- Gender and Relationships
Why Exactly Do People Get Married?
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;
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?
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.
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.