Why Do People Marry

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Why Do People Marry? There are many different reasons why people get married. For some marriage is something of a romantic notion, to have someone in their lives to love or be loved by, someone who will be their lifetime companion. For them it is a buffer against one of the biggest modern day ills; the despair of feeling isolated in a cold world. However, others marry because of the desire to have children, to increase financial security such as a home or even health insurance, or to achieve some type of status such as, wealth, fame, political, or social class.

The traditional marriages of long ago, was primarily centered on maintaining social respectability and proper image within the community and one's own family, and with little regard for love or personal desire. Individuals were prohibited from marrying outside of their socioeconomic class, race, or religion. With the exception of those who willingly marry to increase or obtain wealth through social status, fewer people today in the U.S.

still practice this type of traditional marriage.

Today, the attitudes of most individuals in the U.S. and the western world is that " if I choose to marry outside of my race, religion, or social class, that is my business, after all, I am not marrying my family, my church, my community, or the American society". Because of this growing individualistic concern, and freedom to select their own mates, most people now settle down to fulfill their own personal desires. Proof of this can be seen with the growing number of interracial and interfaith marriages, and the struggles to legalize same sex unions.

Still in other parts of the world, marriages of a "social contract" is very much a part of their norm. For millions of women from Indian and Islamic cultures, arranged marriages is not a matter of choice; it is about the union of two families in a community. These marriages are established in a way to serve many purposes simultaneously, including production, reproduction, and preserving the social relationships between communities.

For the most part, I believe that there is only one thing that all marriages have in common, whether it is love, children, wealth, or social status, people enter marriage in order to obtain something from the union.