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wingsonroots's avatar

Is marriage (and having a family) important in life?

Asked by wingsonroots (225points) May 31st, 2014

I come from a relatively conservative society where marriage is seen as a form of graduation into a stabler, secure phase of life. To marry or not to is not so much of a choice either.. there’s immense social and peer pressure to “settle down”.. they say it’s the duty.

Now, I think my duty as a responsible human being is to look after my folks, be compassionate with people and generally, to help make our society a little better in whatever way I can. I don’t understand where marriage fits into all this, what role does marriage play in my carrying out my duties? Won’t it become a hindrance in my work?

I’m 28, not in in any relationship.. all I want is to take care of my family and someday make it good with my career. Please help me see how marriage is important/necessary. What roles does it play? How do you or did you approach the question of your marriage?

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7 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

This is totally subjective. Marriage and family is important to some, not so important to others. If marriage isn’t your thing, don’t get married. Easy.

hearkat's avatar

The tradition of marriage was borne in the concept of carrying on the bloodline. Taking care of your parents as they age is noble, but then they’ll die. If there is no generation after yours, there will be no one to take care of you as you age, and the family bloodline and perhaps even the name, will die.

Pretty much all living things have the primal instinct to eat to live and live to procreate. Humans are the only ones who have sought to have additional “meaning” to our lives and to occupy our time with “careers” to earn “capital” in order to acquire “assets”.

Whether or not to marry, and whom to marry, are now very personal decisions that we have have the luxury to make as societies become more progressive. For some, it is the “next step” in the things they were taught that people “should do”, followed by having kids. Many do not pause to contemplate whether it is really what they want or if they are well-suited to become parents, and many are not mature enough to handle the pressures of having someone be 100% dependent on you and the to invest the energy in training them to become independent. Thus, a lot of families have dysfunctional dynamics, and the members of the household end up miserable. On the other hand are folks I know who would make awesome parents, but some have difficulty getting or staying pregnant. Those who choose not to have kids because they feel they do not want to make that commitment get called selfish – even in less conservative cultures.

I personally feel that marriage is a legal contract between two adults who choose to become each other’s family. It has advantages for people who will combine their assets and have rights to act on the other’s behalf in emergencies. It makes sense for most of those who plan to have children together. If there are no plans to have kids, or the partners can not have children, then it is more of a personal and financial choice. I’ve known people who were married that didn’t seem to share a devotion with each other, and I’ve known unmarried couples that were clearly committed to one another. Marriage and commitment can each exist without the other.

zenvelo's avatar

Hmmm. To be honest, I don’t agree to what you call your “duty”.

Marriage is only important if it is important to you as a way to strengthen a relationship. It is not the only way to strengthen a relationship, it is one avenue of many.

We don’t owe anybody except our own children a duty to care for them or look after them. Duty implies an obligation and no choice. But parents earn that act of love and respect by raising us in a loving and respectful manner, not just because they procreated.

Your obligation to society, family, and whoever else, is to be the best you you can be. From that will come compassion for others and helping to make society better. But all that comes from within, and if attempted without working on yourself, will mean nothing.

In an important thing like marriage, that’s the time to stand up for yourself and set your own path, not follow someone else’s thinking ahead of your own.

non_omnis_moriar's avatar

I did marry and I did have kids but I certainly don’t consider myself a “breeder.”

kritiper's avatar

No. Once you accept the concept of remaining single, you find satisfaction in that, and can live alone with peace of mind. Forget the “family” part: there’s too many people now.

hearkat's avatar

Once I accepted and embraced my aloneness, I met someone who had done the same, and now we’re blissfully alone together. I believe that in order to fully open up to another, we have to be free of needs and expectations, which can only come from embracing our own selves. But sharing unconditional love does not mean that we have to get married. We also are beyond child-bearing at this point.

The point is that one should never choose marriage or start a family out of a sense of obligation to others or to ‘fit in’. One should choose the relationship and family situations that they genuinely want and that the feel is right for them.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

You’re 28; why are you responsible for taking care of your family?

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