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arturodiaz's avatar

Why does the marriage institution exists?

Asked by arturodiaz (553 points ) May 15th, 2009

I’ve seen a lot of people get divorced and sometimes I stop and start thinking if there is really a point in this whole marriage thing. The only thing there is is the divine bond. But why do people who marry by church have to marry legally? Are there any benefits. I see marriage more of as a contract to protect both parts. And probably for some good reasons, especially women. Still I dont understand why would a women that is not sure she is going to live with her husband for the rest of his life marry.

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22 Answers

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

that’s an interesting question, I’m curious as to how the ceremony of marriage began. I’ll look it up and get back to you.

if I had to guess though I’d say it’s for them pesky females so they can tie us down. ;)

oratio's avatar

We have probably always married. Never underestimate humanity’s need for ritual and symbolism. In my country almost no one marries for any religious reason. It’s the ritual, and tradition. We married before christianity and marry in the church today as non-believers. If we get married at all.

I don’t see how the marriage contract protects especially women though,

Pertaining your last sentence, nobody know what will happen in a marriage, but having doubts when you get married is not a good start. I agree to that.

wundayatta's avatar

Marriage is a legal contract that determines a number of things, including inheritance rights, guardianship rights, power of attorney rights, and many other things. In the old days it had more to do with economics, bloodlines, and the joining of the power of families. It had nothing to do with romantic love.

Over time, in Western societies, the romantic side has become more and more important. This is because we are so wealthy, and women are wealthy in their own right, so divorce is no longer a sentence of poverty (or even death). So marriage is more symbolic—a signal of love—and less contractual, although the contract part is still very much there. People don’t think of it too much, as is demonstrated by this question.

mattbrowne's avatar

Up to a point monogamous relationships improved the survival chances of human beings. Rituals help humans to strengthen the bonds between individuals and within social groups.

@DragonFace – While the Soviet Union existed the number of religious people became very small. Still, there were millions of weddings every year.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

From what I’ve read,and hopefully someone can prove or disprove, marriage licenses started in the US after the civil war. If a black wanted to marry a black, it didnt matter. If I white wanted to marry a white, it didnt marry. But if a black wanted to marry a white, a marriage license was needed.

Can someone confirm this?

cak's avatar

“Still I dont understand why would a women that is not sure she is going to live with her husband for the rest of his life marry.”

This part of your questions throws a very personal spin on the question. Are you wondering about someone that has recently married, or you just don’t “get” why she married someone? Hopefully, that is not the norm. I can’t speak for all people, but between my friends and I, (I’m a female and I’m referring to my female friends) none of us married thinking we wouldn’t be with that person for the rest of our life.

Understand that I’m remarried, my first marriage ended in divorce and I see that as a huge failure for both of us. It needed to end, but I most certainly didn’t expect to get divorced.

When I remarried, I was very clear with him that I believe that to marry is to stay together and it would take someone very horrible to have the marriage end in divorce. He feels the same. We are in it for life. That is the deal.

Why would a woman marry with the idea that they may not be together, forever? To put it simply, for the wrong reasons. For specific reasons, you would have to ask her.

CMaz's avatar

There is actually two Marrage “contracts.” The one for tax purpous and the commitment you make to the other. You do not need the Marage license to be Married. The question was the Marrage institution existing. As our society becomes more comfortable with the quick fix and the easy way out. We “seem” to loose prespective as to what long turm dedication and loyality provides. It is a shame. Always, good things and hard work require a solid foundation. This takes time and dedication. WeThere is actually two Marriage “contracts.” The one for tax purpose and the commitment you make to the other. You do not need the Marriage license to be Married. The question was the Marriage institution existing. As our society becomes more comfortable with the quick fix and the easy way out. We “seem” to loose perspective as to what long term dedication and loyalty provides. It is a shame. Always, good things and hard work require a solid foundation. This takes time and dedication. We like the good time but we run from the bad. How do you learn to get along and learn from your mistakes.
Sweet life; bitter, always a challenge. We breath,
we exist we die.
The course of the universe, swirling, spreads out
before us.
Sweet love.
The breath of life you feed me, makes my being justifiable.
Spinning; expanding together, and when time departs us.
Great satisfaction, our lives worth lived. like the good time but we run from the bad. How do you lear to get along and learn from your mistakes.
Sweet life; bitter, always a challenge. We breath,
we exist we die.
The course of the universe, swirling, spreads out
before us.
Sweet love.
The breath of life you feed me, makes my being justifiable.
Spinning; expanding together, and when time departs us.
Great satisfaction, our lives worth lived.

