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In the society we live in, the popular notion about love and marriage is that they are synonymous. This essay will discuss in depth the relationship between the two; marriage and love. It will try to differentiate the difference between the two and how they are related in married couples.
Marriage and love
Most people think that love and marriage have the same origin and imply the same motives as far as human needs are concerned. According to scholars, this is not the fact but just a notion and marriage is built over a period of time. Loving someone and being loved brings happiness but it does not necessarily mean that when a man and a woman are in love they will end up in marriage.
Marriage recognizes the relationship between a man and a woman in which the self realization of each partner becomes a priority for each other. Marriage gives the two, husband and wife the framework for mutual love and self-giving to each other. Marriage is the pillar on which romantic love is build. Accordingly, the love and friendship that exists between a woman and a man grows into a desire for marriage. Marriage thus acts as the foundation for the couple to grow into a union of soul and heart. In a marriage, children become the bond of the marriage and are its fruits. (Love, marriage and family).
Marriage is defined as "a formal union between a man and a woman in which they become a husband and wife respectively." Love is defined as "a strong positive emotion of attraction and affection towards a person." Thus from their definitions the two are not related but antagonistic to each other but that is not to say that some marriages have resulted from love. This is because love can easily assert itself in marriage and can completely outgrow a convention. Some marriages of late are not held together by love, but rather by public opinion, thus the husband and wife submit to it because of fear of negative publicity. It is also true that some marriages are sustained by love and it continues in married life but, love does so regardless of marriage and not because of it. (Anarchy archives).
On the other hand, scholars argue that love does not result from marriage. It is very rare to find a married couple falling in love after marriage but some argue that a couple has to adjust to fall in love when already in a union to avoid the inventible. Growing together as a couple and getting used to each other, the intensity and beauty of love increases intimacy of a marriage otherwise the intimacy of that marriage may prove to be degrading for both the parties involved; husband and wife. (Anarchy archives).
Marriage is likened to an economic arrangement which is like an insurance agreement with minimal returns. The difference of marriage and the insurance pact is that marriage is more binding and exacting with very small returns when compared to investments. But for the case of marriage, if a woman's insurance premium is the husband, then she has to pay that with her liberty, privacy, self-respect and her own life till death do them apart. Marriage will definitely condemn her to parasitic kind of life, life-long dependency on the husband. The husband also pays his toll; he is chained on the economic front. (Anarchy archives).
A scholar, Edward Carpenter, alludes that "behind every marriage stands the life-long environment of the two sexes" living in a very different environment that the two will remain strangers. He further alleges that the two are separated by a wall of superstition, different customs, believes and habits that marriage has the potential to develop knowledge of and respect for the husband and wife that without which the union is likely to fail. (Anarchy archives).
Reasons for marriage apart from love
Other reasons for marriage includes desire to get a companion, for emotional support and sexual fulfillment. But for some people, they enter into marriages not because they are in love but marry just for the sake of money. In case for this kind of marriage founded on this loose principal, if money runs out what happens to that kind of marriage? The answer is definite; the marriage will break. Other marriages are also founded on the basis that the parents pester their children to get into such unions and rush to please them. Some marriages are founded by a former boyfriend or girlfriend who wants to show his/her ex that still he can be in a relationship. Other people get married away to simply run from home because of abusive parents and think that by getting married they will get the freedom they desire. All the above examples are marriages not founded on love but still the couple may still be married. (Mponda, F. Pg.20)
There are however some good motives and reasons for marriage; love. Love tends to keep the married couple together not only for the sake of the union but also because the two are in love and want each other for companionship, intimacy, sexual fulfillment and emotional support. (Mponda, F. Pg.21)
The pros of a love marriage are that one marries the person s/he is in love with. In love marriages, a person has time to learn his/her partner and as a couple, their strengths and differences can be ironed out more amicably and thus easier to strengthen the bond of love after marriage. However, marriage founded on love is difficult to maintain if one party is not submissive to the other and thus higher expectations if not met will result to arguments.
Marriage and love are really different but through love marriage can be borne. While marriage may be as a result of love, the reverse is rarely true; people in marriage will rarely get in love but to avoid many squabbles they seem to be in love. There are several reasons why two people may decide to get married; while one of them is marriage, some marry to run away from abusive parents, some marry for money, others marry if petered to do so and some to just show off. These marriages are not based on love for one another. For the sake of the union, some in marriage have to stay even without love.