Famous German thinker, Goethe might have been answering cynics of marriage today, when he said, centuries ago, that “Love is an ideal thing, but marriage, a real thing.”
In these times of takeaway dinners and disposable relationships, the institution of marriage seems in danger of heading for the museum. Who gets married anyway, young people on the move might wonder. Who indeed has the time and patience to devote oneself to another being 'Till’, as the saying goes, “…death do us part”?
And yet, popping the all-important question to your partner, continues to be regarded as the culminating moment in a romantic relationship. So, why do lovers consider marriage at all if so many alternate arrangements are possible? And most importantly, why should you keep marriage at bay when you feel that you both are equally committed to a relationship. Here are ten very good reasons why you should get married and that too, sooner than later.
Marriage is a continuation of love
Contrary to the pessimistic idea that marriage signals the end of romance, it marks the beginning of a whole new phase of being in love. Marriage allows lovers to enter into a partnership where two halves come together to form a stronger whole and where love evolves into a deeper, more committed relationship.
Marriage helps both individuals to grow
Cynics might continue to harp on how marriage kills individuality and wipes out a person’s personal space. Marriage, on the other hand, allows each partner to explore hitherto unknown facets of his or her personality. Exploring the many nuances of a committed relationship, being responsible for each other’s well-being and meeting the challenges that come in the way, allow each partner to grow into mature and more aware persons.
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Marriage gives you a back-up
Married people have each other to fall back upon in case of emotional or medical emergencies. Anyone living in a marriage of several years, knows how easily we take our partner’s support for granted, when we fall ill, have an emergency at work or need to get the dessert with-the-Smiths-coming-over-in-an-hour-and-me-being-stuck-in-the-traffic.
Married people live longer
Studies by researchers like American therapist Brian Baker and psychologist John Gottman PhD have proved that those people living in contented marriages have lower incidences of depression, cardio-vascular diseases and, in combination with a healthy lifestyle, outlive their celibate or divorced counterparts.
Marriage helps you benefit from tax breaks
Marriage is undoubtedly a lot about white gowns, honeymoons and teary happily-ever-afters. But the financial advantage of being married is nothing to frown upon either. Most countries offer married couples important tax breaks and healthcare benefits. Moreover, you get to share expenses, with the advantage of having twin sources of income.
A wedding brings presents galore
Ever wonder why a bride-to-be spends hours on trying out wedding gowns and poring over kitchen models? This is because a wedding is one of those very rare occasions in your life when you are indulged upon, your likes and dislikes in wallpaper patterns seriously considered and every necessary item in your yet-to-be-established household duly noted. In short, this is the time to be showered with presents, in kind and in cash. And never mind the three identical toasters you get on your wedding day – it will save you buying gifts for the next three wedding invitations!
Marriage is best for raising a family
Human society, since the beginning of its evolution, has been trying out various combinations of relationships and the one paradigm that has stood the test of time is the heterosexual, monogamous relationship, most widely seen in a marriage. The married couple forms the most stable environment for having kids and raising them in a world increasingly splintered by violence, drugs and breakdown of kinship ties.
Marriage helps you to evolve as social beings
Coping with various challenges that confront a family gives partners the chance and experience to grow as responsible members of society. Sociologists regard the family as the basic unit of the larger society and thus it is no wonder that the best community leaders often emerge from the happiest of marriages.
Marriage as an institution continues to thrive
If people keep coming back to it for more, then it must be good for you. Despite all the brouhaha about rising divorce rates in the advanced societies, there are equally strong trends in favour of remarriages. If the saying “Once bitten, twice shy” held so good, why would there be so many dating sites for divorced men and women trying their luck the second time around?
Marriage versus celibacy
Finally, there may be something in Samuel Johnson’s left-handed defense of the institution of marriage, when he pointed out that “Marriage may have many pains but celibacy has no pleasures”. When no single relationship in this world comes with a guarantee, why single out marriage for failing to live up to expectations? It is indeed better to give a chance to a meaningful, committed bond, rather than living in an open relationship and enduring the perpetual insecurity and attendant anxiety that such an arrangement brings.
Many people have expressed many opinions on marriage. However the very fact that the institution continues to stand the test of time, is good news in a world where every social alignment and every personal relationship is being sorely tested. Marriage, simply put, is a state of being that blends the best of every relationship – the ecstasy of a romance, the tenderness of the mother for her child and the strength that a true friend holds out in times of need.