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Marriage Isn’t a Moral Measuring Stick

85784552Gray divorce was a big deal about three months ago, but now it’s nothing more than a little section on Huffintington Post: Divorce. It appears the world has already tired of the topic, except when celebrities and public figures are involved.

It’s true, Buzz Aldrin and his soon-to-be ex-wife, Lois Driggs Cannon, filed for divorce on December 28th, 2012. We won’t get into the details of the divorce because the amount of money the almost-former Ms. Aldrin is getting makes our pupils turn into dollar signs. What we will get into is how this piece of Aldrin news isn’t quite so depressing or indicative of moral looseness as one might assume.

Dear Old Buzz

Since making the second set of footprints on the moon, Buzz Aldrin has had quite a time of it in life. He’s been through a battle with alcoholism, two divorces and marriages, and a lifetime struggle of being labeled #2. The man is currently 82 years old, and has had a turbulent, probably exhausting life. Yet even at such a jaw dropping age he is making decisions a person half his age is making; he’s getting divorced and continuing his pursuit of happiness.

Buzz Aldrin just might reignite the world’s fascination with gray divorce. Well, at this point it’s more like white divorce, but here’s why divorce at any age isn’t telling of an amoral society.

Marriage Isn’t a Moral Measuring Stick

For generations marriage has been closely associated with morality, wholesomeness, and everything good and pure. But this is a romantic, unrealistic view of what marriage means for society. Just because a couple has decided to legally enter a union does not mean that life is in any way better than a single person’s life. Marriage shouldn’t be viewed just as something people in our world do. Ask yourself, do you want to get married because it’s something “people do”?

This question is what is really so shocking about gray divorce. News about gray divorce snaps people out of their day-to-day lives and makes them reevaluate their own situations. If older people, who are supposed to just wait around for the end, are refusing to settle in their lives, then why should the younger generations? The answer is: They shouldn’t.

Marriage is ________

So if marriage isn’t a moral measuring stick, what is it? Marriage is supposed to the be ultimate display and symbol of love. But love is a fickle emotion, as any stereotypical adolescent knows. For a marriage to stay a real marriage (meaning: still full of love), the spouses must constantly check in on their relationship, which is the basis of the marriage.(Could that simplistic idea be our answer? “Marriage is a relationship.”)

No one wants to be wrong, but if a marriage is discovered to run out of love without a hope of a refill, then why shouldn’t divorce be the solution? If this realization should creep into my life, I hope I have the strength to take a page from Buzz Aldrin and continue to live life like it has meaning up until the end.

As it stands, marriage is viewed as a test with only two options: pass or fail. But since the fail rate is about 50%, maybe it’s time to view marriage in a new light.

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