If Tom And Gisele Are Getting A Divorce, Our Idea Of Marriage Should End Too
2015 has been the year of divorces for celebrity power couples. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. And here’s another one just added to the list: Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger. But honestly, can we blame her, he’s the lead singer of Nickelback. No explanation needed on that one. And although this one isn’t written in stone yet, it looks like the married couple that rules over all other married couples, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, are headed in a downhill direction too. According to Us Weekly, Gisele even spoke to a divorce lawyer. If Tom and Gisele can’t make marriage work, who are basically a pair of gods walking among us mere mortals, then maybe it’s time our society realizes that monogamy doesn’t have to be the only choice.
According to the American Psychological Association, 50% of marriages end in divorce. 50. That’s a shit ton. And the rate among subsequent marriages is even higher. That’s not as surprising. But still, most little kids who wonder about the future and wonder what their life is going to be like, probably don’t think they are going to get a divorce. But 50% of them will, possibly more than once. However, that statement does not have to be as depressing as it seems. Instead of seeing marriage (and the probability of divorce that comes with it) as the only way to live, maybe we should consider other options. Obviously, there is value in the commitment of marriage and the idea of of finding someone that you will love for the rest of your life and who will love you for the rest of your life is very seductive. But is it realistic? Is it truly what everyone wants?
I’m not saying that we all have to be polygamous and f*ck everything that moves. But this idea that we have to make it work with one person for our entire lives is so ingrained in our heads, that when it doesn’t, we don’t just feel heartbroken, we also feel like we have failed some unspoken cultural rule. Why does that have to be a rule? Why not a choice? People who want to be monogamous and get married should have that choice. Just like people who don’t want to be monogamous and want to have multiple partners should have that choice…and not get ostracized for it. This may be a lot to ask, and will take years to accomplish, but there should be a cultural shift away from the ‘requirement’ of marriage and monogamy, towards an acceptance of any lifestyle people may choose to live.
This will be quite difficult, considering our culture’s obsession with ‘the one’ and ‘soul mates’ and the ‘sanctity of marriage.’ But let’s just think about this for a second. Why do so many marriages end in divorce? Why are examples of human perfection like Tom and Gisele failing at it? Most marital problems have to do with money, sex, and immaturity. Together they’re worth $410 million, so money’s out. She’s a supermodel and he’s an NFL quarterback, I’m guessing their sex is off the hook. She’s 35, he’s 38, they got married three years after they started dating, so they probably knew what they were getting into. Obviously this is an over-simplification, but even with the best possible odds, marriage can fail. Monogamy is f*cking hard. I applaud people for trying, but maybe our society shouldn’t get so up in arms about the people who don’t want to. Especially considering that it makes more sense to not be monogamous.
Instead of having to have sex with the same person for the next 50 years and most likely get bored, or uninterested, or cheat (look at the recent Ashley Madison fiasco), you could get busy with any number of people and always be sexually satisfied. Instead of dating or being married to one person and never getting a break, you could date several at once, who could each fulfill you in different ways at different times. Children are also a huge factor in marital problems. Perhaps we should stick to that old adage of ‘it takes a village.’ Numerous people could take turns taking care of each others children at different times, so the burden doesn’t fall on one person or become too much. This is actually beneficial to the children as well as they get a variety of different teachings and perspectives. This is how our caveman ancestors raised their children, maybe a regression in that sense would not be so bad.
Marriage and monogamy is problematic. It leads to divorce and heartbreak and stress. It, of course, has its merits and those who choose to should lead that kind of life. But those who do not wish to be monogamous or get married or divorced should also have that choice without the threat of our society reprimanding them or ostracizing them.