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Why Exactly Do People Get Married?

Updated on September 16, 2017
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It should be funny that a grown woman would wear a fairy-tale dress and her partner be smartly dressed probably for the first time his whole life, just to cut a cake. And why are the brides ever claiming that it's their day. Why her day?Why don't men say, "...it's my day" when talking about the wedding? And who came up with such a childish tradition? What's the real role of a wedding? It's like a birthday party. You dress up and invite people to come eat a cake with you. Why do people spend so much for just one day? But most importantly, why do people get married?

Here are the reasons people give for getting married;

Religious reasons

If the reasons are strictly religious then there's no argument about it. It's fine. It's therefore based on sexual purity although some of the couples have been having pre-marital sex and even have children but okay. Whom are we fooling who?

To be legally recognised as a couple

Why is this important? What happens after the couple gets recognised as a legally?Why does it matter if she now carries his name? Are there any benefits to a living couple being recognised legally s a couple beyond property ownership, investments, inheritance and insurance? Is it all about finances?

To have children within wedlock

It doesn't matter whether a child is born within or without marriage, if you are a great parent you do not need a marriage certificate to raise your child and a marriage certificate cannot make a parent raise a child if she/he doesn't want to.

To have one sexual partner

Marriage cannot guarantee that. The perfect plan would have been an institution that guarantees absolute faithfulness but marriage is just a title, those are just vows, the certificate is just a paper and the ultimate punishment to sexual waywardness is just divorce (in civilised societies) , so why again do people get married?

Creating boundaries

Adultery is stigmatized because it has implications of disregard towards a boundary that demands that the couple respects their vows. Marriage has its rules and expectations. It has the same rules that could be applied to property.Like land. No one should tresspass and the land owner usually doesn't jump over the fence to exit his/her property.They use the right route to exit and enter simply because there is a boundary. People get married because they do not want confusions related to "no man's land'. It is all simply wife and husband. Everyone else claiming possession without the right papers is either intruding or tresspassing.

As a rite of passage

The wedding is the last singlehood party. It's the final singlehood celebration...from singlehood to 'really taken'. The same with just having your marriage registered. It signifies marriage, a state that proves you have progressed. And life is all about progress. You are not just a man or woman anymore, you are now also someone's husband or wife. Just like how one day we were boys and girls and we now enjoy being labelled men and women. It feels great to belong to the big club.Moving from one stage to the next. Celebrating the point when you moved on to bigger responsibilities. When you put down a signature to accept that you are ready to be committed. While you do not have to be married to be committed. Being committed is a personal choice. But having witnesses means you are making a promise to more people than just yourself and your spouse.

To fit in

Your clique is made of married folks. Your family keeps on celebrating weddings. You attend the weddings. You should definitely tow the line someday and join them. You probably have someone whom you like, and if that someone is the type that believes in marriage, why hold back your marital status? So you decide to show them that you are just like them by doing what they believe in. If you seem reluctant about the whole wedding and marriage deal, no one will understand you.


Also, when seeking a leadership role, especially the political type, people want to know if you are a leader of at least a family. Sometimes people find it hard to trust unmarried people with leadership roles.

Some religions will not allow you to be a leader and some will not allow you to even be a member within it's setting if you intend up to keep up 'living in sin'. Your long-term relationship could be working so well that you feel you do not need a 'mere paper' to prove anything to the world. But to participate in those religious roles, you have to keep up with the norm. Get married. Just for show. You live in an arrangement that feels like a marriage already, it shouldn't hurt to do what the people you intend to interact with do. Yes sometimes you get married just to fit in.

The vows

You get married hoping that you are getting married to someone who respects and will commit to the vows.

I doubt if anyone gets married while looking forward to getting divorced. People want to stay married to one person. Forever. You want to be with someone who takes the vows you made seriously.


Those vows could just be a set of words to other people but they should have some meaning to the couple. And just like any promise they can be broken, although you hope that your spouse is decent enough to respect the vows.

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    • profile image

      Juliette Jones 

      9 months ago

      Then there is the topic of arranged marriages where your parents select your spouse and the girls are to bring a dowry. Supposedly, arranged couples do learn to love their partner at about the same ratio as non-arranged marriages.

    • Mary Florence profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Florence 

      11 months ago

      Hilarious Film Critic. How did that go? Did you take that advice?

    • film critic profile image

      film critic 

      11 months ago

      Adding one here - When I joined the military, the recruiter told me that if I had a girlfriend, I should get married before bootcamp, as it would double my salary (only if she was going to move with me anyway - his words.)

