We Need New Rules for Serial Marriages, Octo-Parents
By Mike Hess Posted Apr 15th 2010 10:23PM
Pop-Ed: This has been a doozy of a month when it comes to Hollywood romance. Recently though, the people and couples involved have had storied pasts that involve impossibly high numbers of either marriages or children. So, with all the talk in recent years about the sanctity of marriage and such (Massive Disclaimer: This is not a political article. At all), it feels apropos to dig into the ridiculousness that's been going on lately and call it like we see it. Essentially, we've come to the conclusion that in order to protect the sanctity of marriage given the current legal situation, the following needs to be enforced: If you have been married five times, you should not be allowed to marry again. Similarly, if you have five or more children, you should not be allowed to divorce. Agree? Totally disagree and hate me? Hear me out after the jump.
So what prompted this brash, unsympathetic tirade of romantic fervor? It's simple: Larry King is divorcing for the eigth time, Mel Gibson is leaving his new girlfriend/baby's mother -- who broke up his initial marriage where he had seven other kids -- and Elizabeth Taylor was reportedly set to marry for the ninth time (which she denied). And that's all on top of never-ending Gosselin custody battle drama. With my guidelines in place, we wouldn't have to be bothered by any of this!
Let's start with the five kids = no divorce policy. Most arguments focus on the crux that the purpose of the nuclear family is to have and raise children. Well, if you have five, methinks you've committed yourself eternally to that very logic. Think of it as a sort of pseudo-positive version of California's "three strikes" law, only now it's "five kids" instead. Nobody is going to question whether having that many kids is a good or bad idea -- that's entirely up to each individual couple. However, the massive impact a split has on families of that volume is something that can and should be prevented. If you decide to have a litter of children, well, you should plan on being there to raise all of them forever.
Had this been law, Jon and Kate Gosselin would be forced to work it out like adults instead of philandering about town and learning how to salsa. Plus, Mel and Robyn Gibson would still be together, and nobody would know who the hell Oksana Grigorieva is. Doesn't that sound precious? Sure, we wouldn't have been blessed with the musical miracle that is 'Beautiful Heartache' (directed by Mel!), but that's a sacrifice we're willing to make for the well-being of the Gibson clan.
Now, let's move on to the marriage section of this argument. Yes, America is a democracy and people generally have far more freedoms than in other countries. Marriage, however, is a legally binding agreement that bestows benefits, tax implications and other government-binding agreements to those involved. It's a contract. If you were a business owner and you messily broke five contracts with your partners, the Better Business Bureau would be all over you and you'd be out of business (or in jail). So why can people enter into marriage contracts freely and openly, knowing that no matter how many times they divorce/cheat/etc, they'll be free as a bird to do it yet again?
Divorces are never nice. The emotional drain is brutal, but the drain it has on legal resources with all of the financial and custodial woes that come along with it is even harder. In this time of recession, budget cutbacks and downsized resources are commonplace for everyone. So, in this time of needed restraint, employing a marriage limit seems right. It's for the economy, people!
So why five marriages? Well, because that's what we picked. We'd even be willing to pare it down further to three, but in the spirit of America, it seemed right to give people five chances to totally blow it.
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