Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced their engagement recently. They’ve been dating since 2005 and share six children. More couples are choosing to live together first, unmarried, and have children. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have both been married before, and enjoy all the fame, money and personal success one could ask for. For the past seven years, marriage hasn’t seemed liked a necessity to them. At one point, when asked why they hadn’t married, Angelina explained that having children with Brad was the deepest most lasting commitment she could make. When they made the decision to have a family together, they knew they were in it for the long haul.
A recent study from the University of Auckland in New Zealand reinforces what has proven to be true in the Pitt-Jolie household. Marriage seems to mean something for the kids. Brad and Angelina have both been quoted as saying that their children have had questions about why they’re not married. “Why aren’t you married like Shrek and Fiona?” one of their children innocently asked, referring to the popular animated film. Children also see that their friends’ parents are married, and wonder why theirs aren’t. They may see their parents as still “dating” and have trouble understanding what that means.
Children tend to be very black and white. You are either married or you’re not. And when their parents are not married, it may cause some anxiety or confusion. Does this mean mom or dad can leave at any time? Does this mean you don’t love each other enough to get married? Why is my family not like my friend’s family? Brad Pitt’s publicist, in confirming the engagement, stated that the marriage was, “a promise for the future.” For Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, it seems like getting married is their way of saying, “our family will be together forever.” Notably, all the children were present when Brad proposed.
Is having children a good reason to get married? Ultimately the answer to that question depends on the family. Brad and Angelina certainly seem in love and committed to one another. Their marriage does not seem rushed or forced. On the contrary, it seems authentic, like an organic outgrowth of many years of love. They made a decision that was right for them, inspired by their children, to seal their commitment with a lasting bond.
Did Brad and Angelina make the right decision to get married? Or would the end result have been the same for Brad and Angelina’s kids had they chosen not to marry? Tell us in the comments.