Should You or Should You Not Get Married?
As the guests get seated, the bouquet set, the vows all written, and all is felt but regret, are you ready for this moment of a lifetime? This is the moment when the skies give more color than usual, when every song is about your destined sweet encounter, when each smile gets you deeper into this romantic trance, and when every law of nature just seems to conform to a grand celebration of love. Did your face just light up? Or did you have a moment of doubt, anxiety, or even resentment? Marriage is a concept that varies from one person to another. Whether this difference is due to experience or inherent cultural conditions, each of us is entitled to our presupposed definitions. Is marriage a cultural construct shoved into everybody’s throats as a requirement, or a sacred commitment of undying and unrelenting love? Does one really need to be married to be happy? What is the main purpose of marriage? Let us do our best to answer these questions.
To extract what marriage really means, I think it is substantial to first trace this tradition to its roots. According to an article from The Week, “for thousands of years, families consisted of loosely organized groups of as many as 30 people, with several male leaders, multiple women shared by them, and children. Society had a need of more stable arrangements. The first recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies uniting a man and a woman dates from about 2350 B.C., in Mesopotamia. Over the next several hundred years, marriage evolved into a widespread institution embraced by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans” (“The Origins of Marriage”). It is evident that in the distant past, the concept of marriage was mainly built around the idea to bind women to men, thus guaranteeing that a man’s offspring were truly his biological heirs. It was the basic foundation of family and created a more organized hierarchy of society. However, the question remains: when and how did religion and love get involved with marriage?
Religion, more significantly the Roman Catholic Church, embraced the practice of marriage, as the practice required more publicity and credibility. With this need, they integrated the blessing of a priest for it to be officially recognized. As time progressed, the church absorbed marriage as a sacrament of the faith. With the church’s teachings of compassion, respect, and kindness, marriage took the form of a more emotional ceremony rather than an event of a system. Love, however, evolved on a circumstantial basis. As men took their wives more seriously and showed them more value, love grew as time did with them.
Does marriage entail happiness in the long run? On a study on the happiness in marriage and life, researchers stated that “one’s own marital satisfaction is a sizable and significant correlate of life satisfaction and momentary happiness. The protective effects of marriage for physical and emotional well-being are widely documented. However, recent research shows that these effects are conditional upon the quality of the marriage; problematic marriages take an emotional toll, whereas high-quality marriages provide benefits, especially for women and older adults” ( Carr et.al.). This significantly demonstrates that a happy married life ensures a satisfied and nurtured well-being in the later parts of our lives.
With the points elaborated and discussed, it is clear that marriage is a significant entity that strengthens the basic unit of society, the family, which ensures a conducive and nurturing environment for our youth to grow up in. It was also discussed that having a joyful and celebrated married life is a life-long journey that makes life’s struggles a bit easier. A ceremony that started as a complimentary piece for an organized system grew into a beautiful and nurturing bondage of love and compassion that bares new life. Are you ready to turn the veil over?
Carr, Deborah, et al. “Happy Marriage, Happy Life? Marital Quality and Subjective Well-Being in Later Life.” Journal of Marriage and Family, vol. 76, no. 5, 2014, 10.1111/jomf.12133. Accessed 24 June 2018.
“The Origins of Marriage.” The Week, The Week Publications Inc., 1 January 2007, theweek.com/articles/528746/origins-marriage. Accessed 23 June 2018.
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