The core of our social structure
Marriage is a social institution and a commitment generally taken for life, yet it has a very high rate of failure. Infidelity is common, divorce and remarriage are common practices. In ancient times, sex, intimacy and reproduction was something that just happened in many places, although usually with the blessing of the community.
In many tribal cultures, what we take for marriage was a public acknowledgement of an affection and an agreement to be responsible for consequent children, but monogamy was not necessarily part of the equation.
Within these tribal groups, very few of these 'marriage' relationships were exclusive as it was recognised that attraction between people comes and goes and in effect couples were free to be part of 'other' relationships. Therefore, the concept of infidelity did not exist in many situations although it is highly probable that emotions like jealousy were not uncommon.
In patriarchal societies over the past few thousand years, marriage in common practice meant that the wife was a possession of the husband. As such she was confined to managing the home and raising his children. But for him, he was free to have as many other relationships as he pleased with men or women as was prevalent in Greek and Roman societies.
In Western society the love relationship has developed, but in other countries marriages have been arranged by the families. When we look at modern divorce rates, those in arranged marriages are less likely to divorce than those who have married through personal selection.
Arranged marriages have been a feature of Indian society for thousands of years and a consequence was that a form of selective breeding was taking place (Gotra). A substantial percentage of the population were able to trace family lineages back for thousands of years and the arranged marriages prevented inbreeding and created a healthy population.
The modern marriage within Western society is supposed to be exclusive, yet it has a high failure rate and where there is no outlet for the frustrations that often build up within marriage relationships. The end result is often violence that the authorities attempt to manage by passing new laws that fail to work because the fundamental issues of humanity are not understood or addressed.
Why get married?
- To conform to society, be married and have children.
This is a basic desire to have children and fit into society
- To form an economic unit.
In today's world, marriage is a partnership towards economic sustainability and betterment.
In discussing the pros and cons of marriage, we must ask:
- Who am 'I' who wants marriage?
- Does love matter?
- Do you want to get married?
- Should you get married?
- Does your family want you to?
- Is marriage necessary?
- Will marriage make a better life?
For Marriage to work, there must be:
- love - is key and the most important aspect.
- desire - if you don't' have desire for the other, why bother?
- appreciation - if you cannot appreciate or admire the others qualities, why bother?
- trust - if you cannot trust the other, you are in trouble
- surrender - everything of your past must be given up to the new relationship
Things Guaranteed to Upset a Marriage
- need - if you are in need of being saved, or whatever, get that sorted before entering marriage.
- prenuptial agreement - while this is an important element for a successful marriage, it also indicates the marriage is temporary and at some time doomed to failure. Really you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
- Infidelity - a sure way to strain a relationship even if your not found out.
Why Not To Get Married
Like for getting married, there are many good reasons not to including:
- Knowledge of the truth of ones life path
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Divorce and its consequences
One of the problems with modern relationships is that people enter them with no idea of who they are as an individual. Most people today identify themselves as a body and a personality, but this is so far from the truth.
To put it simply, the human body that you inhabit is something created from all the food that you have ever eaten. Because the body is continuously changing in its own biological way and yet you as a person are changing in a different way, how can you possibly be your body?
The personality is far more fluid. The personality or the ego is that part of oneself that relates to the world and acts within it. The key word here is that life is an 'act' and how we act is a personal choice unless of course we are prisoners.
Creating a successful marriage
To be successful in marriage requires that you are first successful in your own life. However if you are broken person or have not sufficiently established yourself identity and you are relying on the other person to maintain your identity, you are on very shaky ground. Such people typically jump from one relationship to another which is very unfortunate if they are having children along the way.
If you are contemplating getting married, ensure that you are secure your own self-identity. In other words you have to have your feet on the ground and know who you are. You must also create your personality so that you have a conscious and loving disposition, and when your personality is stable and you have a loving disposition you can in fact love anyone.
A person who is a self realised human being will find marriage an enjoyable experience, therefore the path to happiness in marriage is to get to know yourself really well.