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What is marriage?

Sheldon

Veteran Member
From a religious perspective, what is marriage to you?

If you're not religious, what is marriage to you?

Nowadays, marriage is a legally binding relationship, but is that what it's supposed to be?

In your eyes, can you be "married" without the government saying you are married?

When I was a Christian, I understood marriage was an image of your relationship with God. That's why it's so sacred and no cheating is allowed.

I guess I still feel like that.

It's an outdated concept that has failed to keep up with changing cultural and economic facts of life, and is no longer fit for purpose, if indeed it ever was. Though that's just a subjective observation of course.
 

Sheldon

Veteran Member
It comes from natural law, ius naturalis.
Two people love each other and want to share something.

They don't need a legally binding financial contract for that. In the UK it basically means all assets will be split 50/50 in the event of a divorce as a starting point.

If you are considering marriage and have any assets you aren't happy to hand over half of, get a pre-nup.
 

Sheldon

Veteran Member
I think it is this:

and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall join to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?’
So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, don’t let man tear apart.”

Matt. 19:5-6

Because of that, I think when man and woman have sex, from that point they are married.

That's not how the law views it in the UK, nor I am guessing in the US.

What about 2 women, or two men, when they have sex what happens? What if there's three or more involved? An orgy might have huge legal ramifications if your claim were true.
 

crossfire

LHP Mercuræn Feminist Heretic Bully ☿
Premium Member
From a religious perspective, what is marriage to you?

If you're not religious, what is marriage to you?

Nowadays, marriage is a legally binding relationship, but is that what it's supposed to be?

In your eyes, can you be "married" without the government saying you are married?

When I was a Christian, I understood marriage was an image of your relationship with God. That's why it's so sacred and no cheating is allowed.

I guess I still feel like that.
From a Buddhist perspective, marriage is a wholly (pardon the pun) secular affair (again, pardon the pun.)
 

Jayhawker Soule

-- untitled --
Premium Member
From a religious perspective, what is marriage to you?

Marriage is a covenant.

When I was a Christian, I understood marriage was an image of your relationship with God. That's why it's so sacred and no cheating is allowed. ...

"That's why"? So, absent your theology cheating would be fine for both you and your spouse? Rather than talking about God and sanctity, I prefer to think in terms of ethics, love for my wife, and respect for the covenant,
 

HonestJoe

Well-Known Member
From a religious perspective, what is marriage to you?

If you're not religious, what is marriage to you?

Nowadays, marriage is a legally binding relationship, but is that what it's supposed to be?

In your eyes, can you be "married" without the government saying you are married?

When I was a Christian, I understood marriage was an image of your relationship with God. That's why it's so sacred and no cheating is allowed.

I guess I still feel like that.
I think most of the complex comes from the word "marriage", and how it means so many different things in different contexts and from different points of view that really needs to be broken down and considered somewhat separately.

There is the legally recognised agreement, essentially a contract between the two (usually) people and the state and like a contact, setting out a number of rights and responsibilities for all parties. This has several social, legal and political benefits, though it can be limiting to anyone in legitimate but unconventional relationships.

There is the personal relationship, a couple (again, usually) just agreeing between themselves the structure of their long-term intimate relationship. While that traditionally would have included legal marriage, it never strictly needed to and obviously increasingly doesn't. I don't think the long-term relationships that don't involve legal marriage are automatically any less significant or secure than marriages.

There is also the religious aspects, which can vary significantly between religions and regions. Elements of religious marriages is really jut an aspect of the legal side from when and where established religion essentially was the state. Other elements is the aim to solidify religious rules and structures in to the core social structures, especially in the context of raising children.

I'm obviously biased, but I think it's clear that the religious aspect of marriage (legal or informal) isn't a requirement but is fine for those who want it. There can be a problem where religious marriage is the only form of marriage officially recognised or accepted, though these days that is less of an issue, in the West at least.

Ultimately, I don't feel it is the nature (or lack) of the marriage that is important but the nature of the relationship. If people have something that works for them and doesn't harm anyone else, I don't see why there should be any concern either way.
 

pearl

Well-Known Member
In your eyes, can you be "married" without the government saying you are married?

