Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are sadly getting a divorce. After 2 years, Brangelina is to be no more. It’s not shocking news (though it is shocking that people are making a joke about it when 6 children have been affected). Divorce in Hollywood alone is a regular occurrence and numbers in South Africa are continually climbing.
More and more people are choosing to cohabitate rather than marry. Despite the array of beautiful Pinterest boards and the booming wedding photography industry, marriage seems to have lost its magic, its charm, its allure. Why get married at all if you can live together with ease and save yourself the mess of divorce?
In the 21st century it would seem that marriage is outdated and serves no purpose – if you love someone, then vows, rings and paperwork shouldn’t matter. Marriage is no longer needed, nor the pathway, for children. It’s not a necessity for leaving home. It doesn’t – unless you’re royalty – increase your standing in society. It doesn’t really seem to have much of a point.
This, to me, is tragic. Perhaps, in a world where every experience is so fleeting – moments only seem to last 24 hours before they are deleted – it’s easy to get bored with the idea of being married.
I’m a strong believer in marriage. I believe in going the whole 9 yards. I believe in letting go of the parental home, moving in with and becoming one with your partner, and working 24/7 to keep the marriage working. I don’t really understand, why, if you know your person is “the one” why you wouldn’t get married? Why not? Does making a statement mean more than a marriage?
I know that I will offend some readers – “Oh my gosh Shante, you’re so judgy and redundant” – but hey, this is my blog so you are free to do one.
Believe me though, I’m not sugar-coating marriage.
I’m not smiling idiotically behind rose-tinted specs and thinking that I’m a) better than the non-married or b), being delusional about why marriage has lost its charm. I know, more than most, that marriage is a bitch. A rabid bitch. It likes to dig holes; poo on your nicely mowed lawn; leave muddy footprints over your clean floors; bark at inanimate objects and bite the people you love. It has one night stands with your neighbor’s dog and has scruffy little puppies. Sometimes, all you want to do is put it down.
But it doesn’t deserve that. Not always. Too often we go into marriage blind; we think that by wedding the one we love, everything will fall into place, the stars will align and sunbeams will sprout from our arses. However, marriage doesn’t perfect you. On the contrary, it brings out your imperfections and places them under a very hot and unceasing spotlight. There is nowhere to hide in marriage.
I went into marriage with Mr H thinking that I had no flaws and that all of his would cease to exist. I tried to make him change whilst protesting that I was perfect. In our early years, there wasn’t room for love or respect. Our tapestry was thread-bare. Once we both started chipping away at our egos, and being gentle and respectful, our relationship became a thing of beauty.
Which is why I believe that marriage is an art.
It is a Sculpture. A Painting. A Chapel Ceiling. A 5th Symphony.
It cannot be forced. It cannot be copied or forged.
It can take years, decades, for it to start resembling something beautiful.
It demands time. It requires respect, from both parties. It looks for inspiration and should be as stunning up close as it is from afar.
Like anything worthwhile in life, it must receive due dedication. It must be fought for. It must be put front and center. And, it cannot hope to succeed if it is merely an afterthought.
The “institution” of marriage might be dying, suffering under much criticism, but I’ll still be its torch bearer.