    • Mary Florence profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Florence 

      11 months ago

      Thank yous! Sorry about that Stacy.

      There are many reasons why people get married. It's just funny how people smile and laugh while getting married you would think it's all about love and sometimes it really is all about love. But some just want shelter and food. Some want citizenship, others cannot wait for their spouse to die so that they can inherit property. After the wedding, the reality dawns on the couple during the marriage. Some will be pleased, some will regret.

    • profile image

      Kelley 

      11 months ago

      I got married when I was 19 and I hated myself for it. I completely fell into all of those reasons.

    • profile image

      Stacy 

      11 months ago

      The Archetype of Marriage is Evolving. The idea that marriage is connecting two people in love is actually relatively new..100's of years ago it was more about survival.

    • profile image

      Dieter 

      11 months ago

      I got married because I wanted to secure my love and partner. In Europe, you have more legal rights when you are married when you own property or anything else. Think about it you have an accident, it destroys your life and the life of your depending partner who lives with you, has no own property rented or bought.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      11 months ago

      I doubt marriage will ever be phased out.

      A large part of the ceremony is having one's ego fed!

      I do agree the more one marries the less pomp and circumstance their weddings have. Also people are waiting longer to get married as women have better career opportunities & financial freedom.

      Nevertheless with the advent of "Marriage Equality" and the fact that in the U.S. alone 2.3 million weddings take place every year it's doubtful this tradition will ever end. People love the idea!

      The wedding business is a {multi-billion dollar} industry!

      I bet if you asked most women if they want to get married at least once in their lives over 90% will say, "yes".

      They'd also rather be a wife with children than a "baby momma".

      Even with regard to property ownership everyday people are opting to have prenuptial agreements and trusts drawn up. They still want to get married for whatever reason.

    • profile image

      Jamie 

      11 months ago

      Other than the idea that marriage will bring happily ever after most people i know have married for the legal aspect of things. If something happens to one spouse the kids and house and money go to the other spouse rather than parents that aren't on speaking terms with child and family anymore. I also like the fairytale that a mom and dad are married. Why? No idea. Kids not having to explain difficult situations, or the security in knowing he can't up and leave :P

    • Mary Florence profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Florence 

      11 months ago

      Indeed weddings and marriages are an international phenomenon. But the more women get empowered the less marriages we will have with time. People are getting married and divorcing and some are remarrying...the more you remarry the less pomp your weddings eventually you just considering live-in arrangements. Seems to me like marriage is a tradition that will get phased out someday. Especially when laws start separating property ownership at 50/50 as you say it's usually about legal rights to property. If there's nothing to gain some people will not bother with it.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      11 months ago

      "Tradition" is probably way up there as a reason.

      However if notice every country on earth has marriage.

      Young women in particular are spoon fed fairytales about being the princess who is swept off of her feet to live happily ever after with her dashing husband early on.

      Children also want to emulate their adult parents.

      Some people are more into (weddings) than marriage.

      For a lot of women it's the biggest "Me day" they'll ever have. They also love to sport the "diamond ring" too!

      When a groom walks in the church people observe him but when "the bride" walks in (everyone) stands up!

      It's (her day) the groom is little more than a "prop".

      The bridesmaids and groomsman are like an entourage, there's a photographer, videographer, DJ or band to play their "first dance" song (while everyone watches), and there are "toasts" made to the couple by both "the best man" and "maid of honor".

      It's the only day in most people's lives that they're made to feel like a "star".

      Even the (planning) of the wedding takes on it's on life! Oftentimes you hear about "Bridezilla" stories.

      Others get married because their mate has (money) and they hope to live the "good life". The term "good catch" implies if you marry someone you'll take them out of circulation and have them to yourself. It's competitive!

      Few will admit this when defining "commitment" that they really mean having "legal rights" to assets in case the marriage fails. As one woman said on the topic awhile back:

      "Being married means he can't just up and leave after 10 years leaving me with nothing to (show) for it."

      For her commitment was not about the "promise of forever" but rather being protected/secure if things fall apart.

      Some people still get married due to unplanned pregnancy.

      For some all of their (friends) are married as you noted.

      There are those who see it as a "goal" on their "bucket list". Other women are simply tired of being "single" or living with their boyfriends feeling as if things are "going nowhere". They give them ultimatums.

      Last but not least "old fashion romance".

      People in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond also get married for second, third, and even fourth times!

      They've been divorced before and they know marriage is not a "fairytale", they've already raised children, bought a house, and so on. Nevertheless lots of people get married (multiple) times!

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