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The gradual developing institution of marriage

Piloting love, commitment and change

By chimdi divine Published about a month ago 3 min read
The gradual developing institution of marriage
Photo by Andres Molina on Unsplash

Throughout human history, marriage has been one of the fundamental institutions of society. It is the union between two people who love each other and whom commitment, and frequently, tradition, bind. Marriage has changed considerably over the years due to cultural, religious, and legal factors. Marriage is currently changing dramatically due to the people’s recent romantic experience and the increasing number of divorces.

The essence of marriage is the deepest connection between two people, the promise to go through life side by side, in sorrow and in joy, to build a common future. This concept goes beyond religion, people of different nationalities and faiths unite it. In addition to the definition in the dictionary, the concept of marriage can have different meanings. In history, marriage was concluded for coefficient reasons, for the continuation of the clan, and it was not allowed to reject the chosen spouse due to his position. Some of these traditions exist to this day, but it is based on feelings, and only “wedding formalities” bear repetition.

One of the most important changes in the institution of marriage is concerned with gender roles and equality. In the past, when traditional family values were predominant, gender roles were clearly structured. Husbands and wives had a much more distinct pattern of behavior that needed to be followed. However, feminist movement and changing social norms challenged these values and established equal rights and mutual respect in the relationship. In most cases, spouses are equal partners, and their relationship is not in a hierarchical structure. Modern marriages are not linked to specific gender responsibilities. Instead, spouses adopt roles based on the specific strengths and abilities, rather than the gender-predefined role. Such equality in marriage is much more fulfilling for both partners as equals.

Besides, another important change happening to marriage is the shift towards acceptance of various relationship and family types. With society growing more tolerant and open, the traditional definition of marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman is no longer a fit for many. As a result, the traditional understanding of love and commitment has expanded to include love and marriage between representatives of the same sex, representatives of various races, and representatives of various religions and cultures . Moreover, non-traditional commitment models, such as co-habitations, also question the traditional trait of marriage as a marriage pattern. Many couples prefer to live together and build their lives as a family without a legal marriage . Although some argue that this fact indicates a rejection of traditional values, others prefer to see it as a related factor.

While the transformations are continuing, marriage as an institution remains on thin ice filled with challenges and ambiguities. In the modern world, economic pressures, rapid changes in social norms, and the influence of technology on relationships shape the ways couples make way through their marriages. For example, the era of online dating, social media promoting diverse images of oneself, and remote work provides new spaces for connection and possibility but also creates challenges in bridging distances and nurturing closeness with a partner. Nevertheless, marriage remains the resilient and adaptive institution that can accommodate and rationalize couples’ needs. Couples can have access to suitable resources to maintain their relationships, such as professional premarital counseling, couples’ therapy, and other sources of strength and reconciliation.

To sum up, marriage is a complex and diverse structure that adapts to societal change over time. Although core beliefs such as love, cooperation, and permanent collaboration do not shift, the idea and implementation of marriage have changed with the culmination of cultural, social, and technological advancement. As society becomes more inclusive of new forms of family and relationships, the basic concept of marriage does not require one to stand up to traditions but is rather composed of the shared respect, assistance, and the love that two persons are capable and willing to provide to each other.

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