The famous philosopher, Confucius, once said “Marriage is the union of two different surnames, in friendship and in love, in order to continue the posterity of the former sages, and to furnish those who shall preside at the sacrifices to heaven and earth, at those in the ancestral temple, and at those at the altars to the spirits of the land and grain”. There are other definitions of this word. According to the freedictionary.com, it is the state or relationship of being husband and wife. In the context of law, marriage is the legal union or contract made by a man and woman to live as husband and wife. In other words, marriage is the state or relationship of two adults who are married. Does marriage occur without love? People marry for many reasons. These different reasons have something to do with their varied beliefs, traditions and perceptions in life. Marriage is a familiar word to everybody. We have heard and read many times about marriage. We have seen TV programs and movies related to marriage. We have witnessed different wedding ceremonies – a wedding of our brother and sister, a wedding of a friend, a wedding of a relative, a wedding of a famous celebrity, a wedding of a noble person, a wedding of our friendly neighbor and the like. We wished the couples the best for their new life – a life that is shared both of them. We have seen them filled with joy and happiness as they share their vows before and after the ceremony. However, we are not totally sure about the real essence of marriage. Why do people get married? This is one of the questions that perhaps everybody asks seriously.
In a certain article from Wiki Answers about marriage, one simple reason why marriage happens is to avoid loneliness. Some people hate to arrive home, typically in an empty house. They need belongingness and to establish a family who will be responsible and take care of them. Consequently, it is love. It is the most powerful emotion man has ever known. To love somebody is not that easy. Basically you need to feel it. Your mind will work together with your heart. On the other hand, some women marry for financial security. They tediously find a man who can bring their financial status secured and stable. They usually look for rich bachelors who are nice and kind. Some people get married to give an evading basis of acceptance in the society. They avoid the questions “Why are you still single at 40?” “Why don’t you have kids or children?”. This may sound subjective because some women with financial security can choose to remain single and pursue their careers. Melissa Mayntz1, an author in her online website “love to know weddings.com”, shared that every couple has different reasons to get married that apply to their unique relationship, and many couples share similar reasons for planning the long walk down the aisle. Whether a couple’s reasons are purely emotional, legal, financial, or some combination of these or other reasons, recognizing why marriage is important can help them understand the commitment they have to in their long term relationship. Emotional reasons are the most noticeable for people to get married. The companionship, romance, and love a couple shares can compel them to make the commitment to spend the rest of their lives together. Not all emotional reasons are romantic, however, some people may choose to get married because of fear – fear that they will always be alone or that they will not find someone else to share their life with. Some people may also get married out of anger, either to spite their parents or another individual with whom they’ve had a relationship. While the positive emotions behind wanting to get married can make the event seem magical, the negative emotions for marriage can be devastating. Couples should carefully examine their emotional motivation for marriage before they commit to their “I do’s”. Getting married can be very practical for financial reasons. A married couple can take advantage of tax breaks associated with marriage, and the legal commitment of a marriage ensures financial security for providing for children. Sharing medical insurance for couples and families can also be very cost effective, and couples can enjoy financial benefits with regards to communal property, inheritances, retirement accounts, and other financial matters. Many couples also choose to get married for religious reasons. In some faiths, a couple may not be considered married if they only complete a civil ceremony – a religious ceremony is required to confirm their union before the eyes of God. A couple who shares the same or similar faiths may want to honor their relationship with that religious commitment, or if their faiths are different they may plan an interfaith marriage ceremony to blend their spirituality together. Modern society also puts pressure on couples to marry. While cohabitation and open commitments are more acceptable and more common than ever before, the solid commitment of a marriage ceremony is still sought after as a firm indication of a couple’s bond. Many couples feel intense peer pressure to marry from their parents, relatives, or other married friends, particularly if they already have children or plan to start a family. Single individuals may also be pressured to “settle down” and get married, and for some people, the appeal of a party to celebrate their union is incentive enough to get married.
With so many reasons to get married, it is important for couples to truly examine their relationship and decide why they want to make this commitment to one another. Some reasons are good, some reasons are bad, and some reasons are irrelevant to the way a couple may feel about a long term relationship. Every couple who is planning their wedding should carefully consider just why do they want to get married, and they should consider those reasons with realistic expectations. For example, a couple who is deeply in love needs to realize that the fresh romance of a new relationship will not feel the same after a lengthy marriage, and a couple who marries purely for tax benefits needs to realize that the financial reasons for marriage should not be the only reason for tying the knot. We should not forget a biblical verse, Corinthians 13:4-7) about love which has an important role in marriage. It says “love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things”. Whatever reasons do people have in mind to get married; happiness is the sweetest fruit they could ever have. On the contrary, unhappy married life brings sadness. The feelings are hurt and need much time before it heals the damage.