The institution of marriage has many distinct connotations for people all across the world. Therefore, multiple definitions and understandings of marriage result from diverse cultures and beliefs. Considering marriage from the numerous cultural viewpoints that come with it can lead to a variety of misinterpretations of what marriage was intended to be about, which is love. Additionally, as there are many diverse points of view, it helps to think broadly when trying to understand marriage. Therefore, the way a particular culture perceives marriage does not necessarily indicate whether it is right or wrong. Everything is based on a person’s culture, norms, and beliefs. After carrying out interviews with different informants and analyzing several kinds of literature relating to marriage, I gained wider knowledge about the various aspects of marriage. Consequently, the aim of this essay includes to understand the meaning of marriage, its functions, the most common reason people get married, and finally, depict if romantic love plays a significant role in lasting relationships.
There exist various types of marriages that show just how diverse cultures believe in the institution. For instance, the AAA statement of marriage support same-sex couples since the federal court recognizes and supports such unions (Andreatta& Ferraro, 2017). Also, the report shares that is the right of every same-sex marriage to receive equal treatment under the law just as heterosexual couples. Consequently, the recognition of such marriages primarily shows the diversity that exists in the denotation of marriages all over the world, meaning any marriage is supposed to be under consideration by the law (Andreatta& Ferraro, 2017). During my interview with the informants, I gathered a lot about marriages and what people think or expect when they get into such unions. For instance, most people get married because of love, while others do it for financial gain or as a belief that it is the moral thing to do (Kottak, 2011). Additionally, the interviewees claimed that marriage fulfills financial and emotional needs. For instance, some women get married because they want someone who can support them financially and give them a comfortable life. Equally, most subjects admitted that an external force such as their parents, friends, relatives, or siblings influenced their marriage to their partner based on things like advice. Society also determines the roles of husbands and wives in a marriage. The fieldwork results depicted that most men are viewed as breadwinners while women uphold the responsibility of taking care of the house, kids, and their spouses. Finally, the three primary problems that cost people their marriages include infidelity, financial insecurities, and domestic violence.
According to the feedback given by my informants, most people marry for love above all other reasons because this feeling has proved to overpower many obstacles that are bound to come in any marriage. Most of the people view love to be of importance since it prompts couples to keep going even when they are facing relationship challenges. Any marriage that does not have a firm foundation of love does not stand the test of time that comes with living together in the actual marital life. When a couple marries for love, they are emotionally committed to one another and in such protect each other’s interests. Consequently, most marriages that start on the foundation of love are known to be the most satisfactory since both partners are willing to be in the union and fight for it even during tough times.
I believe that romantic love is essential for marriage as the pressures that come with such a commitment can only be eased when one has a partner that they love and trust. Issues such as financial struggles, health struggles, and even behavioral adjustments are at times unbearable to the extent where couples want to divorce. Therefore, romantic love gives a spouse a reason to hold on and keep trying (Andreatta & Ferraro, 2017). The fundamentals of marriage are first and foremost by genuine love. Partners that are in love thrive in their marriage and family life, with good health and understanding since they have reduced stress levels (Angeloli, 2016).With the information from the respondents, romance is in high regard in today’s era. Eventually, pragmatic marriages are now becoming the taboo since freedom of choice is being enhanced. Consequently, many young people realize that it is not all about upholding the cultures and traditions of their ancestors but by following their hearts that they will enjoy their lives fully.
The functions of marriage vary according to culture and beliefs. For example, some people get into marriage for financial and emotional security. Such people want to have a sense of belonging, and they tend to believe that having that financial and emotional support can help them achieve that goal. In other cases, some people get married for the fulfillment of basic needs, sex regulation, and increase lineage among other purposes (Andreatta & Ferraro, 2017). Also, there is a belief that marriages are meant for procreation purposes and to continue the human race and most people who get married fall in this category. In comparison with my field work, the functions of marriage sound mostly the same for most individuals and cultures. Although, some put emphasis on some issues that others could care less about in their lives.
