Marriage? What is a MARRIAGE?
MW's definition: the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex(same sex) as husband or wife in a consensual and CONTRACTUAL relationship recognized by LAW.
现代汉语词典(Dictionary of Modern Chinese): 1, 婚姻: 因结婚而产生的夫妻关系. 2, 结婚: 男子和女子经过合法手续结合成为夫妻.
So, before we expand our discussion, we had to admit that Marriage is totally different from the state of two people unit together on the basis of deep affection. It's not a inborn attributes of human being, but a acquired, socialized, artificial concept.
And the question is why this acquired concept is made out? what's the difference between an "official" marriage and a state of two people live together on the basis of affection? Two possible answers should be:
1) insecurity: one of the most important human nature. Most people like the word "eternity" and hate any kinds of "uncertainty", but at the same time, admit or not, most people clearly understand that the only eternal thing in the world is uncertainty. Certain
things do exist, but never exist before they are actually happend, and it is just a state of uncertainty. This contradict, the contradict between nature of world and wish of people, leads us to have created so many tools in order to "ensure" something. eg.
all kind of contracts, kinds of collateralizations, FX swaps, and......"official marriage" with certificate issued by government/church and "protected" by kinds of funny laws. One question is why people do not just ensure something by "promises"? it's not
because people are so cynical that no one believe promises, it's because that we clearly know that we are only ABLE to make wishes, but UNABLE to make any promises.
2) governmental preference: maybe the most stable structure of a society is that the society is consist of stable monogamous marrital relationships. In fact, the governments created the concept of marriage, as well as kinds of marriage law. that's why bias
against unmarried and "un-officially married" couple are sort of universial; that's why divorce is always troublesome in most of the countries. No marriage law is set for maintain affection between people, though some legislators do say so, but set for creat
benefit of getting married, and making burdens of divorce.
So, if the question turns to be: live alone or try to find someone, I'll absolutely choose the second one. but if the question keeps unchange, I refuse to anwser.
There are someone who spend rest of their lives with someone they love and care, but this is nothing to do with whether they are married or not. There are someone who got married and never divorced for all their lives, but this is nothing to do with whether
they are happy or not.
Sheryl, very good points!