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What Is—Or Should Be—The Purpose Of Marriage? Who Should Be Allowed To Marry, And Why?

889 words - 4 pages

According to Coontz, marriage usually determines the, “rights and obligations connected to sexuality, gender roles, relationships with in-laws, and legitimacy of children” (32). Marriage also defines the mutual duties of husband and wife. However, all the expectations we have developed about marriage are not always met. While I do agree with Coontz in that marriage is an equal partnership, I also believe that people should marry because of love. As I see it, based on all the readings and discussions, I believe that the purpose of marriage is to settle down with a partner you love that you can depend on.
Unfortunately, many of the marriages today rarely have love as a main element in their marital success. In the Western model, people expect marriage to please their psychological and social needs (Coontz 23). More specifically, marriage is supposed to be free of the coercion violence, and gender inequalities that were tolerated in the past (Coontz 23). However, I do not understand how one’s partner can choose to stay in marriage and fulfill their spouse’s psychological and social needs if they do not love them. Why stay in marriage and support each other if you have no desire to actually be with them? I understand that there are those who simply marry because they cannot financially survive on their own, but what happens when the money runs out? I have always been told that I need to be financially stable in order to support my family but when things get tough, I want to know that my partner will be there by my side, working together, towards a solution. I strongly feel that when people marry for other reasons not including love, this is when divorces occur.
Other problems that we face with marriage is the fact that there a number of individuals against gay marriages. But what many do not understand is that gay marriages are no different from heterosexual marriages. Both types of marriages, “squabble over inheritances, epitaphs, hospital decisions, breakups” (Graff 349). There are also those who argue tradition and claim that the “sanctity of marriage” is simply between a man and a woman to create and raise God’s children (Gomes 18). However, as Gomes puts it, “God is an optional party to a marriage in the United States. The real foundation of a marriage is having a legally recognized relationship between two people…” (18). In other words, people can try and argue that gay marriages should not be allowed because of the biblical texts, but it is our decision to determine if we want to include God in our marriages. Marriage is legally between two people, two people meaning anyone you choose to spend...

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