In response to the posed questions, my informants find that most marriages that are affected are romantic since a significant number of pragmatic marriages depict non-romance. Arranged marriages are traditional and known to be beneficial for the involved families for society’s purposes. Pragmatic marriages have a long term devotion to commitment at the expense of their romance or feelings. People who are free to marry for romantic reasons and because of love are considered careless, irresponsible, and pleasure seekers by people who participate in arranged marriages (Angeloli, 2016).
Field Work Transcribed Results
What is marriage? What needs does marriage fulfill? What was the primary reason(s) you got married?
Did others influence your marriage to this individual (parents, siblings, friends, etc.)? What is the role of a husband in a marriage? What tasks should husbands engage in? What is the role of a wife in a marriage? What tasks should wives engage in? List the top 3 things that cause problems in a marriage. Informant’s gender, age, years married/
Divorced/ separated, and number of marriages.
I got married to an older man because my family needed financial stability A husband is a provider so he should be involved in looking for money to ensure financial stability A wife is the caretaker of a home, so ensuring that the husband and children are cared for regularly. Financial insecurity.
Family interference Female
Married for three years
I entered this union because I fell in love with my partner and it as all my decision. A husband is an equal partner in marriage and can do anything that enhances the marriage be it financial or domestic. A wife is also an equal partner in the marriage, so both financial endeavors and domestic are acceptable. Infidelity.
Unresolved issues that pile up.
Married for five years
Financial and emotional needs
I tied the not with my spouse because I love him and he is also able to provide. A good husband should make it a priority to provide for the family and protect them. Wife should take care of their homes, ensure that all things domestic are in order and protect her family Financial instability.
Change of emotions(Love) Female
Married for two years
It ensures financial security for the children
I married the father of my children because obviously, the children are his but also so that he secures them financially. A husband becomes a father eventually, and he should be able to provide financially for the children. The wife coordinates the home affairs and makes sure that her home is in order and her children and husband are under her proper care. Financial instability.
Unresolved issues that pile up.
Domestic violence. Female
Married for four years
Sets moral standards
I married because I was of age and I did not want to go around fornicating since I am a Christian. A man is the head of the house and should carry the duty of setting moral standards for the family and ensure good provisions. A wife should also set good moral standards in her humility towards her husband and in taking care of her home affairs Domestic abuse.
Lack of transparency on issues. Male
Married for five years
Ensures responsibility among adults
The love for my partner led to the reason I married him, and I want us to be responsible for our behavior A man is in charge of the financial status of his home and the comfortability of his family financially and emotionally A wife has the responsibility to nature her home in peace and understanding in charge on all that she has all she needs. Domestic violence.
Financial instability Male
Enhances the ideals of society
As a Christian, it is good to be of example to others that are why I made sure to get married before having children The man is the head of the house, and he’s responsible for loving his family protects and guides it. A woman is meant to be humble and obedient to her husband with the fear of the Lord in her. Infidelity.
Drug addictions. Male
I got married at an early age as advice from my family to ensure that I do not become immoral AA husband should lead in his morality and ensure that there is financial stability at home. A wife is a moral being that takes care of her family’s needs emotionally and domestically. Infidelity/immorality.
Married for three years
Ensures the continuation of race
I got married for love but also so that I can have babies and continue my family name. A good husband ensures that he provides and loves his wife, making sure to give her kids for the sake of their race. A wife’s duty is to take care of her family and instill good ideas for the future through her children. Infidelity.
Enhances personal responsibility
Marriage for me has improved my level of responsibility as I am not only responsible for me. A husband is in charge of the status of a home financially and emotionally. Showing love and working hard to provide is the main responsibility of any husband. A wife is responsible for ensuring her husband is in his optimum health wise and emotionally so as to provide for them, and also ensure the family has the best domestic environment possible. Infidelity.
Domestic violence Male
Married for six years
Andreatta, S &Ferraro, G. (2017). Cultural Anthropology: an applied perspective. Boston, MA:
Angeloli, E. (2016). Annual editions: anthropology 40/e. Blacklick, OH: McGraw-Hill
Kottak, C. (2011).Mirror for humanity: a concise introduction to cultural anthropology.
Blacklick, OH: McGraw-Hill Education.