Pros and cons of marriage: is marriage outdated?

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is marriage an outdated institution?

We discuss the pros and cons of marriage and if it is an outdated institution. Why marry if the divorce rate is so high? Is it good for relationships? Join our discussion and vote in our poll.


Is marriage outdated?

What is Marriage? Marriage, wedlock or matrimony, is the process by which two people make official their relationship and join an intimate union and equal partnership. In addition to love, there is a variety of reasons why people marry, such as, social, legal,  financial and religious purposes. Marriage is a permanent status that lasts until the death of one of the two members or until the union is broken by another legal procedure called divorce. Marriage usually entails a public ceremony and establishes a series of legal obligations and rights between the two persons, as well as between them, their children and in-laws.

Traditionally marriage took place only between people of opposite sexes, but over the last few years an increasing number of countries allow same-sex marriage. Similarly, at least in Western countries, it is commonly socially accepted that partners live together before getting married, and many have children without getting married. Thanks to cohabitation many think marriage is outdated, not necessary anymore. Moreover cohabitation has contributed to reduce divorce rates in many Western countries. However, divorce rates remain very high in countries such as the United States, Cuba, France, Luxemburg, Estonia and Spain. In those countries about half of the marriages will end up in divorce in the long run. The role of the state in marriage has grown, for instance Massachusetts began requiring marriage licenses, in 1639, and by the nineteenth century all states requested them.

Historically, marriage was often not a free choice but part of strategic alliances between families, tribes, or countries. Marriages were arranged between children, or between adults and children. Monogamy was not always so predominant, and marriage between family members was a common practice also. In some ancient cultures men could divorce and take another wife if the woman was infertile. Women in most parts of the world were expected not to refuse to procreate. In the United States marital rape was legal in several states until the 1970s. Gender inequality, different obligations and gender-based roles were the norm. Promiscuity is another area in which men and women have been treated differently. Societies have been much more permissive with men's infidelity.

But is marriage worth it? Let's discuss the pros and cons of getting married.

Pros and cons of marriage list

Advantages of marriage:

  • The ceremony and the party is usually real fun. Those close to the spouses meet drink, eat, dance and have a very special moment which will be remembered for long time.
  • A wedding is a perfect opportunity to meet the family of the spouses, and for them to meet each other and establish friendship.
  • Matrimony can serve to give a new impulse to a romantic decision. Partners put a lot of dedication in planning the ceremony and trying to please each other. The newlyweds feel they have been the protagonist of a beautiful story after the wedding. And that story is only beginning.
  • Marriage is an institution with important benefits from the point of view of taxes. Matrimony is often a good financial decision.
  • Spouses usually receive many gifts and the honeymoon is for many people the most beautiful trip of their lives.
  • Making public and official a relationship through a wedding has an important psychological impact and normally increases commitment to the relationship.
  • For children it is sometimes difficult to explain to others that their parents are not married.
  • Fitting with the social and religious traditions of a given society is seen a pro by many. A married couple may be granted a better status than one which simply lives in cohabitation. 

Disadvantages of marriage

  • Organising a wedding is very expensive and time consuming.
  • Sometimes weddings are boring and often very expensive and inconvenient for the guests. Many of them are not genuinely enthusiastic about going to the ceremony, but they have little choice. 
  • The stress generated during the planning and organization of a wedding may harm negatively the relationship. 
  • If a relationship is very good as it is, why taking the risk of going through such process?
  • Commitment phobia can be for many a real con of marriage. Some individuals suffer from having to restrict their social choices and having more formal obligations toward another person.
  • Marriage, in many parts of the world, is still today a mysogynistic and gender biased tradition. Women are "given away" and not always by their choice. Marriage entails in some countries an imposition of difficult obligations to women. Marriage may alter drastically their previous social lives.
  • Divorce rate is very high. Why put all that effort into organizing a wedding and making public a relationship if in half of the cases it will finish in a divorce?
  • In many Western countries marriage is not necessary anymore given that partners can be granted similar rights and fiscal advantages by civil unions and other legal procedures. For some people marriage is outdated and a social imposition to people.

Is marriage such a good idea?  Is marriage really an old-fashion institution? Do you find marriage a social imposition? Vote in our poll and tell us what your views are in the comment section below.

Check out these videos about the history of marriage and why many people are not getting married anymore




Pros and cons of marriage: is marriage outdated? Vote and share your ideas about marriage and its impact on relationships and family

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Pros and cons of marriage: is marriage outdated?

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