Maybe thirty or so years ago that was a popular question, and many decided that a 'piece of paper' did not make a marriage.

When I was a Christian, I understood marriage was an image of your relationship with God. That's why it's so sacred and no cheating is allowed.

As a Catholic marriage and family and relationships are to be the image of the Trinity. In the sacrament of marriage, it is the couple that marry before God with the priest's role as witness to the marriage.
 

TagliatelliMonster

Veteran Member
If you're not religious, what is marriage to you?

A contract for fiscal and inheritance purposes.
A way to make the government officially known of you being a couple which allows them to treat you both as a single fiscal entity.

It means nothing to me other then that.

Nowadays, marriage is a legally binding relationship, but is that what it's supposed to be?

I hope not.
I think the idea of a "legally binding" relationship is the most unromantic thing ever.
I don't require a "binding contract" for loyalty or love.

In your eyes, can you be "married" without the government saying you are married?

No.
Except perhaps in the "philosophical" / "metaphorical" way. I've been with my wife (*) for over 25 years. We have 2 kids and a house. We are not married (but we plan to, for fiscal and inheritance reasons).
Yet, I always say that I've been married in my heart for a really long time already. Hence why I also call her my "wife". The term "girlfriend" simply doesn't do a relationship of +25 year with 2 kids and a house any justice.

In my mind, we are "married". But not legally.

When I was a Christian, I understood marriage was an image of your relationship with God. That's why it's so sacred and no cheating is allowed.

So when you are just in a relationship and aren't married, cheating is allowed?

I don't get that.
This is why I don't "believe" in marriage (other then for the fiscal bit).

I don't require that piece of paper to be loyal.
I don't require that piece of paper to expect loyalty.
I don't require that piece of paper to not cheat or expect not to be cheated on.

I don't require that piece of paper for anything other then fiscal things.

If we would go to city hall later today and get married, my life will stay exactly the same, except for the fiscal bit.

It would give me no incentive whatsoever to change anything about my behavior, my love, my loyalty... anything. Our lives would remain the exact same. It won't change anything in terms of behavior and commitment. To the actual relationship, it is completely irrelevant. Of no consequence.
 

TagliatelliMonster

Veteran Member
Yes .. but if "the state" is secular, it no longer has any real meaning.

That makes no sense.
A legal agreement is a legal agreement.
In fact, a legal agreement ONLY has meaning if there IS a state involved (secular or otherwise).

"legal agreements" are meaningless if there is no state / legality involved.

Marriage really applies to a religious community, who takes adultery seriously.

By "adultery", do you mean "cheating"?
I take cheating very seriously. Regardless of marriage.

In ANY partnership, cheating is a serious offense. And I'm not just talking about romantic partnerships. I'm talking across the board.

Cheating is serious business when there is commitment. Regardless if that commitment exists in context of a marriage or not.

It protects the citizens in the 'parish' from abomination such as rape, and protects the family institution.

Yes, because everybody knows that rapists only go for women who don't have a ring on their fingers. :-S

Also I don't see how marriage apparently "protects the family institution".

What "protection" does my "family institution" not have today due to me and my other half not being married as opposed to when we would be married?

Pray tell...........
 

Truth in love

Well-Known Member
From a religious perspective, what is marriage to you?

If you're not religious, what is marriage to you?

Nowadays, marriage is a legally binding relationship, but is that what it's supposed to be?

In your eyes, can you be "married" without the government saying you are married?

When I was a Christian, I understood marriage was an image of your relationship with God. That's why it's so sacred and no cheating is allowed.

I guess I still feel like that.

After a story about caring for silverware.
“For years I thought she was just a little bit eccentric, and then one day I realized that she had known for a long time something that I was just beginning to understand. If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.
Eternal marriage is just like that. We need to treat it just that way. I pray that we may see it for the priceless gift that it is,” -F. Burton Howard.

“Heavenly Father has given us the law of eternal marriage so we can become like Him. The Lord has said:
“In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
“And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
“And if he does not, he cannot obtain it” (D&C 131:1–3).” -Gospel principles Ch 38


In short it is the central vital work of our lives. As a side note it also is very useful in minimizing poverty, crime child abuse etc.
 

