“I’ve Never Seen a Marriage Work”
The above quote is from Nia Long in a recent interview with Essence Magazine. This quote sparked my interest because it appears to be part of the reason Nia has decided not to marry (yet). Her quote relates to her not feeling any less loved or loving because she’s not married. Just to be clear, she did state that she is not saying she’ll never marry; marriage is just not a priority for her. I am sure Nia isn’t alone with her thinking. There are a great many others who possess this same belief.
Call me traditional, old school or old fashioned, but I wholeheartedly believe in the significance of marriage. And where there are children involved, a marriage should be somewhere on the horizon. Deciding to (purposely) raise a family without a marriage is an individual choice. However, it is also one which stirs up plenty of debate. Believe me, I certainly understand that no one owes anyone an explanation on how they personally choose to live their life or raise their children. I am even a big component of do what makes you happy. Where my concern grows is when the reasoning behind the action/decision is based on others and not the particular individual. We can’t make life altering decisions based on other people’s lives or experiences. Just because someone else’s story turned out one way doesn’t mean ours will too.
Our children are worthy of witnessing us put forth every effort possible to create a healthy marriage. Ever since I became a mom, I have been very conscious of the messages I send to my children. And although every adult has the right to make their own decisions, I wonder if there is any consideration to what we are showing our children to be acceptable. Although we may be liberal enough to be okay with our children following in our footsteps (raising a family without considering marriage) we have to, at some point, stop and think about the other person who they will be involved in a relationship with. Is it fair to send our children into a union with a partial view of what’s essential in building a family?
Of course we would rather not raise children in an environment surrounded by an unhealthy relationship, but this too should be considered before we become parents. Deciding who we will co-parent with is a bigger decision than deciding who we will marry.
I do agree with Nia. I also had never seen a marriage work, or those that I did observe weren’t necessarily happy. Nevertheless, it didn’t make me run in the opposite direction; it made me work even harder at my own marriage in order to diminish that statistic.
BMWK, what are your thoughts on marriage not being a priority for some parents?