Most communities around the world perceive marriage as the highestachievement in the life of any individual. Before the adoption of thecurrent education system that delays marriage, people looked forwardto marrying immediately after they passed the adolescence stage.Also, the behaviors instilled upon boys and girls were meant to bereproduced in the institution of marriage. Nevertheless, over theyears, marriage has been losing its place in the society with theincreased number of single parents and high rates of divorce.Consequently, the unchallenged attitude towards marriage has beensubject to a lot of criticism, as some people believe that it is nolonger important. Although the institution of marriage has beentainted with negative attributes that degrade its significance inhumans’ lives, it remains the highest calling of the humankind andpeople should embrace it. The misconception that people have about itonly arises out of the misplaced expectations that they may have anda wanting definition of the whole institution.
First, every man and woman should marry to fulfill the truedefinition of love. According to Peck, most people regard marriage asthe end of love since they have an insufficient definition of love,which is usually egocentric (80). Most people enter marriage with theintention of fulfilling their emotional needs without taking intoaccount the needs of their partners. Also, when one of the partnersis egocentric, the happiness sought by the other caring spouse isunfulfilled. Marriage does not represent the whole definition oflove. It is only a scratch on the huge values of love. Peck defineslove as the will to extend oneself with the intention of nurturingone`s spiritual growth as well as that of another person (81). Thedefinition of love becomes complete through marriage. The commitmentthat one bears towards another individual as a life partner and asoul mate contributes to a mutuality of spiritual growth. Peck alsoindicates that various people believe that the challenges that maulyoung marriages only serve to break their hearts and endurance (82).Nonetheless, by embracing the true definition of love, theindividuals contribute towards each other’s growth.
Nonetheless, Slater observes that numerous divorce cases andseparations signify that most marriages demoralize spouses instead ofstrengthening their spiritual growth in love. While it is true, Peckindicates that numerous cases of marriage breakdowns are a result ofa misconception of love and marriage. (83). Once individuals fail toreap their expectations, they look for a way out. Egocentrism settlesin, and people walk out simply because they do not want to contributeto the growth of their partners. Just like dissolving a marriage is achoice, retaining and making it sustainable is also a choice. Peckreiterates that love in marriage is a choice that people make. Theycan choose to either support or break it. To achieve the true meaningand intention of love, men and women should get married.
Secondly, during childhood, people are obsessed with meetingimmediate gratifications from their parents. They even demand themthrough crying or making other expressions. As they edge towardsadolescence, the parents no longer bow to every demand that childrenmake (Peck 131). The feeling of care and love may start fading, andit is only supported by the blood relationship that children havewith their parents. Additionally, as children become young adults,they may not find the pleasure of presenting all their problems totheir parents. What they need is a confidant and an understandingpartner to share their feelings. Such a transition of meeting needscan only be found in a marriage. The friends and intimate partnersthat people keep cannot serve this purpose in the long-run,especially, when they pursue only a sexually charged relationship.
Peck agrees that the honeymoon days that are always present when twopeople are romantically attached to each other do not last long. Thesexual attractions that may suck people into a romantic relationshipare short-lived since they may not find each other attractive aftercoitus (Peck 83). Fortunately, in a marriage, the commitment thatpartners have towards each other perpetuates the love beyond thehoneymoon days. The loneliness that always settles in after thehoneymoon and the loss of romance in the partnership is cushioned ina marriage. Peck agrees that marriage provides a sense of securitysince individuals are confident that even when the honeymoon days areover, their partners will still understand and support them (Peck87). There is no reason, therefore, to dismiss marriage.
In opposition, Sinatra observes that people who are opposed tomarriage fear losing their partners once they commit themselves tomatrimony. Peck also explains that marriage exposes individuals tovarious duties and responsibilities that they may not have anadequate acquaintance (87). For example, looking after children andspending time with them, cooking, washing and providing for thefamily. When the pressure piles in times of inadequate supply ofresources and the unwillingness to carry out such tasks, somepartners bow to the yoke of the pressure, and they dissolve theirmarriages. In contrast, Peck indicates that contrary to the beliefthat marriage is a bother, its success depends on the choices thatpeople make (130). Before getting married, people are aware that theywill be required to fulfill new responsibilities. Men and womencannot, therefore, desist from marriage to avoid the responsibilitiessince the tasks are founded on the true definition of love. That is,contributing to one’s and others’ growth.
