What happened to marriage?

Something Angelina Jolie said in a recent Vanity Fair interview bothered me.
Angelina talked extensively about her kids and the possibilities of expanding her family, but when asked if she and Brad Pitt were going to be married anytime soon, she responded with this:
“Children are clearly a commitment, a bigger commitment [than marriage]. It’s for life.”
I understand one aspect of this comment, in that if things get rough with kids, you can’t just toss them aside and start over again as so many people do with their marriages. But it’s like the old saying goes: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”
Nowadays, it seems as if more and more, the baby comes first, then, if you’re really lucky, love and/or marriage — sometimes both, sometimes neither.
In my opinion, if you want to show your children how committed you are to them, you first show how committed you are to your partner. It seems as if the person you choose to procreate with should have priority on your heart.
I know there are some people who make the argument that marriage is “just a piece of paper,” and they don’t need a certificate to show that they are in it for good.
To me, that speaks volumes of how those people view marriage — it really is just a piece of paper to them.
I believe marriage to be the ultimate commitment. It means forever, for always, and no matter what.
But I know for many reasons marriages don’t always work out, and many people are doing the best they can with the situation they’re given. There are certainly valid and legit reasons for divorce, and sometimes it ends up being better for the children than staying together.
But I’m surprised at how easily marriages seem to be thrown away, and also how casual this “commitment” has become.
You can’t predict the future. But the future comes one day at a time, and you certainly can do things every day that will help secure your children in a happy, healthy home as best you can.
I’m interested in your thoughts.

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