Marriage in the Modern World


This
topic struck me as of late, since I haven’t been to many weddings and my cousin
is engaged and my mother has been heavily involved in helping with the
preparations. Marriage today seems to me, an entirely different affair to what
it once was, and I can’t help but wonder what the point in it is sometimes.
With divorce rates rising and fewer people bothering to marry in the first
place, I have begun to question my own opinions.


For
years, I always assumed I would get married one day, as it was just the normal
thing to do. Most of my older relatives are married and now many of my elder
cousins are reaching the same point. As for many typical teenage girls, I like
the idea of finding one person to spend the rest of my life with, and getting
married as a way to cement this. Weddings themselves always seemed wonderful to
me; flowers, decorations, a beautiful dress. They are almost like a day in
which you can forget about the real world and the problems of daily life, and just
get to enjoy being in love. However, watching the ongoing preparations for my
cousin’s wedding is rapidly putting me off this idea. I am now struggling to
understand why people spend so much time, effort and money planning for one day. It seems like so much hassle to
get everything arranged, and has to be done ridiculously far in advance.
Personally, I would far rather use that money and plan something more
significant, probably travelling in my case. A lot of people may argue that
they want to have a special day and get to be the centre of attention, but I
think I would find the whole affair highly embarrassing. I’m not a fan of
public displays of affection, so getting up in front of a room of people and
declaring my love for someone would be awful for me. I think if I ever did get
married, I would keep the wedding very small and simple. A hideously over the
top affair with hundreds of people would be a nightmare.


            I also think it is silly to spend so
much on one day, when divorce and remarriage are so common nowadays. Everyone
would like to think that the first person they marry will be the one they spend
the rest of their life with, but this is less and less frequently the case. The
hassle of organising one wedding puts me off entirely, but people who do it
three, four times? Surely it starts to lose its meaning and becomes less
special each time. I think marriage had more significance in the past, when
people didn’t get divorced, didn’t live together or have sex before marriage,
and it also involved amalgamating their property, income etc. Now, I’m
certainly not saying we should revert back to a women’s property becoming her
husband’s – but nowadays, people get married and simply carry on as they did
beforehand. They just spend a lot of money on a lavish occasion to let everyone
know that they will continue to do so. Many unmarried couples are together for
longer than married ones now. Marriage was also traditionally performed
religiously in church, but many people are atheists who have their weddings in other
venues, so while they are legally bound together, the religious, spiritual
aspect of the union is largely insignificant and lost in the modern world. The
sole purpose marriage has now is pledging yourself to someone for the rest of
your life – but is an expensive ceremony necessary to do so?


            Personally, I have concluded that
while marriage seems like a nice idea, still celebrated by many, and plenty of
marriages do last in the long run, it is not nearly so important nowadays. I am
not religious, I don’t care about having a big wedding and I understand the
practicalities of the real world, which sadly means many couples don’t work
out, and therefore, I do not feel marriage is necessary. I don’t mean to say we
should lose the custom – I am very supportive of people who do choose to get
married, and if asked, I would accept a proposal. I’m also not entirely cynical
about love, as I do hope to find someone I want to spend my life with. However,
I am not longing to get married, and if I ever do, it will certainly be a
small, private affair. 

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