When I married my wife back in 1988, we vowed that we would spend the rest of our lives together. Since then, we have been through some of the most difficult times that a married couple can go through, we’ve weathered the storms, and we’ve done it together. After 23 years, we’re still going strong.
Earlier today, news broke in the world of entertainment that Sinead O’Connor is disolving her fourth marriage, after only sixteen days. That’s sixteen days, my fine young readers. The reason she gave for this dissolution was due to “intense pressure placed upon him by certain people in his life, not to be involved with me.” So, bowing to that “intense pressure,” Ms. O’Connor ends a marriage that began a mere sixteen days ago, in the back of a pink Cadillac in Las Vegas. Chalk up yet another in a long procession of examples of the decimation of the institution of marriage in a traditional sense.(1)
What gets me, my fine young readers, is that when something like this happens, the only thing that we hear from the “Religious Right” is the sound of wind and tumbleweeds. When a gay couple wants to get married and honestly spend the rest of their lives together however, all of a sudden the clamoring and sabre rattling of the right becomes deafening, with cries about some supposed concept of the “sanctity of marriage.”
In my opinion, the “sanctity of marriage” in the 21st century is not some broad standard that can be legislated and applied to the populous as a whole, especially in light of the plethora of frivolous nuptials being undertaken by people in the public spotlight. From Kim Kardashian’s 72-day whirlwind matrimony,(2) to such short nuptials as those of J-Lo, Drew Barrymore, Nicholas Cage, Britney Spears…the list is as long as it is ridiculous.(3) The sad thing about all of this is the increasing way in which life imitates art, insomuch as there are young people (and some not-so-young!) in the general populous that take their cues from their idols in the Hollywood microcosm. The example coming from the entertainment industry? That marriage is a frivolity, shouldn’t be taken seriously and can be entered into and exited from like a fast-food restaurant or a building with one of those cool revolving doors. Bleh!
Evidently, marriage has various levels of “sanctity” (if were talking in terms of inviolability) from person to person. For me, it definitely means spending the rest of my life with the woman I fell in love with in 1987. It means making a lifelong commitment to each other, come what may. Anything short of that, in my opinion, is WOMBAT. Why go through the whole process of getting married, when you don’t really love the other person in that way to begin with? Maybe it’s a problem with the definition of love. Maybe fewer and fewer people, especially in the entertainment industry, don’t know what love really is or can’t differentiate between it and simple infatuation. As a result, they get married for “all the wrong reasons.”
Given my 20+ years of experience, I’ll leave you all with a piece of advice, something that some may disagree with. Each person in a marriage should be able to be a complete person on their own. True, your spouse should complement and enhance you, and vice versa. It is perfectly fine however, to be your own individual self, without needing your spouse to assist with every breath; that’s called co-dependancy, and is unhealthy. Likewise, it’s perfectly acceptable to have your own hobbies, likes and dislikes. For instance, my wife collects and reads romance novels. It’s not really my thing. While she reads, I blog. Yes, we have things we share in common, like woodworking. (One of my Valentine’s Day gifts to her was a DeWalt orbital sander, her’s to me was a Delta table saw!) What I’m getting at is that he or she does not need to be interested in everything that you are, and that’s okay. A good marriage lets each of you be your own person…together!