A buddy and I were talking about marriage and stuff and I thought I’d share some things that were thrown out in our discussion
Social Anthropologist Edmund Leach defined marriage as a set of legal rules that govern how goods, titles, and social status are handed down from generation to generation. There is no one definition of marriage that account for it’s manifestation cross-culturally. According to Mr Leach, the functions of marriage are as follows:
- Establish the legal father of a woman’s children & vise versa.
- Allow a monopoly on sexual access to each other.
- Establish rights to each others labor.
- Establish rights over property.
- Establish inheritance.
- Establish a “relationship of affinity” between spouses & their relatives.
In most of the world, marriage is not based on romantic love, but on economic considerations. Actually only 300 years ago did marrying for love become popular. For those who feel that marriage is sacred, I’d like to bring up that it was only until 1536 during the Ecumenical Council of Trent that the church decided that marriage was a sacrament. “In both Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures, the law recognized marriage as a “social fact” with certain juridic consequences, but marrying was almost exclusively a family matter, which took place without the necessary involvement of either religious or civil authority. Concerning the council of Trent”
In the 24 session, the council issued decrees on marriage which affirmed the excellence of celibacy, condemned concubinage, and made the validity of marriage dependent upon the wedding taking place before a priest and two witnesses.
The divorce laws and settlements reflect the long history of marriage being a business and not a sacred affair. Are you familiar with the whole Paul Heather Mills divorce debacle. The judge decided McCartney should pay Mills a lump sum of around $33 million, which together with existing assets of around $15 million means she will gain a divorce totaling nearly $50 million. Concerning their then four and a half-year old child, Beatrice gets £35,000 a year. Heather Mills wasn’t there when Sir Paul was breaking history. Why does she deserve all that money ?
Paul McCartney is a special case because of his celebrity and wealth. However many everyday guys have been crippled by divorce. My brother in law went through a divorce recently and was just awful. It is unclear to me knowing that everything you worked for can be taken away because of some antiquated laws and mindsets, why any guy would want to enter into marriage ? By the way more than 2/3 of all divorces are initiated by women. Most of them are not for valid reasons like infidelity or abuse anymore.
Decades ago, family structures were such that most men went to work and most women tended the home, partly because open discrimination against women in the workplace was widely accepted and women couldn’t get a fair shake in the working world. The laws of the time reflected that reality, providing married women with various financial protections in case of divorce. At the same time, laws assumed that women were better suited to nurturing and raising children than men, so the kids usually ended up with mom. The world has changed, but the divorce courts have lagged behind
- Permanent alimony still persists in some states meaning that men may be financially indebted to ex-wives for the rest of their lives, even if the marriage was extremely brief and both partners are employed.
- Today men receive custody in only 10-15 percent of cases.
- Family courts are structured in a way that makes it particularly challenging for a man to dispute paternity. Some states have statutes of limitations on a man’s right to request a paternity test in Texas, it’s four years.
I think there are significant numbers of guys turned off to the idea of marriage. Do you feel it’s valid? What are your thoughts