People should also get married because marriage is the only avenue inany relationship that gets rid of decathects. In any relationship,people continue being present because they are reaping in one way orthe other (Peck 118). For example, in a sexually chargedrelationship, individuals benefit from the sexual satisfaction.According to Peck, most people confuse this feeling with love (118).Regrettably, it is short-lived when one finds a more appealing andattractive decathect. The journey that could have led to along-lasting relationship comes to naught.
Luckily, in a marriage, neither of the partners holds the other as adecathect that can be discarded when it is no longer appealing (Peck118). Just like in therapy, marriage allows partners to speak to eachother no matter the situation. Unlike in a romantic relationship thatdoes not tie people to commitments of being present for each other,marriage strengthens the relationship. The decathects are replacedwith genuine love. To avoid being always a subject to decathectsim,people should settle in a marriage where genuine love blossomsdespite the challenges. The maturity of love that allows individualsto feel committed to each other, even without the strong sexualfeelings that weaken along the way, becomes ideal in a marriage.
People should also marry because it is only through the institutionthat the strong feeling of love benefits individuals in the end. Peck believes that the romantic love cannot stand the test of time(91). While this is true with individuals, who do not want torejuvenate their love, individuals who allow autonomy andpsychological independence of their partners always renew theirromantic affection (Peck 92). Gottlieb counters this argument byexplaining that most of the people believe in the childhood talesthat they heard or read in stories. The fairy tales always ended in,“they married and lived happily ever after.” Gottlieb believesthat this is the most destructive lie that people are oriented, andthey pursue it after adolescence. When they do not find the happinessthat they looked forward to, they become disappointed, and they caneasily walk out of their marriages. However, Peck counters thisargument by explaining that the happy moments of the honeymoon periodare short-lived (92). What determines the maturity and sustainabilityof love is the relationships that the two partners have after thisperiod. By understanding their responsibilities and allowingpsychological independence, the couple can always find the meaningand value of their marriage (Peck 92).
In addition to the marriage ensuring the benefits of love in thelong-run, it also allows the sharing of responsibilities. In an idealfamily, the woman takes care of the children and carries out thehousehold chores. Men are the providers and protectors. Althoughfeminists have been opposed to the socially defined roles, forgoingthem has been a major source of disregard for the family institution.Radical feminists believe in the equality of men and women.Unluckily, the biologically defined roles cannot be substituted. Whenthe females believe that they can live comfortably outside marriage,then there is no need of settling down with a male partner. Yet, inher article, Marry Him: The Cases of Settling for Mr. Enough,Gottlieb provides that the dreams of ever finding a husband are notalways fulfilled. Either through choice or inability to find ‘Mr.Good Enough’, as the author articulates. The article alsopoints out the feminist idea that women can comfortably surviveoutside the institution of marriage is contradicted by the feelingsexpressed by women who have achieved all their dreams apart frombeing married (Gottlieb). Gottlieb observes that those who aresingle, even at the age of 40 and have everything are still lookingfor husbands. The trend explains that marriage cannot be substituted.
Conversely, Peck observes that there has been a trend of partners ina family sharing duties in the belief that they are developing astrong bond. For example, it is a common practice for some men totake care of the children, cooking and sometimes washing. Whilefeminists may consider this as a move towards equality, it, in fact,weakens the mutuality. The sharing of responsibilities in the familyensures that the partners live in mutuality. Whenever one is absent,there is always a gap left. Unfortunately, assuming the roles of theother partner is like preparing to be self-sufficient if one partnerleaves. The traditional role of marriage was to enhance the mutualitythat extends beyond the biological functions. The switching of rolesbetween men and women may appear to be the best form of understandingin a family. The occupations that men and women take currentlysubject them to role reverse. The role reverse in the workplace istransferred to the family and it weakens the mutual relationshipbetween the spouses.
