Marriage is an interpersonal relationship with governmental, social, or religious recognition, usually intimate and sexual, and often created as a contract, or through civil process. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage.
The most common form of marriage unites a man and a woman as husband and wife. Other forms of marriage also exist; for example, polygamy, in which a person takes more than one spouse (marriage partner), is common in many societies.Beginning in 2001, civil marriage in some places has been expanded to include same-sex marriage.
The reasons people marry vary, but usually include one or more of the following: legal, social and economic stability; the formation of a family unit; procreation and the education and nurturing of children; legitimizing sexual relations; public declaration of love.
A marriage is often declared by a wedding ceremony,which may be performed by a religious officiator, through a similar government-sanctioned secular officiator, or (in weddings that have no church or state affiliation) by a trusted friend of the wedding participants. The act of marriage usually creates obligations between the individuals involved, and in many societies, their extended families.
Find a partner
In order to get married, it is necessary to find a suitable partner. A partner may be found by the person wishing to be married via a process of courtship. Alternately, two marriage-able people may be matched by a third party, typically with the match finalized only if both candidates approve the union. This is known as an arranged marriage.
The choice between courtship and arranged marriage is made by the person seeking marriage or by his or her parents. In some cases, the parents will be ready to force an arranged marriage because of cultural tradition (e.g., in the Middle East) or for some other special reason (e.g., dowry). It is worth noting, however, that in many cases the person seeking marriage is comfortable with having his or her marriage arranged and, even disregarding parental preference, would freely choose an arranged marriage. Actual forced marriage is common in only a few communities and often attracts harsh criticism even from people who are generally in favor of arranged marriage.
Given a choice, the preference for the method of courtship or arranged marriage is determined by whether a person believes that marriage should be based on emotion or logic. At one end of the scale is a person who believes that there is only one unique “soul mate” suitable for them. A partner is typically chosen based on the depth of emotional connection experienced with their partner during the courtship phase of the relationship. At the other end of the scale is a person who believes that there are many suitable partners, and typically views marriage chiefly as a means to start a family. The deep emotional bond between partners characteristic of good marriages is more likely to be viewed as something which can be developed through nurture and cultivation with any suitable partner. Most people fall somewhere between these two extremes.
Rights and obligations
Marriage sometimes establishes the legal father of a woman’s child; establishes the legal mother of a man’s child; gives the husband or his family control over the wife’s sexual services, labor, and/or property; gives the wife or her family control over the husband’s sexual services, labor, and/or property; establishes a joint fund of property for the benefit of children; or establishes a relationship between the families of the husband and wife. No society ascribes all of these rights to marriage, and none are universal (see Edmund Leach’s article in “Marriage, Family, and Residence,” edited by Paul Bohannan and John Middleton).
Marriage is not a prerequisite for having children. In the U.S., the National Center for Health Statistics reported that in 1992, 30.1 percent of births were to unmarried women. Some married couples remain childless by choice or due to infertility, age, or other factors preventing reproduction. In some cultures, marriage imposes upon women the obligation to bear children. In northern Ghana, for example, payment of bridewealth signifies a woman’s requirement to bear children, and women using birth control face substantial threats of physical abuse and reprisals.
Most of the world’s major religions tell couples they should marry before having sexual intercourse.They teach that unmarried people should not have sex, which they refer to as fornication. Fornication is sometimes socially discouraged or even criminalized. Sex with a married person other than one’s spouse, called adultery, is universally condemned by all major world religions, and has often been criminalized. It is also against the governing law of the U.S. military. Nevertheless, three recent studies in the U.S. using nationally representative samples have found that about 10-15% of women and 20-25% of men engage in extramarital sex.
Relationship maintenance comprises behaviors partners perform in order to maintain satisfaction and extend the duration of a relationship.
The impact of open marriage on relationships varies across couples, yielding positive, neutral, and negative outcomes. Some couples report high levels of marital satisfaction and have long-lasting open marriages. Other couples drop out of the open marriage lifestyle and return to sexual monogamy. Still other couples experience serious problems and report that open marriage contributed to their divorces. Scientists do not yet understand why some couples respond positively to open marriage while other couples respond negatively.
Scientists cannot yet explain why some couples respond positively to open marriage while other couples respond negatively. Nor can they predict which couples will respond positively or negatively. Consequently, all couples involved in open marriages may want to pay attention to their relationship maintenance behaviors.
The topic of relationship maintenance behaviors is far too broad to cover in a single article. The strategies for maintaining relationships described below are simply a few examples. Readers should be aware there are many strategies for maintaining healthy and happy relationships other than the ones mentioned here.
Six ground rules for managing conflict and maintaining good marital relationships:
o When conflict is escalating, we will call a Time Out or Stop Action and either
(a) try it again, using the Speaker-Listener technique or
(b) agree to talk about the issue later, at a specified time, using the Speaker-Listener technique.
o When we’re having trouble communicating, we will use the Speaker-Listener technique.
o When we’re using the Speaker-Listener technique, we will completely separate problem discussion from problem solution (i.e., we will discuss the nature of the problem before jumping too quickly to finding solutions).
o We can bring up issues at any time, but a partner can say: “This is not a good time.” If a partner doesn’t want to talk at that time, he or she takes responsibility for setting up a time to talk in the near future.
o We will have weekly “couple’s meetings.”
o We will make time for the great things: fun, friendship, and sensuality. We will agree to protect these times from conflict and the need to deal with issues.
The Speaker-Listener technique is a strategy for making communication more emotionally safe. It consists of three sets of rules. Rules that apply to both the Speaker and the Listener are:
o The speaker has the floor.
o Share the floor (i.e., take turns being Speaker).
o No problem solving.
The next set of rules apply to the Speaker:
o Speak for yourself.
o Don’t go on and on.
o Stop and let the listener paraphrase.
The final set of rules apply to the Listener:
o Paraphrase what you hear.
o Focus on the speaker’s message.
o Don’t rebut the speaker.
Using the Speaker-Listener technique in the context of the six ground rules can help couples maintain happier and longer-lasting relationships. Further readres can find more golden rules for a happy and successful marriage at http://www.vivahkalash.com a matrimonial website which provides a healthy platform to it’s subscribers to find out the best possible match. The vivahkalash is a fastest growing matrimonial community in India and other countries like US, UAE, UK, Canada and Pakistan with subscribers base of more than 1 million.