Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Marriage according to Tyra

Ok, let me start by saying that I am NOT a fan of Tyra Banks and that I never watch her talk show. I actually did not even know she had one until one day, at home for lunch, I started flipping through the channels and saw her talking. I was curious to see what they were discussing and listened for a couple of minutes. Then, another day, flipping again through nothingness, I paused for another short time, appalled, like the previous.

The first time the topic of the day was ‘open marriage’ and the guest was woman who authored a book about this (you can look it up if you want, I am not going to waste my time doing that). She was saying how she has been married for 10 years, 6 of which were open, which means that she and her husband had the mutual agreement that they could have extra-marital affairs while still living as husband and wife. Thanks to this, she said, their marriage worked perfectly, because there were no secrets, no cheating (I don’t know how extra-marital affairs don’t count as cheating!), and ultimately no need for divorce. Bottom line: we should all have open marriages so that divorce rate will decrease.

As I listened to this absurd reasoning I though: well then, why did she get married in the first place? Because of the pretty white dress and the scent of the flowers in the air? Because it is the next thing to do on her list after they have lived together for a couple of years? Because the big diamond ring wasn’t enough and she needed a platinum one to complete her collection?

The sad thing is that people today get married because of these reasons, because it’s the next thing to do after years of cohabitation, because the ceremony looks good in pictures you can hang on your walls, and so on. Many people do not get married because they want to give themselves fully to the other for the rest of their lives, or help each other walk toward God, or be open to the possibility of being co-creators of new lives. On the contrary, marriage is a convenient state, and ultimately all about the individual and what he/she wants; the other, the spouse simply becomes an object that can be used at one’s convenience or left behind for another when tired of it.

And when you do get tired of him or her, don’t worry, cheating agencies can help you find a cheating partner. The second show I briefly saw was exactly about this, a man who started a cheating agency that connects married people to other married people who want to have an affair or for that matter, more than one. Simply disgusting. I wonder how his wife (whom was never cheated on as he claims) can even live with such a man and his perverse ideas.

Unfortunately, wherever we turn, whether it is TV, magazines at the checkout line at the grocery store, movies, politics, this is the message we are bombarded with: marriage, in the end, is just a legal contract that does not imply any lifelong commitment, fidelity, sacrifice or openness to life on the part of those who enter this agreement. If it works, good for you, if not, you can find alternatives that can make you ‘happy’.

This is not what God intended for marriage and it’s not what we are to live if called to this vocation. Marriage is a covenant between a husband, a wife, and God, and it is the total giving of self to the other. It has to be exclusive, unitive, and procreative. Anything else is simply not marriage and can’t be called such.

Read this before you get married.

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