What is the Point of Getting Married, When You Can Just live Common Law?
Marriage used to be the standard for social inclusion, bachelors and spinsters forced to the peripheries. This paradigm was structured-and enforced-by the ruling religious order. The clergy asserted the sanctity of marriage, a holy institution ordained by the Creator. Instead of flipping through partners (like some animals do) we have an expectation for pairbonding, not for lust but for life.
This article strongly supports the Institution of Marriage despite the Fallen Nature of the court system, societal expectations, and gender-specific issues. Marriage is the most important decision that one can make, the one requiring the most thought and care. It can raise you up to the Heavens or drop you down to the pits of Hell. Speaking of Hell, “cough cough”...
The Sexual Liberation (of the 1960’s) removed all these taboos, giving way for no fault divorce, single parent families and hook up culture. For couples seeking monogamy, they can simply move in with a partner and be declared so after a number of years. While not so cut and dry, this can lead to severe mental trauma, especially among healthy people. This is not talked about, as it constitutes the Holy Grail of Progressivism. Combined with the lack of religious training and context, there is no reason not to chase hedonism, elevate it above all values. It might be fun for now, but the kids seem to suffer.
Millennials (and Gen Z’ers) tend to see marriage as a relic, an outdated institution, free of any perceived value. While ideology may be the main catalyst for avoiding marriage, many prioritize autonomy and freedom over responsibility. While some still see marriage as valuable, they chose to co-habitate prior to nuptials, to “get a feel for things”. While this may seem wise in foresight, the lack of commitment makes leaving easy, especially when things hit a rough path. In case you haven't figured out yet, I am totally “based” in regards to the topic of marriage. I do not think that it is outdated, instead it is needed more than ever. It is not something to joke about, especially if the couple intends on bringing children into the world. While I acknowledge the problems with the current legal system (in regards to marriage) I have complete faith in the institution, passed down from generation to generation.
Attitudes Changing, Taboo Removed
You do not have to be a statistician to understand that things have changed dramatically. When I was in school, most of my peers came from divorced parents. This was during the nineties, a period that saw divorce not only as permissible, but often advantageous. Almost a thematic trope, the eligible divorcee was seen as a role model, finally getting the life (and fun) that she deserved. Despite fostering mental health issues in the children, it made for some excellent television.
Contrast this this the 1950’s, a period that used “shotgun weddings' ' to legitimize a family after premarital conception. In case you didn't know, the term is exactly as it sounds, with the groom being pressured. This was done to avoid social stigma, even if the couple were to live together. Back then marriage meant something, with the courts echoing Biblical Jurisprudence. Some countries still enforce religious law, like in Morocco and other Islamic Countries. Illegitimate cohabitation is a serious crime there, requiring a marriage certificate upon registration at a hotel.
While the taboo has been broken in the West, some dating experts warn that cohabitation can lead to disloyalty among men. If a man finds something (he perceives) as better, what is stopping him from leaving? Of course, no-fault divorce allows for speedy exit, regardless of who chooses to terminate the marriage. However, if a man is willing to go through a marriage ceremony, there is a greater chance that he will commit long term. Despite women having the advantage in dating (control over sex), men reserve the upper hand in regards to relationships and marriage. Even though it may not be politically correct, it is true and needs to be sad. Most women will commit to a man that they sleep with while most men would sleep with a woman they wouldn't consider for a relationship.
Common Law in Canada
Canadian Law is developed Federally, meaning that the same statutes apply regardless of where one lives in the country. While there is some leeway in regards to defining the eligibility period, most sources put it as between one and two years. Common Law is only a term used upon dissolution of a Marriage, in addition to some marital benefits through employers and so forth. Common Law status can be used for immigration purposes, but makes qualifying much more difficult. Common Law Status can be expressed through the signing of a document, promising that the relationship described is correct.
As with everything, this does not apply in the Province of Quebec. The laws there are based on the Civil-not Common)-Law System. Furthermore, the Province is highly secular, putting little consideration into Religious considerations. In Quebec marriage is seen just as a contract, no more and no less.
Religious law on marriage and family
Scripture is considered Holy not just because we are told so, but because of the contents of the text. Instead of just being relevant in a limited sense, the values taught are timeless. Not all religions share the same view of marriage and sexuality. Consider Judaism for a moment, the first Abrahamic religion. Instead of seeking solitude on the margins of society, Jewish laws consider marriage Holy. Not just for the rich of society, marriage can have a edifying effect on all levels of the social hierarchy. This contrasts Catholicism, seeing chastity as a paramount value, not until Jesus of Nazareth. While acknowledging that Christianity does have its roots in Judaism, the monastic life was rejected by the Protestant and Orthodox Churches. While periods of isolation can be helpful, it should be limited and integrated into a rich social life. Humans were built for relationships, the lack thereof manifesting in depression and anxiety.
As with Judaism, Christianity asserts that humans were designed for marriage. The Bible has many examples of premarital sex, most resulting in consequences and disaster. Furthermore, Scripture forbids “wasting one’s seed”, any seminal ejaculation outside a woman. This can be highly problematic, especially considering the male desire to “spread one’s seed” like a bee pollinates flowers. While the desire is not considered taboo, the action itself is highly sanctioned. The correct approach is to recognize your own vices, putting limitations and control on your urges.
