Is marriage necessary?
What is marriage?
“Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity (in-laws and other family through marriage). The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but typically it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is known as a wedding.”
“noun. The legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman)”
“A combination or mixture of elements. eg. ‘her music is a marriage of funk, jazz, and hip-hop’”
What is the purpose of marriage?
“Marriage is not rocket science. The principles it’s based on are really pretty simple. Kindness. Respect. Loyalty. That kind of thing.” ~ Dr. Margaret Rutherford, Psychologist and Mental Health/Midlife Blogger
In this educational and entertaining video from The School of Life, it is stated that “marriage is an inhibitor of impulse.” In other words, it’s a clever way to stop us from sabotaging ourselves and playing the long game when it comes to relationships.
Right reasons to get married
The most important factor for a happy marriage is attention. Small moments of positive attention.
According to psychologist Dr. John Gottman, lasting love is the result of little, everyday moments of connection. That’s right: the quality of love in your relationship is determined in the daily grind, not on that all-inclusive cruise around the Bahamas.
In this beautiful video by contemporary poet Prince EA, he shares this idea as well as a personal story that illustrates the importance of small moments of positive attention.
Here’s a list of the right reasons to get married, according to Sheri Stritof (The Spruce):
- You are in love with one another.
- A desire to share your life with another.
- To have a lifetime companion.
- You both have realistic expectations and shared goals.
- You would feel comfortable doing premarital counseling to make certain this is the right choice.
- You want to feel connected with a person you love and to grow with that person emotionally.
- Willingness to be there for one another while you each fulfill your own needs and dreams.
- You both do not have blinders on and have spent enough time together to know it’s the right choice.
- Developing your financial intimacy and learning how to manage your money together
- Learning how to better identify and then communicate your wants, needs, fears and frustrations.
Wrong reasons to get married
- You feel too guilty or ashamed to back out when plagued with doubt.
- You are willing to gamble on your future spouse changing or having potential.
- Want to be free from parents.
- To have sex.
- To ease loneliness.
- To be happy.
- To show you are an adult.
- Because of a pregnancy.
- Just because he or she loves you.
- To save, rescue or help someone.
- Because you want a baby.
- For money.
- Because all your friends are married.
- You’ve always wanted a fancy wedding. Or to wear the fancy dress.
- Out of fear that no one else will want to marry you.
- You think you are running out of time to get married.
- To have someone to “complete” you.
- For immigration purposes.
- You are tired of being single.
- Someone is pressuring you into getting married.
- You don’t want people gossiping about the two of you living together.
- To get health or insurance benefits from the spouse’s employer.
Related: 8 Worst Reasons Why People Marry
Benefits of not getting married
As we discuss in this podcast episode, marriage is not for everyone.
There are also benefits of NOT jumping into marriage.
To name a few:
- You have complete independence and responsibility of how you live your life
- You can focus on creating whatever it is you want to create, like a big vision, purpose or mission – and not have to worry about whether or not your dedication to your mission is having a negative impact on your spouse
- You can get involved with as many partners as you like, and test out different relationship models to find the one that works for you
You know those wrong reasons to marry mentioned earlier? Well, as an unmarried person you can work through all of those things on your own and find support through friends, lovers and other people.
Is Marriage Necessary, and Is It Forever?
Key Takeaways From This Episode:
A-Ha! Quotes from This Episode:
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
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