MARRIAGE is a highly subjective subject matter, it can mean different things to different people at different times.
To some it is the ultimate life goal, while to others it is something to be avoided at all costs.
The definition of marriage describes it as ‘the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.’
Marriage appears to be an ever evolving custom which seemingly adapts to the times. Psychologist Eli Finkel describes marriage having gone through three stages:
- Institutional Marriage 18th century to 1850)
- Companionate Marriage (1851 to 1965)
- Self Expressive Marriage (1965 onward)
So with the rise of custom personalised weddings, which deviate from traditional church services, it can be difficult to pin down the true essence of modern day marriage.
Marriage rates have been on a steady decline since WW2. In 2017 marriage rates between opposite sex couples reached an all time low, with 21.2 marriages per 1,000 unmarried men and 19.5 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women.
So with more and more people choosing not to get married is marriage slowly becoming obsolete?
In order to try and understanding the core underpinnings of 21st century marriage, I decided to explore marriage from a highly personalised perspective.
Next summer, I will be officiating my older sister wedding ceremony, therefore I used this opportunity to initiate some topical discussion regarding 21st century matrimony.
These conversations have been compiled into an hour long feature podcast which discusses the changing landscape of modern day marriage.
It also seeks to unpick the motivations which drive it, tries to understand what is the core meaning behind saying ‘I do’, and hopes to reveal if marriage really has become obsolete.