Social Question

Luffle's avatar

Is marriage an outdated concept?

Asked by Luffle (1263points) July 23rd, 2010

What are your thoughts on arranged marriages, marriage before a certain age, or because of certain circumstances (ie. pregnancy, attempt to save a relationship, etc.)? Do you see any difference between marriage and co-habitation?

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40 Answers

truecomedian's avatar

Marriage is evolving, but there are still parts of it that havent changed. With gay marriage, and the Hollywood co-habitation relationship, it seems like things are a lot different than they were in my parents day. Do people still get married of pregnancy, yikes, what a tough situation that would be. I personally would be happy with just living with someone, I dont think I will ever get married. The only girl I would marry is long gone.

TexasDude's avatar

I think marriage is great if both parties involved are up to the challenge.
As for me, I’m just going to just maintain an ever rotating harem of college aged concubines as I grow older. I’ll be forever happily unmarried.

Steve_A's avatar

Well one problem I have with it is that it seems like at one point if a relationship is lasting and real love that I have to marry you to prove it? A ring and party should not be needed to show my commitment or love for my woman.

I think it is a bit outdated and can add unnecessary stress to a relationship,depending on where it is.Plus if you are trying to save the relationship via marriage than I feel you would possibly get stuck and feel even more trapped eventually leading to something worse.I would hope it does work out but if it was going down hill already I don’t see a turn around. A relationship is about the people involved if they can not show each other their love, marriage won’t make it for them in my opinion.

Overall not saying it is bad…..just eh why does society deem it so “needed”?

jazmina88's avatar

I’m in the just say no club.

Chrissi85's avatar

I think it’s a personal choice, and things like that never get outdated. Perhaps society has moved on a bit, but there will always be people who want to get married. I never thought I would, but now I do… people ask why I want to get married (you don’t need a piece of paper yadda yadda) and I reply ‘because I do’ ... I don’t think there needs to be any other reason, which is the same if you don’t want to get married.

I live in a massively Asian community (Mainly Muslim and Hindu) and have done alot of research into arranged marriage (which is nothing like forced marriage) and to be perfectly honest, it seems to work a lot better than the haphazard approach! Both parties need to agree, they get to know each other, chances are they already do know each other. I honestly don’t know many divorced/unhappily married Asian couples. I know a lot of white ones though…

Clair's avatar

I believed this for a long long time. But then I found that it is possible to love someone in a way that you want to be ‘stuck’ with them forever. In a way that you want everyone to know that you made that choice to be with a person forever and you have no intention to be without them. I think it takes a certain kind of person and maturity to enter a marriage. These days, the concept of marriage is for the most part polluted with no intentions of ‘forever’ and no real, true love.
If marriage is done ‘right,’ it works and it is underrated, not outdated. Marriage, like all things, is not meant for everyone and everyone has different beliefs and goals.

CMaz's avatar

“Is marriage an outdated concept?”
No, but reality is.

drClaw's avatar

As a society we have definitely not evolved past marriage as a concept. On the other hand however, there are people who have evolved past marriage and know that personal commitment can be just as strong, often times those people still end up getting married for insurance/financial/legal reasons

NaturallyMe's avatar

I don’t approve of arrange marriages, or the marriage of anyone who is too young to consent to marriage and know what they’re consenting and getting into, and i don’t agree with marriage because of pregnancy, and definitely don’t agree with marriages in an attempt to save a relationship.
Marriage is somewhat outdated i think. Isn’t it a religious concept? I’m not sure, but if it is, that makes it even more outdated.
But either way, i’m not against it at all, as long as the parties are consenting, and all those other good things. I’m married, but it in no way makes the relationship any more secure in my eyes, and it certainly won’t stop me from leaving if things go south. I got married because i wanted to (it wasn’t a religious wedding), because my husband wanted to, and because i was looking forward to a fun wedding, and we’re committed to each other and all that.
But i wouldn’t have any opinion on someone who thought it’s a pointless exercise, because in a way it IS, i think – it’s just a piece of paper….which has no influence on feelings and love and all that, and shouldn’t be the reason you feel forced to stay with someone.
One should be with your spouse as long as you’re happy, end of story. I wouldn’t even stay married “just for the kids” because i think that’s pointless as well.
So, ya, there you have it. :)

Jabe73's avatar

Marriage between two people should not happen because of the circumstances you mentioned but because two people are truely in love with each other. Marriage is a bond between two soulmates who should show absolute commitment between each other. A marriage based on anything else is not going to be a real marriage.