Darwin's avatar

Marriage also used to be the means of transferring “ownership” of a woman from her father to her husband.

As to why someone would marry if they know they won’t stay together, I would suspect that except for folks who marry someone to allow them to stay in the country or for money, most folks don’t know they won’t stay together. Most brides and grooms optimistically believe that they will be together for their whole lives.

spresto's avatar

There are some tax benefit to getting married legally. Divine marriage is promise before God to live as he commanded as man in wife under God. Sort of a secondary holy trinity in christianity.

However, I do agree. Socially marriage is pure bull shit these days. Those who get married and then divorce don’t know anything about the person they made a commitment with. People today jump into commitments with their heads up there asses thinking they will live the fairy tale dream. There is no logic to this thinking and ultimatley it ends in divorce, hopefully before another bastard child is brought into the world who will be raised by a single mother and the next shit boyfreind she brings home because she wants to live her own life and be her own woman.

A real marriage is worth fighting for, worth working for. Hardships come, but if you really care about who you married, instead of only yourself, you will have something very beautiful.

On top of that, despite the general consensus of the world you get laid a shit load…at least I do. Oh yeah!

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Yes there are benefits the government gives us, such as added spousal priveleges and financial incentives. If you don’t see the point in marriage, then find someone who feels the same. Many people commit to each other for life and never marry because of several different reasons, so you’re not alone here.

arturodiaz's avatar

@BBSDTfamily Oh no! im too young to even think in marriage. But I do feel that living with someone without the contract but with some understood commitment is even better. Because at least for me, a contract is the first sign of distrust.

@cak there is no one specific. But do feel a sense that in society marriage is becoming less and less important, less valuable. Is not an institution you worship anymore.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@arturodiaz I get your point about the contract being the first sign of distrust. But I look at it as being realistic while hoping for the best ;)

sakura's avatar

My hubby and I were not going to get married to start with, but after 7 years (and a child!) we decided we wanted to show the world how much we really mean to each other, and I wanted to do this in a church in front of the God I believe in.

Each to their own way I suppose!!

We had an awsome day, celebrated in style, had all the important people in our lives with us sharing in our special day!

As to why the instiution exists I have no idea !!!!!

arturodiaz's avatar

@sakura haha, Ive never heard the term “hubby” ^_^. Maybe ill end up doing something similar

Crusader's avatar

As a divine institution…and,
Perhaps so we know who our parents are…?

cak's avatar

@arturodiaz – I do hope you find that when it comes to how you feel about marriage, you will, most likely, need to set aside other opinions about marriage. You will find those that are so against it, those that only do it for practical purposes and those that think it’s the logical next step. Believe me, there are those of us, that do it for more than those reasons. We do it for all the right reasons and because we want to celebrate our union. Religious or not, we make the decision to marry and stay together. I never thought, after my divorce, that I would marry again, because it was so easy for him to throw it away -but I met the man I was meant to be with, forever.

Don’t let society jade you. Keep your mind open. It’s not a bad thing to do, as long as you do it with clarity and the understanding that it is a commitment and it does take work.

Interesting question! :)

tiffyandthewall's avatar

religious, legal, and now – economic – reasons.

Crusader's avatar

To preserve the continuity of generational solidarity.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I like marriage because it makes it more difficult to walk away if you’re angry about something. If my husband and I weren’t married, it would have made it soooo much simpler to just bail a few years back when we were having issues.

Crusader's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate,

Yes, working through difficulty with such a formal blessing becomes easier, and generally renews ones vow and dedication to the other. Blessings.

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