What happened to “Til Death Do Us Part?”

On Friday, Katie Holmes filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences,” after 5 years of marriage with Tom Cruise.

That’s half a decade, which translates to almost a lifetime when you think about the expiration date on most celebrity marriages.

But “TomKat” are like a mirror reflection on what’s becoming, dare I say, normalcy in today’s society.

It’s not like the old days where our grandparents would stay together for the children or work through “it” for the long haul because they believed in “for better or for worse.”

Nowadays when things get worse, we’re thinking better get those papers ready—and worse could be a euphemism for a number of marital woes such as, financial issues, adultery, lack of communication, you name it! In Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s situation, it was reported that the 33-year-old actress felt like Tom was too controlling.

Journalist Sydney J. Harris said:

“Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he automatically deserves great success in any field of activity, yet almost everyone believes he automatically deserves success in marriage.”

But if so many of us believe success in marriage is eminent just because of a deep love for one another, then why have so many matrimonies failed at a rate that is disparaging to say the least?

Statistically, almost 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce, and over a 40-year period, 67 percent of first marriages terminate in a divorce and 50 percent of these divorces take place within the first 7 years, according to Divorce Rate 2011.

Damn! That’s why I feel British philosopher Herbert Spencer when he says:

“Marriage: A word which should be pronounced “mirage.”

Because marriage is that, a mirage! There’s no real sanctity in matrimony anymore. When we see some of these celebs and even the people that we personally know get hitched and tie the knot, we may not be outwardly objecting, but in the back of our minds we’re pessimistically thinking, “s**t that’s not going to work.”

I’m 24 years old. Will I feel different about marriage in a few years? Perhaps, because the idea of marriage is too pervasive for one to ignore. There was a time, a girl, that had me so head over heels in love, I contemplated putting a ring on it, but things took a turn for the worse fast. If I did marry her, we would definitely be headed for splitsville, and us as a couple would just add to the percentage that occurs for 1 out of 2 U.S. American husbands and wives.

The GlobalGrind editor-in-chief Michael Skolnik told me no woman is a “bitch,” and you should never sequester the two ever. The word “bitch” is a word that I should omit from my vocabulary. I totally understand where’s he’s coming from, but as far as marriage, at this moment in my life, no amount of profundity will have me embracing that institution. In fact, I think I’m more likely to catch a case before I catch a bouquet, and that’s me being real.

When it comes to marriage, you can rant about how beautiful it is, and give me examples like Jay-Z and Beyoncé; I’ll just rebuttal with Nas and Kelis. You can say Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith; I’ll rebuttal with a divorce that surprised I imagine, a lot of people – Tom and Kate. At one point, the blushing bride was actually blushing over the Mission Impossible star, excited about marrying her “hero,” as she put it in past interviews and Tom’s “couch jumping” on Oprah was an indication of a wacky, but maybe everlasting marriage.

So much for that!

Yeah I know, my mentality is very Drake “Stay Schemin” in the sense that marriage entitles a woman to half, and if we divorce, in accordance to that, she gets half of what I have.

But “you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym,” so I’d rather be in a committed long-term relationship than get married, and wonder if the proverbial coin called marriage flips in my favor, being that it is of course, 50/50.

What’s wrong with that? Actors Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have been together 28 years, and have a good thing going, but guess what, they’re not married. They have what I like to call a common-law marriage; a term I’m using as a synonym for a non-marital relationship contract. They’re cohabitants. My parents are the same way. The man I call stepfather isn’t my stepfather in the traditional sense, but being that he has always been around, and my mom and him share a mutual love for one another that can’t be dissolved by a piece of paper, I think Goldie, Kurt and my parents have this sort of esoteric knowledge when it comes to finding happiness in a relationship. They should have lunch sometime!

And before I conclude, I have to end with something Kanye West said in Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy—a good way to encapsulate what marriage is, might I add—“What’s worse, the pain or the hangover?”

Tell me what’s worse, marriage or divorce? Think about it—I’ll wait!

Follow me on Twitter, whether you’re single or unfortunately married, and let me know your response.

D.J. Jean

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