I personally believe in marriage. Unfortunately today most people want the quick fix in everything they do. No wonder the divorce rate is so high.

Luffle's avatar

It seems like female jellies are more inclined to get married.

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Wouldn’t a harem of concubines be just as stressful or expensive?

@Chrissi85 Staying married doesn’t necessarily imply happiness. Especially in arranged marriages, there is pressure from both families not to divorce because it’d be embarrassing for the families.

@Jabe73 How do you define a soul mate? Is it possible to meet one through an arranged marriage?

NaturallyMe's avatar

@Jabe73 – but is it significant that the divorce rate is high? Sometimes people outgrow each other, or they themselves change and are no longer compatible with their partners, or something similar. Why should they have to stay together then? I believe people should stay together as long as it works for them, ie as long as they’re happy during the relationship. Sure, if they think it’s saveable, by all means try to make it better again, but it’s not the end of the world to get a divorce.

CMaz's avatar

“I believe people should stay together as long as it works for them”

And work takes effort.

No effort = Outgrow

NaturallyMe's avatar

@ChazMaz – i wouldn’t say that applies to everybody. Sometimes people’s lives take them in such a direction that they really are no longer compatible. As a simple example, consier this: one partner is interested in growing intellectually and would like to take part in stimulating conversations and share some common interest with their partner. The other partner’s idea, however, of a stimulating conversation involves the latest video games that he’s been playing. People’s lives take different courses sometimes and there’s nothing to do or fix about it (sometimes).
By my comment i meant that people who are no longer happy together should not feel forced to stay together. What about that is wrong?

CMaz's avatar

They never had a chance to begin with.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@ChazMaz – true, but often they don’t see that in the beginning or any time at all before they get married. Poop happens. :)

CMaz's avatar

True poop does happen.

So the trick is to try to and learn to avoid stepping in the poop. Before you go dancing. :-)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. I think there is enough people left who still care about marriage to save the nation from becoming one big non-committal shack up palace. Many would say “why marriage? It is just a ring or a piece of paper” they have no real clue what marriage is and maybe they shouldn’t ever marry because they would certainly be on the way to divorce before the wedding cake was cut. Marriage is a declaration to all that your spouse is your spouse and you are theirs, that you are in It until the end. No one I know would pay money every month to drive a car off the lot they did not have the title to no matter how much the dealership told them they owned it and could do as they pleased with it without proof positive they truly owned it, so why take such a lackadaisical attitude toward something in your life that is suppose to be more wondrous and greater than a vehicle?

Yeah, sure some people who really have not thought it out all the way or was committed enough after the fact to stay married end in divorce, but that don’t make marriage any worse off or avoidable. Just because many poorly skilled, careless, or drunk drivers have horrible car crashes make cars dangerous by default or something to avoid? Don’t blame divorce on marriage blame it on the people who did not do their due diligence before they tied the not or lack the spine to stick it out and work at if after the marriage.

The only good thing about cohabitation is that you can bail quick and cheap when things get to tough for you.

In short marriage vs. cohabitation is like:

Love is like owning.
Cohabitation is like renting.

Love is like having the deed.
Cohabitation is like having a rental agreement.

Love is like forever and a day.
Cohabitation is like moment by moment.

Love is like your spouse is truly yours until death.
Cohabitation is like it is just a mate until something else better comes.

Love is like wanting to move your furniture in and never leaving.
Cohabitation is like moving as little in because you are scared you can’t move out.

