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What's the point of marriage?

  1. Mar 18, 2008 #1


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    You could love someone without it, surely. Is it just a legally binding document so that both parties trust each other more? Or some other legal reason?

    i.e before marriage the two of you probably buy stuff (from groceries to a house) for yourselves only but after marriage you buy stuff for him/her and vice versa you don't worry about it because if the marriage ends then the assets are split 50/50 or something?

    So marriage gives couples security in many ways.

    The other thing offcourse is that it formalizes the relationship and makes it more public which can make the relationship stronger. Also it becomes more troublesome to break it so can further prolongs the relationship and hopefully it dosen't end over some minor disagreement.

    Correct so far? What other purposes does it serve?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2008 #2
    There are other legal advantages and disadvantages to being married as well, such as property rights, power of attorney rights (in the case of medical treatment, etc.), increased tax liability if both work, etc.
  4. Mar 18, 2008 #3
    The point of marriage? Good question, It's not very common with mammals in general, with the exception of some http://www.travelwritersnews.com/news/notes_from_afar_adventure_ecotravel/lemurs/red-bellied-lemurs/ [Broken].

    On the other hand it is more frequently seen with birds and even many fish.

    So perhaps ask them.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  5. Mar 18, 2008 #4
    In some cultures, like mine, marriage is considered sacred and special. In our society, divorces are really, really rare. Some decades back, it was even rarer almost you can say some thing like unheard of. Now with globalisation and westernisation, this is slowly creeping into our society.

    As per our culture and belief system, marriage is sacred teaming up between a man and a woman for the game called life. There may be ups and downs in life, peaks and falls, you pass thorugh all of them together. You two play the game of life together, honestly and with mutual trust to fulfil the responsibility towards society.
  6. Mar 18, 2008 #5
    Following what Manjuve said, in my religion, marriage is a sacrament, a sacred and life-long union of two people before God, family, and society. It's a commitment meant for life (ideally) to love, cherish, and consider "us" instead of "me". It's also the ideal start of living together and intimacy. (I mean this in a religious sense; this may not apply to you.)

    Socially, it's a public declaration that one is an official social unit, and must be treated as such.

    It also ties together two people legally.

    Marriage is not for everyone. There are couples who decide not to ever get married, and that's fine. It's a personal decision.

    And no, one should never get married so they can trust their significant other more. The trust should already exist; a document will not create trust that isn't there.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  7. Mar 18, 2008 #6
    There is no point for all, to marriage, it's on a case by case basis.
  8. Mar 18, 2008 #7
    I don't know what culture you come from, but in most cultures/religions with a very small divorce rate this is because of fear, not love. Either fear of what the spouse will do should one member decide to leave, or fear of being shunned by family outsiders for doing it.
  9. Mar 18, 2008 #8

    jim mcnamara

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    The point is: marriage institutionalizes monogamy, makes it a legal condition.
    If you don't buy into monogamy, then obviously marriage is out of the question.

    In reality you can question any institution in any culture. What you accomplish by doing that is debatable.

    The problem, IMO, is that Western culture has consigned many institutions to the pillory of social conscience, largely for the sake of change (because old = bad). Folks start to feel the remaining ones are pointless, or invalid. Simply because the people into social re-engineering decided to tweak another institution and it stopped having the same value.

    It's like the politically correct debate. Some all-knowing being, the Keeper of the Flame, decides what is and is not PC. Just like what should be and should not be valid social institution. Institutions should not be up for annual reviews by the Keeper of the Flame. IMO.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  10. Mar 18, 2008 #9


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    Perhaps it offers trust during the bad times and so may prolong the relationship.
  11. Mar 18, 2008 #10


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    Are you from Africa?
  12. Mar 18, 2008 #11


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    For the most part, marriage has legal and tax benefits, and confers inheritance rights.

    I agree that if you're truly committed to another person, you don't need the formality of a wedding or marriage to keep that commitment, and there's really no need for marriage as a form of commitment (if you DO need the marriage to stay with someone, you probably SHOULDN'T be marrying that person). It's really more that it just makes it a whole heap-load easier to legally ensure the person you love and trust most is the one who will be able to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated, to ensure that person will take care of your kids if something happens to you, to ensure that person will have access to your shared finances should something bad happen to you...and to provide a means for dividing up your common assets should you change your mind about that commitment to each other and want to dissolve a very entangled collection of property and other assets.
  13. Mar 18, 2008 #12

    Chi Meson

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    Marriage is like Jazz. If you gotta ask, you'll never know. For many it's pointless, but it's just as pointless to explain why it's important to some.

