Now, before I begin, I can't use personal experience with this because I have never been married myself. I'm engaged; not to be married, as previously written. With my only experience of all things matrimonial being 2 cancelled weddings and many a time resuming the role of drunken wedding guest.
Following the news that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, affectionately referred to as Brangelina, had called it quits, it got me thinking.
Is there really a point to marriage? Does it put pressure on a couple? Is it something of an antiquated deed? Or, is it a commitment that solidifies a relationship? A unification that enables couples to feel more settled and content perhaps.
We're all well versed with how Brad and Angelina got together, back in 2004/2005, you only had to pick up a newspaper or glossy magazine to see them splashed across the pages, complete with photos of the betrayed, estranged wife Jennifer Aniston.
They spent over 10 years together, had 6 children and were purported to be Hollywood's seemingly golden couple. In August 2014, after 10 years in a relationship they made things 'official' and headed down the aisle. Little over 2 years after saying "I Do" they are now saying "I Don't" with Angelina having filed for divorce, cue yet more never ending stories dominating the media, but more on that another time.
So, what changed in those 2 years, since they exchanged vows? Who knows. I'm sure the media will moot the topic over the coming weeks and months. But it does leave me wondering, when it comes to the subject of marriage, just what is the point?
I wasn't surprised to learn that in 2012 there were 12 divorces every hour in England and Wales, with almost half of these divorces occurring during the first 10 years of marriage. A sad state of affairs for sure but not that surprising when we're often reminded that 1 in 3 marriages, in this day and age, will end in divorce.
I often wonder, and you can call me cynical for these thoughts, if couples get caught up in the idea of marriage. They love the idea of getting married, having the big day, the party, the fuss but when all the planning and the big day is over, the harsh reality sets in and maybe the regrets?
When I cancelled my 2 weddings, it wasn't because I no longer wanted to be with my fiancé. It was because I couldn't justify the cost of the wedding we were initially planning. I'm not ashamed to admit we did get caught up and carried away in the whole organisation of the day itself, while we were still riding the just-got-engaged high.
As the years have passed, getting married is a priority that has become less and less important to us the older we get.
While spending time thinking about marriage and all it entails, I put the word celebrity into Google. The first search result returned was "Celebrity Divorces". Not all that surprising when you consider how lucrative a business it is, especially for the high profile lawyers. I had a read through a few articles where celebrities were interviewed regarding their marriage splits and one celebrity had something rather interesting to say.
Dita Von Teese, the burlesque star once married to singer Marilyn Manson, admitted that getting spliced was the kiss of death for the two of them. Together for 7 years and only married for 1, she said she felt obliged to go along with the ceremony. Upon reading this, I wondered how many other women and indeed men felt the same once the dust of the big day had settled.
As previously written, when I think about getting married myself, it's not the big day that appeals to me (honest), nor is it the thought of actually being married, it's knowing I would have the same surname as my son.
When it comes to the money that gets poured into these big weddings that seem commonplace these days, I'd rather use the cash to do some much needed work on my house. Or have an amazing holiday. Not hand it over to some over-priced hotel or converted barn so I can invite people I haven't seen or spoken to in years, nor am I particularly keen on. It just doesn't make sense to me.
My own relationship has been through so much over the last couple of years. There's been times each of us have almost walked away, each of the opinion we're ready to throw the towel in. And I know we'd have felt like this whether we were married or not. Of course, I'm glad we haven't, not least for the sake of our son.
A piece of paper, an extra ring on my finger, and referring to him as my husband wouldn't have made me try harder at our relationship and I don't believe saying "I Do" and agreeing to forsake all others in front of X amount of people would make me respect him anymore than I already do.