Sunday, April 20, 2008

Marriage

Let's talk about it...

(Sorry this post is so long, but I think it's worth it.)

Jay and B did the damn thing! I am so happy and excited for them and wish one of their publicists would just quit and do a tell all book (would never happen).

Anyway, rumors are swirling around that Beyonce's pregnant and that's the reason for the super secret nuptials. I could believe that. She's been dodging the paparazzi like crazy and you all KNOW B loves the cameras. You also know the bloggers love to claim folks are pregnant, so if she so much as has indigestion, they'd say she's carrying.

If she's not pregnant, I'm happy they got married. If she is pregnant, then she is added to the scores of people I getting ready to have a conversation about if you keep reading...

If you don't like controversy, please stop reading. Now I'm destined to offend someone with what's about to follow, but I'm not going to apologize for my opinions. I am, however, open to intelligent conversation and if someone says something to change my mind, then I'll reconsider my position.

In 2005 Maryann Reid published "Marry Your Baby Daddy." It wasn't just a fictional novel. No September 29, 2005 was "Marry Your Baby Daddy Day" and 10 couples got married in all expense paid weddings as a part of the promotion of Reid's book. Reid, among many others, [myself included] feel that children have a better chance for a successful life in America in a two-parent household.

Where Reid and I disagree is that it has to be YOUR parents heading that two-parent household. I know a long time ago, if a couple got pregnant, that couple got married. Maybe it wasn't even that long ago, maybe it was the 80s. (I don't feel like doing statistical research right now). But we'll just say for, at least, the past 3 decades, getting pregnant doesn't necessarily mean you have to get married.

WHY THEN in 2008 are people rushing down to aisle because someone got pregnant? I cannot count how many people I've heard about recently doing shotgun weddings. It always goes the same way...

Me: Did you know such as such got married? I didn't even know he/she was engaged.
A friend: Is she pregnant?
Me: Naw, people don't do that anymore... do they?
A friend: You should check into it.
Me (checking into it)
Source: Oh yeah, she's due in [7-8 months after the wedding date]

Womp.

Really, people? Is everyone in a rush to go to divorce court? They must be, because getting married for the wrong reason (in this case, because of a child) is the easiest way to get there. I'm all about a two-parent home, but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. Sometimes one of the parties involved is an alcoholic, addict, physically and/or emotionally abusive, uneducated or just not financially or mentally prepared for the hardships of marriage.

Newsflash: Marriage is not a cakewalk.

If I get pregnant out of wedlock, should I rush down the aisle and subject my child to the problems that arise from me and the father's issues in a marriage rather than subject them to single parenthood (weeks with me, weekends with daddy and vice versa)? I shouldn't and I won't, but apparently shotgun weddings are what's hot in the streets lately. Apparently rushing down the aisle because you forgot to wear a condom, take your pills or shot or apply your patch is back En Vogue in 2008.

Here are a few rebuttals that I assume people will come up with and what I have to say to them.

1. They were going to get married already
- If that's the case, why weren't they engaged already? Why weren't they married already? Also, if they were going to get married already, what's the rush? Unless someone is terminally ill or going to the military, if you're seriously planning to spend the ENTIRE REST of your life together and happen to get pregnant, why not wait until after she has the baby. You're not fooling anyone (i.e. Solange Knowles).

Now, to be fair, I will say that some people know the baby is going to take a toll on their funds and don't want to be fat and preggers on their wedding day, so they sit down and discuss getting married sooner rather than later for practical purposes. If these people are really serious about being married and don't end up in divorce court, then I'm not really talking about them...

2. My parents got married because they were pregnant with me and it turned out fine
- My parents DIDN'T get married when they got pregnant with me and it turned out better (for all parties involved)

3. Children do better in two-parent households
- Children are more hurt by divorce that single parenthood (in my opinion, but I'm open to statistics to the contrary)

I could go on and on. My point is, the blessing of a child is a beautiful thing, a gift from God that you can't control. But MARRIAGE, MARRIAGE is a sacred event where two become one. In this country, you CAN control who you marry. Just because the sperm and egg came together, it doesn't mean that you are supposed to become one with the person who helped you create that beautiful child. (Depending on who's coulds and shoulds your point of view is taken from, you shouldn't have had to opportunity for the sperm and egg to get together in the first place, but I'm not trying to be the pot...)

I just wish people would think past tomorrow or next year into the serious future. While being happily married will benefit the child, if you got married for the wrong reasons and end up getting a divorce, you're doing more damage to the child than having parents who aren't married would do.

Thoughts?

4 comments:

antithesis said...

i just want to say that if you didnt have sense enough to not be fooling with someone who has flaws like addiction etc. and you get pregnant by then, you probably dont have the sense to not marry them because of said pregnancy. and that is my two cents.

i pretty much agree with everything you said. of coure, everything aint for everybody and i tend not to make blanket statements so if you think getting married is the best thing, good luck!

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

I agree with you 100%. I've told several people that marriage is not always the answer just because you got pregnant. Everyone knows that growing up in a 2-parent household is better than a single one, but it would be worse if all the parents do is argue and fight with each other. Shotgun weddings are just a bad move in my opinion.

ThummyB said...

Ok - So you already know that I'm pretty 'pro-marriage'.

In general I just think that our entire mindset with regards to marriage has changed. In the past, if your parents weren't married, then you were considered an illegitimate child w/no real claim to that parent's possessions or estate. Additionally, your mother was considered less than 'quality' otherwise she would have been marriage material (making the whole point mute). In some ways this is still the case (think of ODB's illegitimate kids who are fighting to receive portions of their dad's estate from his widow). However, for the most part there is no longer any real shame in having a child out of wedlock or being a child born out of wedlock. Maybe this is a good change/maybe not. Personally, I still think that the order of things should be love, marriage, baby carriage, so I can't say that I'm really 'for' this new trend. I wouldn't want anyone to feel ashamed of their situation, but I do want for us to value ourselves and our future enough to be a bit more discriminating (but that may be a whole other discussion).

That being said, I think that there is also less of an appreciation for what a marriage is. From what I hear, its a lot of work w/many good times, but also many tough times. It seems that ppl have lost sight of the 'and for bad' portion of the vows. Instead of standing strong and committing to the commitment we choose to jump ship or turn to outside vices (other ppl, drugs, alcohol) when things aren't that great. Under these conditions, then perhaps it would be disastrous to bring a child into a home that is really broken from the start. However, if our outlook and commitment to marriage changed, then perhaps the child and the family could thrive in spite of the initial start.

Now if I come up preggers, then you best believe that I'm looking for a ring. Mainly b/c having a child is hard on a relationship, and I believe that the relationship w/break w/o a real commitment AND it seems so easy to get caught up in the day to day living as 'husband and wife' that you might actually lose sight of the fact that 'no, you are not actually married'. Luckily for me, I am already w/the man that I want to marry. However, just think about how much more serious you would take your sex life if the possibility of being stuck w/this man forever (in the event of an oops) was looming on the horizon.

Que.P said...

My parents DIDN'T get married when they got pregnant with me either, but they are married now. Had they gotten married because I was conceived, they prob wouldn't be together now.