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talk to me about marriage.

(21 Posts)
ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Mon 20-Dec-10 17:00:24

when, where, WHY did it all start?

marriage has never been something I've had strong feelings about. I cannot say it is something i would very much liek to do, nor can i say i am totally against teh idea. i think if i found myself with teh right person and knew we were in for teh long haul, tehn if it was something tehy wanted i would consider it. but apart from that. i am indifferent.

i know in modern day UK being married is a way of protecting yourself and any children if your partner were to die or you were to separate. and for many it is very much a religious thing (i am an atheist so not teh case for me).

what i am interested in knowing is how it all started. was it religious? was it about control? was it about 'owning' your spouse? was it about money- parents selling tehir children into marriage?

brokeoven Mon 20-Dec-10 17:11:18

Not religous.
not about control

It was more about that we had been together for 7 years and it was a natural progression.
we had never bothered with even talking about it as it had never crossed our minds tbh.

We had a brilliant life, fantastic holidays, both proffessionally established, own house done up from the brick work upwards, just how we wanted it.

Then i hit 30. suddenly the thought of having kids did not send me running to the hills screaming as it had done all my life.
I wanted to be married and settled before having children.

So,
we told no-one till the week before the day.
register office, i hired a frock )simple).
the place was packed out.
It truly was brilliant.....10 years ago now, but its pretty much how we planned it, and how we thought it would be.

It feels complete to me, all done and rounded.
dunno, its just good.

thedonkeywaslednow Mon 20-Dec-10 17:17:48

Hard to say exactly why it started, but I'd say mainly as a way to join lands and ruling families together, so more of an economic thing that a religious or emotional one. Iirc, it didnt become religious (ie witha religious service in church) till maybe 17th century?

reikizen Mon 20-Dec-10 17:21:48

I'd second the joining lands & families together theory, but with modernisation came the subjugation of women as men took control of fertility etc.

dittany Mon 20-Dec-10 17:29:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Mon 20-Dec-10 17:29:48

so two families shared each other's land by marrying two of the members?

Bue Mon 20-Dec-10 22:06:29

I'd also say it was a business deal to ensure the economic and dynastic interests of the two families involved. I wouldn't say that the primary intent of marriage was the subjugation of women, though that certainly came about.

TeiTetua Mon 20-Dec-10 23:04:22

One aspect of marriage that was supposed to work to women's advantage (without weakening patriarchy in the slightest!) was that it was a public contract, where men were expected to support their wives and any children that they had together. Of course there were ways to be a bad husband, but at least when communities were tight, he'd look bad in front of everyone if he didn't live up to his part.

dittany Tue 21-Dec-10 00:14:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Tue 21-Dec-10 00:21:00

i agree dittany. if the society had enabled women to be on level par with women then there would be no ned for marriage to support women.

and i don't get this idea that as long as the neighbours know he's a bad'un then it's ok.

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Tue 21-Dec-10 00:21:38

sorry, i meant if the society had enabled women to be on level par with men.

teafortwo Tue 21-Dec-10 00:27:27

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00548c2

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Tue 21-Dec-10 00:30:16

arrrghh, i have no sound on my pc. would lov eto listen to that.

teafortwo Tue 21-Dec-10 00:51:47

I thought I'd listen to it again because it was several years ago I last listened to it and I can't remember it clearly enough to tell you about it.

BUT - I can't get it to open on my computer - so we are doing pretty well, eh?

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Tue 21-Dec-10 01:12:30

ha, i will tryand get to my dad's laptop during teh week.

kickassangel Tue 21-Dec-10 01:31:34

i seem to remember from one documentary, that marriage first started in societies that owned land/housing etc, and only later spread to nomadic groups. this was because the men wanted to KNOW that the property they left was going to their own sons, so it was important to 'guarantee' that they had a life-partner who was faithful.

so it's about money, power, and shackling women (cos the men were still allowed to play around)

SnowyGonzalez Tue 21-Dec-10 01:54:08

According to a book by Joan Smith (I forget the title...if I track it down I'll tell you) there used to be three different forms of marriage in the UK in a long bygone age: (1) cohabiting, which was, I believe, a natural progression of a relationship and recognised as de facto marriage, though couples would usually do a more official thing after the birth of their first child; (2) the 'more official thing'; and (3) something else which I've forgotten.

As others have said, the issue of the ruling classes holding on to land was also a part of the drive towards official marriage.

marantha Tue 21-Dec-10 07:33:52

I think that it came about-in part- for the sake of clarity.
Getting married and having a certificate of that marriage, 'proves' that the couple made a commitment to share their lives.
This still holds today; cohabitation has no status in law.
No matter how long a couple have cohabited, legally they are strangers.
If two people are cohabiting and no provision has been made naming the other as next-of-kin, any decision to turn off the life support machine in event of serious illness/accident will fall to the parents (if still alive).
This is why people who cohabit yet wish to stay together and share each other's lives forever are bloody daft for not taking appropriate legal action/s to ensure that the other is named as next-of-kin etc.
(I am happy with the status quo. I do not want the government declaring me quasi married because I've lived with someone for a while. Too intrusive by far. Also impossible to decide who is 'committed' or not from a practical point of view).
Don't let anyone tell you it is 'just a piece of paper'. Emotionally it may have no effect but legally/financially it very much does.

WrappedandTagged Tue 21-Dec-10 09:15:07

Snowy- in the UK, certainly in the late 19th century, many couples who said they were married actually weren't- they were recognised as such by their communities (the broom jumping ritual etc)but weren't legally married. These were largely working class people for whom the contractual concerns were less of a problem (ie no assets to protect/ combine).

The thing is, however marriage started, and whatever it has been, now it does confer significant rights as Marantha says, and does not have to have any religious connotations unless you want them.

Tbh I think women who are not working/ independently wealthy, who have children and are not married are mad. You're being offered a free option over 50% joint assets and income and turning it down.

anastaisia Tue 21-Dec-10 12:07:21

wasn't the contractual/legal record part of it mostly down to the church. Am sorry have no link, but I remember reading that as snowy said there was 'social' marriage but at some point the church influenced the law on it so that only 'offical' marriage was legal.

Before that a verbal contract of marriage given by both parties was a legal contract?

anastaisia Tue 21-Dec-10 12:07:59

by which I mean a long time before the 19th Century.

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