Goldemar

A queer sort
After a story about caring for silverware.
“For years I thought she was just a little bit eccentric, and then one day I realized that she had known for a long time something that I was just beginning to understand. If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.
Eternal marriage is just like that. We need to treat it just that way. I pray that we may see it for the priceless gift that it is,” -F. Burton Howard.

“Heavenly Father has given us the law of eternal marriage so we can become like Him. The Lord has said:
“In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
“And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
“And if he does not, he cannot obtain it” (D&C 131:1–3).” -Gospel principles Ch 38


In short it is the central vital work of our lives. As a side note it also is very useful in minimizing poverty, crime child abuse etc.

How does marriage minimise poverty, crime, and child abuse exactly?
 

Truth in love

Well-Known Member
How does marriage minimise poverty, crime, and child abuse exactly?

Many ways.
A few bits on poverty
https://www.heritage.org/marriage-and-family/commentary/marriage-important-key-avoiding-poverty
Get educated, get married, stay married: an anti-poverty program that works | National Post
Unmarried fathers are unreliable in terms of finical support. Up to2/3rds of the income disproportionality between Caucasian and African American households can be attributed to family structure (Popenoe 54).

Single mother households are poor and stay poor long term. 94% of AFDC families are single parent households. (Popenoe 54)

Children in single parent households have less than 1/3rd the median per capita income as children in two parent families. (the forgoing data was from the 70’s to the mid 90’s).

Sigle-Rushton and McLanahan (2002) estimated that 46.5 percent of unwed single mothers would leave poverty if they were married to the father of
their children.

In 2003 mother only homes are over 4 times as likely to be in poverty vs. homes with father’s present. Median income of married households with children was 2.4 times higher than single mother homes. Thomas and Sawhill (2002) estimated that 65.4 percent of single-mother families would leave poverty if marriage rates retuned to 1971 levels.

In 2005, the median household incomes of married couples with children and single-mothers were $65,906 and $27,244, respectively.

12% of homes with fathers where in poverty in 2011 vs. 44% of mother only households. (US census bureau)



Crime

Delinquency rates 10-15% higher in single parent homes. Married fathers have low crime rates ( Popenoe 74)

Children in single parent settings 2x as likely (step parent 3x) to commit a crime leading to incarceration by age 30.

Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds.
Source: Harper, Cynthia C. and Sara S. McLanahan. “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration.” Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (September 2004): 369-397.
Unmarried women are 3.48- 5.19X likely to be physically abused as married women. It appears that as family stability declines violence raises.
NCVS data 1992-2001 never married women suffer a little over 2x the domestic abuse and over 2x the violent crime abuse as women who have been married.

Abuse

Sexual abuse of children rate is 2.38X higher in female headed households vs. general population. (66) step fathers abuse daughter 7x more often. (when you factor in time spent this impact is in more drastic) and it is more severe (68). Also the more dad is in the home early and the more he cares for his child the less likely he is to abuse them. Paternal confidence is a deterrent to child sexual abuse. (69)

...data show that rates of serious abuse of children are lowest in the intact married family but six times higher in the step family, 14 times higher in the always-single-mother family, 20 times higher in cohabiting-biological parent families, and 33 times higher when the mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend who is not the father of her children. Data from Fagan, "The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family and the American Community."

Both single mothers and single father are more violent towards their children than married parents. (70)

Mom’s boyfriend commits 27X the amount of abuse they “should” based on time spent with children. (70)

Living with 1 bio and one step parent places children at 40X the risk of being a “child abuse statistic” vs. children living with both bio parents. (71)
 

muhammad_isa

Well-Known Member
Also I don't see how marriage apparently "protects the family institution".

Pray tell...........
We've had this discussion before, and you get "heated"..
Adultery carries a severe penalty in the Bible & Qur'an..
It makes people think twice before engaging in extramarital activity.
Naturally, that protects the family. If you can't see how, then..
 