Love is commitment.
Cohabitation is having an exit strategy.

Love is more people who have made up their minds.
Cohabitation is for those who are unsure and still thinking about it.

Love is like the full course meal.
Cohabitation is like sampling food off the buffet tray.

Love is for those who feel they made the right choice.
Cohabitation is for those who are scared they are making a mistake.

josie's avatar

Marriage is not out of date to be sure. But there are certainly more accepted alternatives now than even as recently as 50 years ago. Cohabitation is one of those alternatives.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central – isn’t that being a bit harsh, and false as a generalization? There can be just as much commitment in cohabitation as there can be in marriage, and sometimes there is even more commitment in the former instance – it all depends on the individual, and i don’t believe marriage has anything to do with commitment or lack thereof.

According to that little “poem thingy”, cohabitation is exclusive of love? I don’t think so. Marriage is not a natural state of being, it’s something invented by people. Love and commitment existed before people invented marriage, and therefor marriage is not necessary for showing/proving/declaring love and commitment.

perspicacious's avatar

1. No
2. It will not save a relationship
3. Yes

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Arranged marriages
I’m fine with them as long as the couple is given a good length of engagement in order to get to know each other, their families and what’s expected of them before going through with it.

Marriage before a certain age
I’m against marriage for anyone who can’t support themselves let alone take on a partner and maybe get pregnant.

Because of pregnancy
This has got to be the biggest dumb move ever. I was brought up to believe this was old fashioned and doomed to failure but I see in the present day that people still try and try even though I’ve yet to see one of those relationships work. I’m of the opinion the woman will always believe she’s loved more out of responsibility and social pressure and the man out of gratitude and default.

Do you see any difference between marriage and co-habitation?
YES! I’ve co habitated then married the person and the relationship changes. I’ve divorced and since co habitated several more times and where I felt marriage was on my mind then the relationship was richer, more trusting than when I took it as, “it’s good for as long as it’s good”.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Yes, it is an outdated concept.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Is marriage outdated?
I don’t feel like it is. For me, to offer the person I love the past, present and future still includes monogamous marriage. I want to be a couple in the eyes of my partner and in the eyes of the law in order that we afford one another all the securities and privileges there are and trust me, society still favors the married couple.

Jabe73's avatar

@Luffle No I do not believe (nor did I say) that you would likely find your soulmate through an arranged marriage.

@NaturallyMe I agree when someone is treated badly or abused then divorce may be inevitable. However I also believe children should grow up with both their parents in their lives. I also believe marriage needs to be taken seriously. I also think too much today is centered around sex, there’s too much out in the open today. Just look at all the problems you see today because of this. People want to do what is most convenient for themselves rather than think about the consequences of their actions down the road. Marriage was meant to be important for a reason. Anyone can disagree with me on this but that is my own opinion and for a good reason.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@Jabe73 – i agree too, marriage is a big step that someone takes these days, but it’s not the beginning and end all to everyone. Any relationship needs to be taken seriously, whether it’s cohabitation or marriage or whatever. Everything involving other people’s feelings need to be taken seriously. But that does not mean that you should stay in an unhappy relationship “just because” you are married. There are a myriad of other smaller reasons other than abuse or cheating that can cause a relationship to not work out, and if one partner is not willing to put in effort to change things, then the relationship is doomed, and it’s to everyone’s benefit then that the relationship ends.
Children should have both parents in their life, but they can have that even if the parents are no longer together – an unhappy marriage does a child no favours. I believe that people should behave responsibly, and always with the feelings and wellbeing (eg of children) of others in mind, in everything they do, whether it be marriage or something totally unrelated. If a marriage doesn’t work out, there’s no reason to suffer through a miserable relationship.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@NaturallyMe ”isn’t that being a bit harsh, and false as a generalization?” Sometimes the truth is harsh, and point out the generalizations? The fact is no one would drive off the lot, keys in hand, and not expect to have the title in their hands, even if they are told “Car is yours, enjoy” How would you get insurance or service a warranty when there is no way you can officially prove it is yours?