    For the record, I don't enjoy Jazz, but I am very happily married.
  14. Mar 18, 2008 #13
    Marriage is a legal contract. The end.

    And its a way to make lots of money for the church.

    However, there is absolutely no point to it.
  15. Mar 18, 2008 #14
    It might be significant to note that there's “common law” marriage, which is the kind that is provided by the state and has secular legal consequences, distinct from marriage within the rules of a particular religion. To the Catholic church marriage is a sacrament (a ritual that imparts divine grace, basically) and a common law marriage (or improperly sanctified one) doesn't “count” - St. Augustine, for example, simply left his common law wife without need of divorce.

    In contrast, some interpretations of Islamic tradition and law contend that the significance of marriage is that a man literally owns his wives. (See http://worldcat.org/search?q=1591020115" by Ibn Warraq, Chapter 14)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  16. Mar 18, 2008 #15


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    I don't know about the US but in the UK the religious service is irrelevant. You are not married until you sign the civil registry book; the exact same one you would sign if you got married in a civil register office service.

    How do churches make lots of money out of weddings? :confused:
  17. Mar 18, 2008 #16
    So, my mother in law is severely demented and really doesn't recognize us anymore but her husband (mariage count 58 years) used to be in a reasonable condition and took care of her, until today. At a regular heart check up at the hospital, he was kept there on the spot to sort out some problems. He may be hospitalized for several weeks.

    So as I'm 500+ miles away, my oldest daughter, strong and mature, was alerted to take over that care to discover that this was a very tough job, virtually impossible to do. Leaves us with an impression what a marriage can be worth
  18. Mar 18, 2008 #17
    Well, there are church fees and officiant fees and things like that. But I would say that the obscene profits on weddings are the ones that go to the photographers, caterers, florists, jewelers, etc. I haven't been married yet myself but from what several friends have said they're pretty shameless about unblinkingly doubling and tripling their fees when they find out “Oh, this is for a wedding… well then…”
  19. Mar 18, 2008 #18
    Maybe for you, but not for me and the majority of the people I know. To me, marriage extremely valuable, one of the most important things in my life.

    Also, churches don't make much money at all on weddings. Some churches don't charge a thing.
  20. Mar 18, 2008 #19


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    Sorry to hear about your father-in-law, Andre.
  21. Mar 18, 2008 #20


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    I don't doubt lots of people make a killing out of weddings but churches don't. For eg
    http://www.aldershot-catholics.org.uk/Marriage%20Leaflet.htm [Broken]
    You can't get much cheaper than free :smile:

    When I had my daughters baptised the local priest refused point blank to accept a fee. This despite on one occasion organising the baptism specially outside normal hours as we had people over on a tight travel schedule. So the implied slur by Cyrus suggesting churches use weddings to make money was ill-informed at best.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  22. Mar 18, 2008 #21

    George Jones

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    Like lisab, I am sorry to hear about your in-laws, but the point you have made with this post is a very nice one.
  23. Mar 18, 2008 #22
    Thank you, Lisa and George, it was a hectic day.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  24. Mar 18, 2008 #23
    Sorry, I hate churches. I couldnt resist a cheap shot. :wink:

    Foul, number 23: Hitting below the belt. Yellow card.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  25. Mar 18, 2008 #24
    Could you explain what you consider valuable and important about it?

    Its as if you are in a relationship and you use the word 'marriage' and now its something super special. Its no different than before you got married. Now your just wearing a ring. The people did not change, and the relationship did not change. If anything, I think it simply tricks oneself to making things 'work out' and having more patience because no one wants to look like a divorced person who couldnt make their mirage last.

    What happens when you die? Do religious people really think they will rejoin their spouse in heaven for all eternity?
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  26. Mar 18, 2008 #25
    Some people feel that way. I do not. In fact, this very question (what changed after marriage) came up on another message forum I frequent, and while some people stated that nothing changed, most people felt that the relationship took on a whole new form and meaning. It's really not something that can be explained well in words, and it's certainly not the same for everyone.

    This may seem hokey (really, words don't do it justice), but if I were to try, I would sum it up simply: True love, forever.

    Can you tell I'm a romantic? :blushing:

    Yes. I'm not Mormon, but I know that in the Church of Latter-day Saints, there's something called a sealing ceremony in which a husband and wife and bound for eternity, even if they later remarry.
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