Enter Feminism. Instead of seeing the family as a holy unit, it became the great Satan, something to be contained and destroyed. Far from being a safe oasis in the desert, it became the definition of sexual oppression. Marriage was the reason for all the suffering in the world, the reason for every tear and every scared knee. Instead of being the hero, the father became the villain, someone to mock and belittle. What was once the father in Leave it To Beaver was now Homer Simpson, a helpless buffoon safe for his wife and daughter. If men did not want to be like Homer, why should they follow in his footsteps?
Returning back to my Jewish World, feminists will find the Religious marriage contract quite difficult to digest. Far from advocating complete equality, it stipulates different duties depending on the gender of the spouse. In other words, the sexism was clear to see, driving the first feminists out of their synagogues and into academia. It can be said that feminism is a direct rebellion of Jewish Law, putting the burden of performance on the man. While the woman is given more rights, the man is given the duty of religious practice, expected to show up when the wife is given a free pass. This is not to insult the woman, but to ensure that the children take priority, allowing the moms to come together and socialize. Halacha understands the body politik, especially the necessity of communal integration. To ensure that this is successful, the first building block is always the family unit. And yes, married Orthodox Jewish men report the highest level of life satisfaction, not just in one but all areas. With this in mind, there is no wonder that people are returning to the matchmaker; men and women alike.
Some Men Refuse To Get Married
Of course, there will be some men who will never get married. Some will be upfront about it, others will conceal their intentions. Some men will promise marriage, hoping to have fun without the work. While they would face stigma in past generations, modern men tend not to occupy the Synagogue and Church Pews. Most of their parents never attended, at least not in high frequency and recent memory. Instead of virginity being taken from the female, it was now something to be shared. Instead of having to try hard to get a bedmate, men can simply use Tinder to find a new weekly flavor. In other words, as sex became easier to access, marriage became an increasingly unnecessary burden. I mean, why work for something that you can get for free? This assumes that all men are simply sexually goal driven, something that peaks in the teenage years and goes down with time. While teenage men may jump at the chance for a hookup, older men see it for what it is, quietly hoping for a return to normalcy. Even if they never experience traditional homelife personally, all Westerners have some understanding of the role of the family, especially during wartime.
Not everything is about sex, some men enjoying the single lifestyle. They can have complete control over their money, not having to worry about taking care of another person. This can be aggravated if their parents went through a divorce, especially if it wasn’t amicable. Divorce takes away all the magic out of marriage, reducing the inclinations for others to follow suit. Even if the marriage was straight forward, it is impossible for a young person to mature without emotional trauma, caused by the absence of one parent. This may cause a male to accept cohabitation, especially if he is unfamiliar with the law governing such circumstances. In his mind he may be avoiding divorce-by avoiding marriage-while reaping the benefits. Cohabitation tends to last a short period, followed by a period of isolation and reentry in the dating market.
Many women say that they do not need a man, nor have the desire to be in a marriage. While this is a popular trope in university, women tend to prioritize partnership the closer they get to 30. This is due to the internal biological clock, limiting the amount of time that a woman has to bear children. This is of course unfair, giving men much more time to settle down. Men often complain that women pressure them to get married, hoping to have a child in the short future. These urges may confuse a man, wondering if the woman wants him or just the life that he has to offer.
Why You Should Consider Marriage
Remember at the beginning when I said that I was going to make the case for Traditional, Biblical Marriage? Doesn’t it seem that I gave you every reason to get married? I mean, I am a wedding officiant, making a living off the solemnization of marriages.
I believe in marriage with every fiber of my being, seeing it as the best way to rear children, build community, and ensure a legacy. It forces people to step up, learning to care about others before themselves. It is the antithesis of the materialistic worldview, advocating for consumerism and catchy lingo. Human beings are meant to be active, taking on the different roles that make up our core-self. Consider the first question that people ask you, the moment that you meet. What do you do for a living? What is your family like? What are their names?
Children do better with two parents in the home, their biological mother and father. Each has a unique gift to offer, special skills and knowledge that is highly gender specific. Not just in relation to the same gender parents, the opposite gender parent sets the tone for dating and relationship. If children see their parents getting along, it demonstrates the value of marriage, ensuring healthy social development. Children can tell the difference between a step parent and their parent, even if the words are thrown around interchangeably. Nuclear families are the greatest protection from poverty, crime, and victimization. It constitutes the greatest framework for success, for both now and for years to come. This is not to say that children cannot be raised with a non-biological parent, instead that the child will develop problems later on, even if they are not immediately clear. This may manifest in promiscuity, drug use, and poor academic success. Important to note, most incarcerated inmates come from a female headed family, most not knowing their biological father. If they cannot model their father’s male behaviour, perhaps the males will find another leader to emulate. For the women in the category, many find older father figures to support their emotional needs.
Marriage is not just great for the kids, it is great for the couple as well. Married couples report higher frequency of sex, corresponding to a higher satisfaction level. When compared to couples who did not wait, those who did reported higher grade responses. Of course, one can say that it is impossible to judge something that you have never experienced.
When you choose marriage, you are choosing to align your will in accordance with your nature. We know what is right and wrong, with the ghost of consciousness hanging on every healthy person. While cohabitation may seem like the easiest thing, it can be highly dangerous on all parties involved. If children are born, it can cause confusion and emotional instability. If you do not want to spend a huge amount on a wedding, you can simply get a wedding officiant to elope. However, before making the date, ensure that you and your spouse are on the same trajectory. Your life together will not be easy, perhaps it may be quite difficult and frustrating. It is better to get to know your partner's personality first, consummating the marriage once both are sure that this is the correct path.