There might be love in a cohabitating relationship but it has no roots. If you truly loved someone that much you would lock it down, make it official, (not only for yourself but the same way you take the shingle down when you buy the house) and declare to the world that this is my husband/wife and we are a team.

”There can be just as much commitment in cohabitation as there can be in marriage, and sometimes there is even more commitment in the former instance – it all depends on the individual, and i don’t believe marriage has anything to do with commitment or lack thereof.” Explain how there can be more love and more commitment when a person can’t even get excited enough to take it all the way? That is about as committed as someone daring to swim the English Channel but has a tether on them so there is no real effort on their part to do much. Marriage is about commitment, it is like trusting and being brave enough to leap out of the plane sky diving knowing your chute is going to work.

”I don’t think so. Marriage is not a natural state of being, it’s something invented by people.” Sharing is not a natural state of man either, but with out invented rules to live by it would be dog eat dog and let the strongest man have all the props. Just because marriage is the custom natural or not don’t mean it is irrelevant. There are a lot of ”natural” traits we don’t act upon because of man made rules.

”But that does not mean that you should stay in an unhappy relationship “just because” you are married. There are a myriad of other smaller reasons other than abuse or cheating that can cause a relationship to not work out, and if one partner is not willing to put in effort to change things, then the relationship is doomed, and it’s to everyone’s benefit then that the relationship ends.” If dissolving the union is the last resort taken because the people in it can not bend or yield then it gets dissolved, no different than a company. However if people did their due diligence taking the time and actually doing the act of courting and not thinking of how many dates until the sex jumps off they would be able to keep the lines of communication open as to be civil enough to address sticking areas they might have. Just because some marriages fail is no reason to say marriage should be avoided because it will end in divorce. It ends in divorce many times is because the people (or at least one side) gave up.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central ok, i’m labelling all your paragraphs from 1 to 4!
1: by harsh i meant that i don’t really agree with your opinion that marriage is the ultimate proof of love and commitment.
2: Even people who are married sometimes cheat – where’s the commitment in that? Me and my husband were together for 12 years before we were married, we were absolutely committed to each other becaue that is what we decided and wanted – we didn’t need to get married to prove it to each other. Also, the marriage part is not what is supposed to be the important and most exciting part of the relationship – the important thing is that one should be excited about being with your partner, that’s a sign (one of many) of a healthy loving and committed relationship.
3: By natural i didn’t mean to imply what i think you think i implied. I meant that love and commitment exised before marriage did, marriage was only invented afterwards as a way to prove this love and commitment, therefor the absense of marriage doesn’t negate any feelings of love or commitment. See my answer again in point no. 3 here as well.
4: I agree about the sex thing you mentioned, whoever bases a relationship on such type of attitude is just shallow IMO. But still, if one person gives up, the relationship is doomed,so…either way, i think we seem to agree on this point here.

meagan's avatar

I come from a line of women that don’t get married. Very successful Lady Doctors and Nurses that never missed out on anything. I used to call it a curse, but now that I’m older I can appreciate the fact that everyone grew old without anyone’s “help”.
You won’t roll over and die from not having children or an over grown man-child husband.

Especially now. When people cheat and divorce so often. Not to mention “modern” children are so terrible and selfish.

I would never want to be with someone that felt like they were obligated to be with me because of marriage.

Clair's avatar

There is a difference between dating, cohabitation, marriage, pure commitment (of whatever) and ‘being together because you have to’ (ie, pregnancy, arranged, etc), but to each is own and I don’t think any one is better than the other. I value marriage and will marry another that values marriage.
This is like asking if a stove is an outdated concept because the microwave now has a toaster option. They both work for different people, but my family taught me to bake in a stove. Other people can ‘nuke’ all they want and I have no problem with that. In reality, the name of the game isn’t what counts, you should be with your companion because you love them.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@Clair – yes! You said it better than me: the name of the game isn’t what counts, you should be with your companion because you love them :)

JLeslie's avatar

I love being married. I feel like it bonds me more to my SO then if we weren’t married in a way I never expected. I am fine with people living together, I have no moral thing regarding it, and I think probably living together can be just as bonding as being married for some people, but for some reason I think it is not quite equal.

