|[Photo: John Parra/WireImage]|
I was reading this article about Enrique Iglesias and and Anna Kournikova after hearing some buzz about the couple. Apparently, they've been together for ELEVEN YEARS. Doesn't that make her like 15 when they started dating or something? Who knew they had been together so long!?! On top of that, Enrique has some "issues" with the whole notion of marriage. His parents are divorced and I guess, like a lot of us who are divorced or come from broken homes, the luster of it all is gone or faded. Because of this, he doesn't feel the need to declare his love and affection for his partner of eleven years on paper and through legal means. He makes a good point that in this day and age, you no longer "need" to be married to have a family and act as a married couple. Jon Hamm from my beloved Mad Men feels the same way too. He and his long time girlfriend both came from broken families with crappy marriages and also agree marriage is not for them. Commitment is, but not marriage.
So, it got me to thinking.
I'm a little bitter and confused on the notion of marriage myself. Part of me feels like it's entirely unnatural to force a man and a woman, polar opposites, with one another until death parts them. Men are made to procreate, to spread their seed and reproduce. Like, seriously. Being monogamous is not easy for these, I'll put it nicely...individuals. Sadly, we know in the time we're living, divorce is frequent. The notion a couple can stay together for life is unfortunately no longer really realistic. Not something people want to hear or admit, but the statistics are there. Nobody gets married thinking they will ever be divorced yet somehow, it keeps on happening. It would be incredible to have faith in what marriage is really supposed to mean and what it was really created for, but it's tough to. Let's be real.
It's not that I don't believe or that I'm saying I'll never do it again. I'm not trying to take away from those of you who are happily engaged or happily married. I just think there's something to be said about how Enrique views the institution of marriage.
Here's how I feel.
As a Christian, it goes against everything I've been taught to live the life of a married person, have children, and not have made the covenant of marriage before God. As hard as it is for me to admit and maybe one day I'll change my mind, it's not something I'm entirely opposed to. You can do anything and everything a married couple does now without the marriage. You can leave assets to someone, you can have health insurance under your working partner, you can have babies, you can be guardians of estate, you can buy houses together, buy cars together, and the list goes on. I thought for a second, "Well shoot. What about the wedding?" You can even go around that. You can have all the bells and whistles, do the whole ceremony, commit yourselves to one another, have a big party, and celebrate your commitment.
So, is it truly just a piece of paper? What is it that makes the act of marriage so unique? Is it purely a religious thing? If that's the case, what's to be said about folks who aren't religious and marry. Is it an "ownership" thing? After all, back in the day that's kinda how it was. A woman was "betrothed" to her husband, like property through the act of marriage.
A lot to take in.
Can you commit your entire life to someone, good times and bad, sickness and health, without actually getting "married" in the eyes of the law? What do you guys think?