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Why Doesn't Love Serve as the Primary Basis for Marriage?

A union founded solely on love will result in an unhappy and unhealthy partnership for both partners.

By Barry KowaskiPublished about a month ago 4 min read

Why Doesn't Love Serve as the Primary Basis for Marriage?

Answers to humans' millionth questions are undoubtedly varied, such as "What is love?"

Love is accepting all a spouse has to offer, good and bad.

The decision of two persons to get married strengthens the meaning. "We are one after marriage; it's no longer mine, yours, or mine." It is now our job, not mine or yours. "It's not just me and you, but us now," is a typical declaration given to a life companion.

The woman, who goes by Kimberly, has other disagreements with marriage. She says compatibility is more important in a marriage than simply accepting a partner's flaws and shortcomings. "Of the boys who were close to me at that time, I was most comfortable with my current husband," Kimberly stated.

Her romance phase at that time served as a crucial starting point for her home life since she knew that unforeseen issues would be ahead.

Results from her and her husband's affection. Their unity is put to the test as they raise their kids. Parental responsibilities even extend to the two daughters' marriages. "The recipe for a lasting relationship with you is the key to mutual respect," she said.

Even though he is married, Robert holds a different opinion. He believes that many of the topics people discuss about marriage are unimportant.

He believes that there are numerous factors to consider before getting married.

"Marriage is not just about today or tomorrow, but about how the offspring will continue after the married couple dies," he stated.

Robert purposefully married to abide by social standards and legal requirements. He believes that individuals can still reach compromises without marriage.

Does Marriage Have to Be the End of Love?

Many individuals desire a passionate love life that lasts until death. Romantic love is a recent development, as historian Stephanie Coontz demonstrates in her book Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage (2005). Very few people married for love before 300 years ago.

Irish playwright and literary critic George Bernard Shaw illustrates marriage at the beginning of Coontz's Marriage, a History. Shaw sees marriage as an institution that uses the most flimsy and crazy feelings to unite two people. Shaw's logic is based on a pledge that two drunken lovers had signed to stay together until death.

According to Coontz's remarks, cultures worldwide refrain from prioritizing sentiments over more significant links, such as those to one's parents, siblings, cousins, neighbours, or even God.

For instance, in ancient Indian civilization, falling in love before marriage was considered unjustified and possibly even antisocial. Coontz believes that in the past, love in China was a sign of insanity that might be cured by marriage. If a couple's love is so great that it interferes with their capacity to carry out their everyday tasks, their family may even force them to divorce.

During the time of Capellanus, marriage was typically arranged for political or economic motives. It is in relationships with concubines that people find love, not in marriage.

In this work, Coontz also alludes to the romance between French monk Peter Abelard and Heloise, a nun from Notre Dame. Despite eloping, they did not get married until they had a child.

Initially, Abelard asked Heloise to wed secretly to avoid sin. Heloise turned down the offer, arguing that getting married would be risky for their love and Abelard's work.

According to Aaron Ben-Zeev's essay in Psychology Today, marriage is becoming more critical because of intense love.

However, due to passionate love, marriage turns into a precarious situation. If those emotions vanish, people may consider divorcing their spouse or, at the very least, make an effort to reach a solution. Ben-Zeev is an Israeli philosophy professor at the University of Haifa. This year saw the publication of his book, The Arc of Love: How Our Romantic Lives Change Over Time.

The Essence of Marriage Is Not Love

It's common to view love as the foundation of marriage. Ben-Zeev offered two arguments against this. The first is that, among many other things, marriage provides a foundation for cohabitation. Secondly, experiencing intense love is fleeting.

Given the relatively high divorce rate, Tim Lott, the family affairs columnist for the Guardian, even questions the existence of happy marriages. Lott even has misgivings about married couples. In Lott's opinion, some couples decide to stay together due to a fear of loneliness, having children, or having money issues.

Lott gives the example of his own married life. Long after his first marriage ended in divorce, he started a new story with someone else.

According to Lott, spending years with one person in a volatile relationship is the biggest issue with marriage. Marital relationships now revolve around compromise and negotiation rather than happiness and misery.

Lott mentions three significant keys to married life. First, compelling dialogue. Second, respect is more important than love. Respect endures a lifetime, but love is fleeting. Thirdly, trust is the most challenging foundation to establish, particularly for those who have experienced relationship disappointment. Here, trust is not necessarily about adultery but also broken little promises, malice, and unfulfilled hopes.

The social and economic facets are equally significant, as the well-being of the pair plays a crucial role in a marriage. According to TD Bank's "Love and Money" poll, 78% of participants felt comfortable discussing money with their spouse, while 36% of couples had monthly arguments about money.

Up to 90% of happy couples talk about money once a month, compared to 68% of unhappy couples who don't. The report said that having conversations is one of the secrets to happy relationships.


About the Creator

Barry Kowaski

Barry enthusiastically writes honest love and relationship essays. His themes are love, commitment, and emotional connection. His kind words and relevant experiences offer practical advice and deep love insights.

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    Barry KowaskiWritten by Barry Kowaski

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