Marriage. It's Complicated. Is It Worth It?

Gay marriage. Open marriage. Prenups. Infidelity. Why the fuss? A new documentary clears the air.

american marriage documentary

In New Jersey, the state Senate just canceled the vote for a bill that would allow for same-sex marriage. If such a bill had passed, New Jersey would have become the sixth state to allow such a union, a right that many gay couples (and their supporters) have been desperately pursuing for years. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods—a successful pro golfer married to the beautiful Elin Nordegren—was recently discovered to have an entire bevy of mistresses. One might surmise that, in his case, marriage wasn't enough.


And he's (obviously) not the only one who's found him or herself unsatisfied with marriage. Rates of infidelity run rampant, and divorce rates are just as high. Which is why some couples choose to open up their marriages, rewriting the boundaries of their commitment in order to fit their own needs. Portrait Of An Open Marriage

All of which leads one to wonder: Why? Why marry at all?

Is it the security? The shared health insurance? (Definitely a perk.) The sense of security? Plain and simple love? We Married For Health Insurance

In the trailer for the forthcoming American Marriagea documentary set to hit theaters in 2010—a man says that marriage is a case of "people becoming greater than the sum of their parts." Which is a touching sentiment. But don't worry. They don't let marriage off that easy. Filmmakers Mike Flanagan and Courtney Bell explore dowries, divorce, prenuptial agreements, polygamy, common law marriages and more throughout the course of their film. Learn (and Earn) From Gay Marriage


Why—they ask—is it so simple to enter into such a serious yet flawed institution, while it is a thousand times more difficult to dissolve it? And are people entering into it for all the wrong reasons? Is there even such a thing as right and wrong when it comes to binding yourself to another? Divorce Types: How To Choose

And, is marriage even worth fighting for and about? After all: "If your brakes failed as often as marriages do," they ask. "Would you ever drive a car?"