Goldemar

A queer sort
Many ways.
A few bits on poverty
https://www.heritage.org/marriage-and-family/commentary/marriage-important-key-avoiding-poverty
Get educated, get married, stay married: an anti-poverty program that works | National Post
Unmarried fathers are unreliable in terms of finical support. Up to2/3rds of the income disproportionality between Caucasian and African American households can be attributed to family structure (Popenoe 54).

Single mother households are poor and stay poor long term. 94% of AFDC families are single parent households. (Popenoe 54)

Children in single parent households have less than 1/3rd the median per capita income as children in two parent families. (the forgoing data was from the 70’s to the mid 90’s).

Sigle-Rushton and McLanahan (2002) estimated that 46.5 percent of unwed single mothers would leave poverty if they were married to the father of
their children.

In 2003 mother only homes are over 4 times as likely to be in poverty vs. homes with father’s present. Median income of married households with children was 2.4 times higher than single mother homes. Thomas and Sawhill (2002) estimated that 65.4 percent of single-mother families would leave poverty if marriage rates retuned to 1971 levels.

In 2005, the median household incomes of married couples with children and single-mothers were $65,906 and $27,244, respectively.

12% of homes with fathers where in poverty in 2011 vs. 44% of mother only households. (US census bureau)



Crime

Delinquency rates 10-15% higher in single parent homes. Married fathers have low crime rates ( Popenoe 74)

Children in single parent settings 2x as likely (step parent 3x) to commit a crime leading to incarceration by age 30.

Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds.
Source: Harper, Cynthia C. and Sara S. McLanahan. “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration.” Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (September 2004): 369-397.
Unmarried women are 3.48- 5.19X likely to be physically abused as married women. It appears that as family stability declines violence raises.
NCVS data 1992-2001 never married women suffer a little over 2x the domestic abuse and over 2x the violent crime abuse as women who have been married.

Abuse

Sexual abuse of children rate is 2.38X higher in female headed households vs. general population. (66) step fathers abuse daughter 7x more often. (when you factor in time spent this impact is in more drastic) and it is more severe (68). Also the more dad is in the home early and the more he cares for his child the less likely he is to abuse them. Paternal confidence is a deterrent to child sexual abuse. (69)

...data show that rates of serious abuse of children are lowest in the intact married family but six times higher in the step family, 14 times higher in the always-single-mother family, 20 times higher in cohabiting-biological parent families, and 33 times higher when the mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend who is not the father of her children. Data from Fagan, "The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family and the American Community."

Both single mothers and single father are more violent towards their children than married parents. (70)

Mom’s boyfriend commits 27X the amount of abuse they “should” based on time spent with children. (70)

Living with 1 bio and one step parent places children at 40X the risk of being a “child abuse statistic” vs. children living with both bio parents. (71)

Thanks for taking the time to post the refs.

But most of this seems to be about those who aren't in committed, stable relationships with their partners and any associated offspring. It is perfectly possible to be in a committed, stable relationship without being married.
 

Truth in love

Well-Known Member
Thanks for taking the time to post the refs.

But most of this seems to be about those who aren't in committed, stable relationships with their partners and any associated offspring. It is perfectly possible to be in a committed, stable relationship without being married.

Possible yes. Likely no. I don’t have details on me, but one of things that popped up fairly often when I was digging into this years back is that men rarely stick around outside of marriage.

Some people do very well in car accidents without seatbelts or airbags, but we know that is the exception.

That exceptions are there does not mean the rule is invalid.
 

Goldemar

A queer sort
Possible yes. Likely no. I don’t have details on me, but one of things that popped up fairly often when I was digging into this years back is that men rarely stick around outside of marriage.

Some people do very well in car accidents without seatbelts or airbags, but we know that is the exception.

That exceptions are there does not mean the rule is invalid.

So no specific data for your claim as to men not sticking around outside of marriage.

As to comparing a committed, stable relationship to a car accident...
 

Truth in love

Well-Known Member
So no specific data for your claim as to men not sticking around outside of marriage.

As to comparing a committed, stable relationship to a car accident...
lol an example of rules and exception.

I’ve seen data but I don’t have handy. I’ll see if I can find it.
 
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