I am also ok with arranged marriages as long as the bride and groom have an ultimate say. People I know who had arranged marriages were able to meet their spouse and spend some time getting to know them before deciding if they were going to be the one. But, it was not anything like a typical western courtship.

I am against people getting married before the age of 18 in a modern culture. I might go to 16 in some situations, in some parts of the world. If I had children I would not want them to get married before the age of 25 ideally.

Generally I don’t think it is a good idea to marry because of an accidental pregnancy, unless the couple was heading towards marriage anyway, and this just speeds up the process.

Really what matters most is the couple and what best suits them.

mattbrowne's avatar

No. But it’s not the best model for everyone.

YellowsubmarineOnfluther's avatar

@mattbrowne is correct, everybody is different based off their percpectives and values. I believe in some cases arranged mariages are good but bad in others, depends on the person. In light of your question a “happy marriage” is starting to turn into a dream rather then reality. More and more of my friends parents in CT are becoming divorced. Why? you ask. Soon I will have achieved my doctorates in pyschology, and from many others like myself, we believe human beings were just born, or evolved to be polygamist’s. Personally one girl is enough to keep me happy, if shes the right one of course. In truth we are just animals that need to have sex and reproduce. doesnt matter how many kids you have or make, just be happy.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Many people fail to see the similarities of marriage as a business, structure wise. If you were in a partnership with someone you would talk things out in a rational manner, You don’t start screaming and throwing things about the conference room. You don’t sling insults and if you do you still have to work with your business partner, and you surely can’t bolt and go form another partnership without the blessing of the current partner to let you out of the agreement.

Many have a fear of loss over the desire to gain. They feel loosing their freedom more than they desire to have a mate in a committed relationship for life. They believe with their head they do but in the back of their mind they don’t believe because they want an “escape clause” something that allows them to walk away if the heat get too hot in the kitchen. That is why they say “we love each other we don’t need a ring or a piece of paper to show it”. I know how to drive but I better have a piece of paper that says who the car is and if it is insured as well as a piece of plastic in my pocket saying I have permission to drive. Telling the cop I know how to drive so I don’t need to have a license in my pocket to prove it won’t fly very well in court.

I believe many believe the prolonged lust as love and desire to marry because of that then get bitter once the ambers cool and the excitement of the new relationship passes. They never get to the day to day thinking and when it hits them they are unprepared.

It is not marriage that is the problem, it is how it is handled by those who get married. Those who choose not to marry I suspect know in the back of their mind the one they chose is not forever or they (both) will somehow muck it up so it is best not be officially attached by marriage.

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DramaticClimax's avatar

Marriage is always and will always be the most ridiculous thing ever to me.

I mean, if someone really needs a piece of paper to show that they love someone, isn’t that more of a matter of trust, rather then a matter of love?

As they say, marriage is the leading cause of divorce.

And there really isn’t any moral backing to marriage, seeing as marriage wasn’t even started as a religious matter. It was formed so people would stop inbreeding, because inbreeding really messes a person up.

The entire process was established by government, sugar coated by religion and prostituted by the media.

JLeslie's avatar

@DramaticClimax Your statement helps support why gay marriage should be legal. The piece of paper is not a show of how we love our spouse, it is legal protections for each person in the marriage. The law is not concerned with love, it is concerned with legal partnership, property, responsibility and financial care for each other and any children. The law is about society at large, and how the citizens work within it.

missscarlet36's avatar

Marriage is never outdated. How could something set up by the Creator be outdated. Then are stars outdated, they are really old. So society must not be keeping pace with the Truth in the universe. Too bad…

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