn’t it just nice to share them with someone you love? Someone that’s got your back. Someone that’s always going to be there. Someone you can have great conversations with, cuddle with, laugh with and cry with. Someone that you can rush home to each and every night.

Isn’t this the overall goal? Is it possible? Or is this just wishful thinking? I think that it is possible. But I can only go on what I’ve experienced, what I’ve been exposed to and what I believe. I sincerely hope that the forecast calls for brighter, lighter conditions on the marriage/relationship front for everyone.

What do you think?

7 comments:

Frank León Roberts said...

Well, i've been quite vocal about my problems with the institution of marriage. But your comments here help me re-consider some of my earlier points. Thanks. Great insights and inquiries.

Coral said...

I know plenty of people that have never been married but have stayed committed to each other for years. I don't think that marriage validates a couple's love for one another, it's all about how you feel about each other. I have spoken to some people who after a few years of marriage felt trapped.

I've been with my boyfriend for a little over 4 years. I'm not sure I really want to be married. I think the most important thing is that you are open and honest with each other. I saw what marriage did to my parents and honestly it is devasting when it doesn't last, for all parties involved. I'm still young so I could change my mind on the whole marriage thing.
The whole gay marriage thing is bull shit. I will never understand why this is such a big issue for people. Statistics have shown that most gay couples stay together longer than straight couples. What's even better is that a straight couple who have known each other for 3 months, can get married, with no questions asked. But the gay couple who have been together for 10 years, have to justify their love for one another. What a crock of shit.

By the way, thanks for another great post.

lily said...

Once again, you speak exactly what has been on my mind lately. I have seen too many "good" marriages fail lately and it definitely makes me question the validity of most marriages. I don't think that people take it as seriously as they should and that scares me. I can only hope and pray that I will be fortunate enough to find someone who understands what marriage really is: a commitment.

As for gay marriage, I totally agree with you. And, oddly enough, Ben Affleck, who once said, "If you want to defend marriage," Affleck said, "Find somebody and love that person, and care for that person, and be faithful to that person, and commit your life to that person, and don't worry about your neighbor's marriage. ... As somebody who, to be perfectly frank, has enough trouble figuring out who to marry, I don't need the federal or state government telling me who I can marry."

Amen to that.

Trent Jackson said...

Well in your last paragraph you said, "But I can only go on what I’ve experienced, what I’ve been exposed to and what I believe." So what are these experiences, I want to know...and clearly they've shaped your positive viewpoints on marriage, is it safe to say that you come from a 2 parent household, and your grandparents were together? I am nosey...lol...

But I did enjoy the post, and I am looking forward to my wedding day...

In the words of Kanye "WE WANT PRE-NUMPS! WE WANT PRE-NUMPS"

Bougie Black Boy said...

very well thought-out write-up. I agree with you wholeheartedly. And, I think the infrastructure of the marriage has been completely destroyed by modern-day lusts and momentary pleasures whether physical, materical, mental or whatever.

you're brilliant.

Clay said...

marriage is so complex -- so many straight people marry every relationships and i think people need to realize that these "traditions are killing freedom"

rchick06 said...

I think it's a fairy tale..I'm convinced true love doesn't exist..maybe I watch too many movies..but ur right..sometimes there are people who aren't married who last longer than those who traditionally are. I agree, but as for love or our society's idea of love that only exists in the movies to me.