The Advantages and Disadvantages of Marriage
Marriage has been a part of human culture for thousands of years, almost all cultures and religions on the planet have some sort of partnership ceremony. In some cultures, men are allowed to have multiple wives; however, in most places marriage is limited to one man and one woman.
In recent times, marriage has become less popular, especially in developed countries. The institution suffered a dramatic decline in the middle-to-late twentieth century—partly due to increased divorce rates, but also because many couples have chosen not to marry at all.
The traditional concept of marriage has also been challenged in recent years by gay couples, who believe that they should have the same opportunities to get wed as straight couples. Below are what I believe to be the main advantages and disadvantages of marriage.
My husband and I are the best of friends, first and foremost. We fight like cats and dogs, but we never stay mad for long. I was lucky to find him—he is in every way, my soulmate.— Carnie Wilson
Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.— Franz Schubert
Advantages of Marriage
- Most human beings are not solitary and crave companionship. Life is enhanced when experiences can be shared with another person who loves you and has similar interests and concerns.
- Most cultures have religious reasons for getting married. A religious marriage can be a way for a couple to deepen their bonds to each other, as well as help them form a deeper relationship with God and receive His blessing.
- With or without religion, marriage is an accepted way for two people to show their commitment to each other. Couples who marry have been statistically shown to be together longer and are more likely to bond for life.
- Marriage benefits society generally because it is associated with stable families. Stable families produce happier children and a more stable society with less crime and other social problems.
In marriage there are no manners to keep up, and beneath the wildest accusations no real criticism. Each is familiar with that ancient child in the other who may erupt again. We are not ridiculous to ourselves. We are ageless. That is the luxury of the wedding ring.— Enid Bagnold
- There are often financial benefits associated with marriage. Taxes are often lower. Other financial issues associated with legalities such as inheritance can be easier to sort out when a couple is married.
- Marriage is about sharing burdens and responsibilities and that can mean less stress, both in terms of practicalities and also with emotional problems. Raising a child, for example, is relatively easier for two parents than it is for one.
- Marriage gives a child two parents, which can help a child to develop into a balanced and happy adult. Children have two different role models to look up to and twice as much potential support, emotionally and practically.
- Marriage promises and helps deliver a happy sex life. Partners can get to know and fulfill each others' desires in a trusting long-term relationship. Monogamy also reduces health risks such as sexually transmitted diseases.
Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory.— Abraham Lincoln
Disadvantages of Marriage
- Fidelity is not a natural state for human beings, especially when they are young adults and their sex drive is at its strongest. Most married sex lives fade over time, which can lead to affairs and other forms of infidelity, such as the use of prostitutes, even in the most well-intentioned people.
- Many couples get stuck in a rut, repeating the same arguments over and over. The key differences in their personalities never go away. Petty problems, irritating habits, become magnified over time.
- Marriage restricts the freedom of the individual. Single people can happily live their lives pretty much as they please without having to be concerned with the needs or wishes of others.
- Marriage means that couples have to deal with their partner’s family, which can be a source of problems and conflict.
- Getting married can add lots of extra bureaucracy and red tape to a relationship, especially when the wife changes her name and official documents such as social security and driving licenses have to be changed.
One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.— Oscar Wilde
- Society has moved on and the traditional idea of marriage is outdated. Rather than seeing marriage as the single way that people should follow, we should embrace the various different sorts of human relationships and treat them all equally, such as one parent families, homosexual relationships, etc.
- Relationships should be purely personal and less formal. Marriage is about seeking approval from the civil authorities or a religion, when it should just be the two people in the relationship that matter.
- There can sometimes be situations where there are financial disadvantages to being married. Divorce costs can also be huge if you make a mistake and marry the wrong person.
- Marriage ceremonies can be very expensive and extremely stressful. It is not uncommon for relatives to take over and the couple's wishes to be sidelined.
- Marriage can extend the time that couples stay together in a bad or unhealthy relationship, when it would be better if they split – for instance, where the couple are clearly ill-suited, or even where there is physical or emotional abuse going on, they may be tempted to stay together because of religious or cultural taboos over breaking up the marriage.
But marriage goes in waves. You've got to be patient. People bail and give up on their marriages way too early. They just don't put the work and the effort into it. You've got to suck up your ego a lot of times, because that can be a big downfall.— Anna Benson
Do you think marriage is a good thing overall?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
- Helpful 105
What are the disadvantages of marrying young?
Disadvantages might include: low income due to lack of career advancement, restrictions on where you live and work because you have to take your partner into account, people live a long time nowadays so you will be together for decades, people can change a lot over a period of just ten years when they're young, as well as people choose their partners more wisely with the extra experience of age.Helpful 22
Does traditional marriage offer more advantages for men rather than women?
Modern attitudes tend to emphasize ideas of equality much more than they did in the past. Historically, married men were expected to be the main breadwinner in a marriage, and the wife's role was more centered around childcare, housekeeping, and other domestic chores. In a traditional marriage, men tend to have a higher status, have more involved careers and jobs, take more of the important household decisions, and play less of a direct role in childcare and many of the mundane household tasks.Helpful 12
What problems can in-laws create for a woman in a marriage?
There are numerous ways that the husband's family can create problems for you as the wife, four of the most common include:
1. The in-laws are over-sensitive and grill you for information. They regularly complain that they aren't getting enough attention, or that they are being mistreated.
2. The in-laws are over-controlling; if you arrange anything with them, they insist on being in charge.
3. The in-laws don't respect boundaries; they turn up uninvited and unexpected to visit grandchildren. They also don't respect your plans and wishes.
4. The in-laws are religiously or politically fundamentalist; they lecture you and your family on how you should live your lives.Helpful 11
How do governments promote marriage?
Governments generally use laws, budget allocations, and administrative regulations that work in the favor of married people to promote wedlock. For instance, married couples can be granted tax breaks, or more favorable inheritance laws. At the same time, governments might use the same tools to discourage unmarried couples, or single parents.Helpful 9
© 2011 Paul Goodman