Back in the day, when two people fell in love, their lives followed a pretty standard blueprint: they would get married, move in together, and settle down with their kids. (You know, all the stuff that comes after “sitting in a tree and K-I-S-S-I-N-G.”)
Getting pregnant before marriage was considered a serious black mark in a world filled with nuclear families and white picket fences.
But as we all know, times have changed, and so has the traditional family make-up. It’s no longer considered scandalous to cohabitate with your partner, or have kids before officially exchanging wedding rings.
With the erosion of these stigmas, we can’t help but wonder … what keeps marriage from becoming obsolete?
It turns out, there’s a surprising new reason why “life partners” — couples who already live together and have children — are choosing to take the plunge.
They’re doing it for their kids.
In a recent interview, actress Kate Hudson explained why she and partner Matthew Bellamy have yet to tie the knot, as well as why she’s not ruling marriage out in the future:
“I think this goes back to growing up in an unconventional family … We’re happy, we’re married. We’ve got kids and a family and we’ve got to find our time together along. We are in it. I think if we do get married it will be for the kids, really. For us, we’re just happy. I know that’s not really necessarily a golden ticket but there is something beautiful about the security of marriage. And we’ll get there when we get there.”
Hudson’s perspective may be influenced by her own childhood: her mother, Goldie Hawn, has been in a committed relationship with Kurt Russell since 1983. The two have a child together (Hudson’s half-brother, Wyatt) but never married.
In that context, it’s especially interesting to note that Hudson cites her children as the number-one reason why she herself would consider marriage. While marriage is, of course, supposed to be based on love and trust, when you’ve got little people who are connected to you and your spouse, it only further strengthens everyone’s need to feel securely bound together. And what better way to show the world how committed you are to your spouse and children by getting married, am I right?
Of course, Hudson isn’t the only star who is considering a walk down the aisle with her children right behind her. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been together for almost a decade. While they are obviously in no hurry to get hitched, it looks like there are others in their household who would love to see them live as husband and wife: their kids.
Jolie recently mentioned that her kids are so anxious to see her and Pitt make their relationship official that they’ve even offered to plan their wedding for them — complete with a Disney theme and paintball game, of course.
“We’d actually like to get married, and it seems to mean more and more to our kids,” Jolie said to Hello! magazine. “We made this declaration some time ago that we weren’t going to do it till everyone can. But I don’t think we’ll be able to hold out.”
Sure, for some marriage might seem like nothing more than a legal document, but for children, it gives them a sense that their parents will always be there, no matter what challenges their family may face. Kids like things to be clearly defined, they thrive on stability and structure. While Hudson might feel like she’s already married, it’s possible that her kids see it differently. Same with the Jolie-Pitts.
While every situation and marriage is different, it’s clear that couples still do want to get married and stay married as well.
The modern marriage might not look like it did a few decades ago, but I would argue that it many ways, it’s stronger. Yeah, I know the divorce rate is higher too, but I think it’s great to see couples getting married because they WANT TO, not because they have to.
Marriage, for many, is now based on desire rather than necessity. Couples are getting married to suit themselves and the people that matter most (their kids) while ignoring society’s rulebooks. Consider it more Modern Family and less Family Ties.
Love, security, knowing that you’ll have a partner in crime by your side until the end of days — that’s what marriage is really all about. Perhaps that’s why we’re seeing so many couples with children saying their “I do’s” after their baby in the baby carriage.
Photo credit: Pacific Coast NewsMore On