Rethinking Marriage: Looking Deeper Into Why We Get Married

A Different Perspective

Think of a relationship that you were surprised didn’t work out. This shouldn’t be hard, considering most people don’t bother entering into one unless they are planning to stay.

Now, imagine you were legally tied to that person.

Think about how and why the relationship ended. How painful and difficult was it to end?

Now, imagine you had to fill out paperwork, hire a lawyer, go to court, pay a load of money, and so on just to be done with it and move on with your life. Would it still be worth it? It’s a lot harder than simply acknowledging that it isn’t working, and ending it so that you can heal, isn’t it?

Wedding Rings

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Marriage and Planning

Marriage is not a simple contract to enter. After all, you’re combining your lives: money, living space, free time, future decisions and more. While in some cases you can physically move away from your spouse during a separation, it’s not the same as being single, again. That’s a whole other situation. You were sharing your life with someone. Married people don’t typically plan on divorce.

“A bad marriage is worse than being single.”


The Argument Against Marriage

Most people assume that anyone against marriage must be heartbroken and hate the idea of love, but this isn’t true. In reality, most people who are against marriage believe strongly in the concept of love, but can see through the wedding propaganda to the injustice that comes with signing a government-approved contract.

Not only is there little need for marriage in terms of housing, reproduction and finances, but adults should be able to see beyond a need for the law to secure a relationship.

If the relationship is healthy and has proven to be long-lasting, why is there need to involve the government?

Some people get married for the tax breaks, which saves a lot of money that would be spent on a regular basis; however, by comparison to the money spent on a wedding and/or divorce, not to mention the priceless emotional pain that usually comes with it, is it truly the best choice?

Comedian, Chris Rock uses humor to debunk the marriage expectations of single people. Society likes to believe they will find a perfect significant other; also known as a soul mate. It is a nice concept as children, but how realistic is it as adults? When we grow up, we realize that life is never how we thought it would be; therefore, why do so many of us think of marriage as an exception?

Chris Rock also co-wrote and starred in the film I Think I Love My Wife which uses a mixture of comedy and drama to explore the undiscussed issues of being married: boredom, loss of sex-drive, and changing values.

“Married and bored; single and lonely.”

Chris Rock

Author, Glenn Campbell wrote a book on the reality of marriage called The Case Against Marriage. From his point of view, marriage is like communism because when the divorce happens, divorcees realize all of their property must be cut in half. It doesn’t matter if one partner worked harder to make a good home for the other partner. What matters is equal distribution.

Campbell writes about why marriage was invented, as well. Unlike today, the entire purpose of marriage was a way to control who has sex and babies with whom. In medieval times, men and women were not allowed to get to know each other romantically without their family’s and society’s consent. Taking that into consideration, this means that spouses weren’t married because they were in love. Love didn’t become important to marriage until fairly recently.

Why Are We Getting Married?

A discussion about why we’re getting married is worth exploring. When asked, most people want to get married because it has been a normalized goal since childhood. We expect to live happily ever after with a partner; therefore, most people are confused when they meet someone with no intention of ever getting married. Independence is shamed.

Once someone has the career, society asks when they’re getting married. Once someone is married, society asks when they’re having kids. Once they have kids, society asks where the kids are going to college. Once the kids go to college, society asks when the kids will have a career. Once the kids have a career, society asks when the kids are getting married. On it goes.

Where is the value for individuality? Where do social norms end and our own desires begin? Is it healthy that the most significant part of our lives is presumed to be entering the institution of marriage?

Note: Originally published on HubPages under same name by author Social Thoughts. 2014. Revised 2023.

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