My parents got married because "it was the right thing to do" not because they were in love with each other. Now after a nasty deparation and 27 agonizing years, they are finally happy.
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Just because you don't believe in religion does not make it a joke. Religion helps millions of people get through the day, helps people find purpose in life, and gives many believers their first taste of a true family.
without religion we would have learned to rely on each other a long time ago. it would be the norm to go to others when we are in need. it would be the norm to believe in each other. just because you can't see this, it doesn't make religion right.
I never said that we shouldn't rely on each other, I just said that it isn't a joke. Religion brings many people together for the purpose of relying on each other. I came to faith recently and went from having one person to rely on to have hundreds.
Basically you're saying the primary reason for marriage is (not love) but rather (financial security) and raising a family. Suppose one has no desire to have children or a woman has a high powered career? Is marriage necessary? or is it optional?
I assume you would be with a person in the first place BECAUSE you love them. I would only marry a person I love, but these are many of the reasons why marriage is essential to that.
old albion, your statement: "marriage is best for (financial settlement) should things fall apart." Is absolutely correct! With a divorce rate that is over 50% one can hardly say marriage guarantees "commitment" or "love". It's really about security.
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Married couples and those living together in long-term relationships have the same expectations of one another. Marriage is a relationship status promotion in the eyes of society and offers some people financial security in the event of divorce,
In times of crisis implicating couples or families, marriage is legally recognized. In times of war countries like Holland required papers that stated your marriage status to affirm that you were not harboring wanted persons. That's the difference.