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October 31, 2006

Can’t anyone in Hollywood stay together?

Ok, the title of this post is exaggerating a bit -- there are some long-time marriages in Hollywood. I could probably count them on one hand. But I was really hoping Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherspoon would last. With their backgrounds (I'm privy to personal anecdotes about Phillipe from a close friend of his who had known him in Delaware and spoke of his Christian background, and Reese's churchgoing is public knowledge), I would have hoped that would influence how they conducted their marriage. (Fine, call me an idealist.) But it's over.

In positive news about marriage, this couple is about to break a Guinness world record:

When they married on Oct. 23, 1926, Bill was 17 and Lorine just 16. Their fathers had to give their approval to make the union legal.

"I hope to tell you I can (remember the wedding)," said Bill, who's now 97. "... I borrowed a horse and buggy, and (we) went on dirt roads."

They traveled to the home of their magistrate, Green Daniels, who performed the ceremony free of charge. ...

"You'd think we'd not had sense enough to feed ourselves by marrying without a job," Bill said. "But we lived good. ... Lorine, my wife, was the workingest person you've seen. She could make a cake or pie as good as anybody." ...

There's no secret to staying happily married for so long, Bill said.

"It ought to be what everybody knows," he said. "First, you should know love. You should know you're in love. Then, you should know the Lord."

While other couples fuss, fight and divorce, they simply decided not to do that.

"We knew we would have disagreements," Bill said. "We just decided if we had disagreements, we would just drop it ... kiss and say goodnight. We still do it."

All together now: Awwww! But seriously, this isn't rocket science. Bill and Lorine get it.

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Comments

Dennis Babish

While it is sad that this marriage is ended I would disagree with you on how few marriages in Hollywood survive. I believe there are more long term marriages than you know. Unfortunately happy marriages don't make the news. I wonder if anyone has looked at Hollywood to see what the divorce rate is compared to the general population and compared to Christians. It may not be all that different. I have studied marriage for awhile and I am convinced that one of the big reasons people divorce so readily is that they enter into the marriage feeling that divorce is always an option. Being married is tough because we have to die to ourselves everyday. No fault divorce and pre-nups have made it all that easier to abandon one's marriage. And to me the saddest of all is the Christian divorce rate is no better than the rest of the country.
It reflects poorly on what it represents, Christ's relationship to His church. Sad so sad.

CLH

Readers haven't yet picked up on my sarcasm. ( : Yes, I realize there are many long-term marriages in Hollywood. And I would agree with you, Dennis, that we don't hear more about them because they don't make great news copy. Another younger couple I hope will make it as long as Kirk and Anne Douglas is Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Dennis Babish

I actually did believe you were using sarcasm since I am a fellow heavy user of it myself. Sarcasm in writing can be missed. What I was trying to point out is that Hollywood is an easy mark for criticism concerning marriage. It sometimes seems like actors go through marriages like I mught go through a loaf of bread. Sandwiched in there, pun intended, was my wondering if a study was done comparing divorce rate in Hollywood and with Christian divorce rate how different would the numbers look. I think they would look similar.
But I will remember in the future that you love sarcasm and will try not to divorce it from your article. Bad pun but what do you want for nothing?

Josh

So far today in this blog, you've held up as examples of good marriage-related things:

• a couple getting married when they were teenagers.
• a soccer player finding a bride, any bride, within a year in hopes that it will calm him down. I'm going to assume that whatever marriage results from that challenge will last a "really" long time...

Tell me again about how the institution of marriage is so great that we just can't let gay people to come along and muck it up?

Gina Dalfonzo

It seems to me that most of the Hollywood couples who make it -- Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. Astaire, Mr. and Mrs. Hope, Mr. and Mrs. Cosby, and the other often-cited exceptions to the sad rule -- are one-career couples, or at least couples where one spouse is in show business and the other isn't. It's not surprising. Let's face it, celebrity often gives birth to an oversized ego. Two of those in one house would be an awful strain on a marriage.

But then you have Mel Brooks/Anne Bancroft and Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward. So I guess even the exceptions have exceptions. :-)

Kristine Steakley

And don't forget George Burns & Gracie Allen. George's book, "Gracie: A Love Story," is a great look at how a dual-Hollywood-career marriage can last the test of time. Someone borrowed my copy years ago and never returned it -- I guess they must have loved it as much as I did. :(

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