Let’s think about it. Why does the institution of marriage exist? Why exactly?
Is it to create a family?
But families can exist and grow even without the legal formalities. Can’t they? Of course they can.
Is the purpose of marriage to control men who are otherwise considered to be philanderer to stick to one woman? Maybe, it is a plausible answer.
How about women? They seem to have too many ‘options’ at hand. May be the purpose of marriage is to contain their confused mind since they cannot quite decide which of their so many lovers they actually love and want to be with.
So let’s consider the purpose of marriage to make a man and a woman stick to each otherwise and make it legally coercive for them to go wander and go away from each other.
Why should a man and a woman live together and create a family?
Well, the generally accepted answer would be because it is our responsibility to advance the human race forward and only when they live together, they will create a family which will lead to the next generation and so on.
Considering that the purpose of human existence is reproduction, this rationale holds true.
However, I do not agree with this purpose of human existence.
I see the purpose of human existence as individual happiness.
If I look at the institution of marriage from the prism of individual happiness, it seems entirely redundant to me. A man and a woman should work on creating a life together only when they love each other and the output of their being together is visceral happiness, which clearly emerges from each others’ companionship. One feels happy from the others’ company and love and vice versa.
Let’s assume that we live in a world that the institution of marriage does not exist for discussion sake. Now, in such a world, a boy and a girl meet each other in their 20s and they happen to like each other. Also, please understand that nobody in this fictional world of ours is married including the parents of the couple in question.
This boy likes the girl and they work at the same place. He asks her out and they start dating and it goes on for a year. What would be the culmination of their relationship in a world without marriage? They decide at the end of one year that they are so happy with each other that they would like to spend their life together.
The boy asks the girl, ‘Would you want to spend the whole of your life with me? I love you so much and I will ensure that yours is a beautiful life and the reason is me?’
They start living together as a couple and announce to their family and friends of their decision of being together. Now, let’s say 2 years down the line as life goes on, they want to have kids and become parents. Well, they have kids and those kids go to school and within a few years they grow up and life moves on in this society with gaiety.
Nobody is married to anyone in here and people live with each other because they are happy to be with each other.
Else, they don’t.
Let’s look at an important angle.
A friend of this couples’, Jack and his girlfriend Julie also feel in love and started to cohabit at the same time as they did. They had 2 kids within 5 years. However, within 5 years, Jack and Julie realized that they are not as much into love with each other as they were.
They tried to make the relationship work but it did not work.
Well, since they are not married and there is no stopping them to go away from each other although with a lot of pain, they decide to get separated.
Out of sheer respect for Julie as she wanted, the kids now stay with Julie has a job and is currently not in love with anyone.
Even Jack is single and is an entrepreneur and keeps at work mostly these days. Both of them hope that the love lasted but it didn’t.
They still respect each other and Jack visits Julie sometimes and she visits him with the kids whenever they want.
Why did any of these couples need to be married? Why?
Marriage is an institutionalized formality. It is an institutionalized social formality. It is an institutionalized legal formality.
Nevertheless, it is a formality.