Also, men and women should marry to create a barrier for preventingthem from playing boys and girls. Bolick agrees that the society istaking a rapid twist that is marked by increased joblessness amongthe young people. The female and male prospects of life are alsotaking a new twist, whereby, there has been an increase in the numberof young men and women who are not ready to settle for marriage.They, therefore, settle for the romantic love that is always shortlived. Introducing the idea of marriage determines those who areserious in the long-term relationships and those who pursue immediategratification (Bolick). Stossel also agrees that the variousactivities that people, engage in today delay marriage to an extentof some people forgoing it altogether. For example, the educationsystem may require people to be engaged until they are about 30 yearsold. Those who do not settle in a marriage may find it difficult tofind a partner later. Stossel indicates that girls do not find theircollege boyfriends to marry them. They are disadvantaged because theyhave a short productive life compared to the males. Stossel, on theother hand, indicates that through the right courtship, people canalways marry even after going through the education system.
Finally, men and women should marry because the institution is basedon genuine love. According to Peck, people appreciate their actionstowards each other. Peck defines love as pursuing one’s and other’sspiritual growth. The actions done towards the development of anotherperson are more fulfilling than the ones directed towards personalachievement (Peck 172). In marriage, partners direct their attentionto their children and when they watch them grow, they derivesatisfaction of contributing to their lives. The love that all peopleseek blooms in marriage. According to Slater, love makes the partnersbold, bright and enables them to face the challenges in life. Sinatraalso agrees that love and marriage are inseparable. They are like thehorse and the cart. None is complete without the other. Furthermore,the horse and the cart are efficient when attached.
Gottlieb, on the contrary, asserts that contrary to the expectationsof many people who enter into the marriage institution, the initialfeelings may be dominated by frustrations. The new roles andresponsibilities and having to bear with the behaviors of anotherindividual may be demoralizing. Peck does not refute Gottlieb’sidea, but provides that happiness and maturity of love in marriage isnot enjoyed in the short-run. After the honeymoon days are over, thecouples have long journeys to take in love before they learn toappreciate each other. According to Tannen, in the long-run, themarried couples always have the support of each other. At the lateadulthood when emotional companionship is paramount, the couplesprovide comfort to each other.
In conclusion, although the institution of marriage has been taintedwith negative attributes that degrade its importance in people’slives, it remains the highest human calling thus, humans shouldembrace it. First, marriage fulfills the true definition of love andhelps in the transition of the love and attachment that people had intheir childhood into adulthood. Marriage also shields people frombeing used as decathects for pleasure. Couples in marriages bear witheach other, no matter the situation, unlike in a romantically chargedrelationship that lacks commitment. Additionally, marriage allows thesharing of responsibilities and, therefore, encourages mutuality. Itstrengthens the need for people to stay together and complement eachother. In a marriage, the couples contribute to each other’s growthand that of their children. They derive a feeling of contentmentunlike outside a marriage institution where most of the effortspursue personal goals. Therefore, to enjoy the life merits founded ina marriage, men and women should marry.
Bolick,Kate. “All the Single Ladies.” TheAtlantic,2011. Web. 19 May 2016.Gottlieb,Lori. “Marry Him: The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough.” TheAtlantic,2008. Web. 19 May 2016.
Peck, Morgan Scott.The road less travelled. New York: Random House, 2012. Print.
Sinatra, Frank. “Love and Marriage.” 2013. Song.
Slater, Lauren. “True Love”. The National Geographic,2006. Web. 19 May 2016.
Stossel, Sage. In Search of Mr. Right. The Atlantic, Dec 2002.Web. 19 May 2016.
Tannen, Deborah."Sex, Lies and Conversation: Why is it so Hard for Men and Womento Talk to Each Other?" Conflict, Order and Action: Readingsin Sociology (2001): 244-248. Print.