For many years, social scientists have debated the advantages of marriage due to the characteristics of people who marry and stay married. Do marriage itself – and the status of being a married person create certain advantages? The answer is both. Economically and educationally advantage people, who are religiously observant, and who grew with married parents are more likely to marry and stay married than others. Marriage itself can transform people’s lives, changing their lifestyles, habits, associations, and in ways that are personally and socially beneficial (Fischer, pp. 59-61). Thus, it is logical to choose an institution that is so influential in the parameter of society and daily life.
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Marriage embeds people within larger social networks; married parents have a better chance to recruit help, friendship, and emotional support in the community. Through marriage, men become more involved with others. It makes one more social and civilized, as a married couple needs to be in the parameters of the society, and there are specific norms that are to be followed. These norms are generally good practices, and on a personal note, it can be mentioned that it has been a great experience being a part of society and a member of this institution of marriage.
The family, which is the nurturing ground and basic component part of society, somehow turns into a hotbed of crisis and anxiety for children when their parents are involved in bitter acrimony and fail to live up to the sanctimony of the relationship. As such, the crumbling family unit makes the child feel insecure, and the trauma thereby endured may manifest itself in unsocial behavior, incompetence at school, and alienation from the peer group. Somehow, the age of the child during the separation of the parents is directly proportional to the amount of psychological pressure endured and consistently poor academic performances. This is the most negative aspect of marriage, and on a personal note, it can be stated that as a child, this experience, though for a short span, was not healthy.
Marriage is far from perfect, and getting married does not turn people into saints. Nevertheless, in spite of its acknowledged problems and flaws, marriage remains a vital source of social good, individual benefits, caregiving, emotional attachments and long-term commitments. People, who are married, though far from perfect, try to behave in ways that benefit themselves, their children and society as a whole. They control their language and behavior and this is a prime example of symbolic interactionism that is instrumental in the institution of marriage (Fischer, p. 227).
The aspect of functionalism of marriage is multifold. As the primary social institution leading familial and kinship relationships, marriage is a source of social capital. Married fathers serve as important role model for their own children and other people’s children also. They can be a valuable social resource in communities to children who lack responsible fathers or positive male role models. Married mothers are more relaxed and caring and this renders a positive effect on the children. The social bonds created through marriage benefits not only family members, but others as well. As an example, a married couple is more likely to vote and to be involved in community, religious and civic associations. However, the most functional effect of marriage is economy as it is able to provide more under the institution of marriage. In their own future dating and marriage relationships, children benefit from the models set by their married parents. Children whose parents stayed married have more fulfilling dating relationships, more optimistic attitude toward future marriage and a greater success in forming lasting marriages. Young men raised in a two-parent household also have more positive attitudes toward women, children and family life than men who were raised by a single parent (Fischer, p. 216).
One of the most negative aspect of marriage is the existence of conflict. It could be the result of adultery, economic or behavioral. It should be mentioned that the chief reason behind spouse problem is mistrust. This mistrust arises from the parameters of low knowledge about the feeling of the other. If it was possible to intermingle mentally, it is certain the aspect of conflict would be completely abolished. This is a favorable undertaking to play down the possible spouse tension among the couple. It is almost like a plan to implement conflict management techniques where conflict tends to disappear as soon as an individual understands the position of the other and starts respecting the position. This is the teaching of conflict management in the business communities and is well applicable in the greater of family life too (James, pp. 154-5).
In conclusion, sadly, much of humans’ preoccupations with love, romance, marriage, and sexuality end with bitterness and disappointment. However, perhaps it is proper to end this paper on a positive note. While disappointments are inevitable, amorous feelings are among the most supremely pleasurable experiences. Happy relationships provide human beings, both male and female, with hope, exhilaration, intellectual stimulation, exciting, satisfying sex, and vital emotional support. Above all, the human preoccupations with sex and companionship are normal and natural, marriage after all discontents, and problems remains as a favorable institution in the modern world. From a personal note it can be stated that marriage has been proved to be a bliss and beneficial (Lamb, p. 227).
- Fischer, J. & Corcoran, K; Measures for clinical practice (2nd ed.); New York: The Free Press (1994)
- James, R. & Gilliland, B; Crisis intervention strategies; Belmont, CA: Brooks/ Cole (2001)
- Lamb, D; Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization; Wellington: National Book Trust (2004)