Why Be Married?

November 16, 2019

Consider marriage from a functional point of view: which functions does it fulfill, which needs does it satisfy. Let us start by looking at marriage from a woman’s point of view. A woman once needed a man to bring home the financial support necessary so that she could devote herself to raise the children. She needed him to conceive and he shared the responsibility of parenting by being the disciplinarian. He also provided physical help around the home by fixing, building, moving things, etc. He provided social status from his place of employment and involvement in the community. The world has changed.  In the modern world, in developed countries, a woman de facto no longer needs a man to satisfy these needs. She can meet those demands herself, or simply outsource them. She can earn money and social status on her own. To raise children there is a nanny, nurseries, schools and after school planned activities. To conceive, she can go to a sperm bank and even choose the color of her future child’s eyes or hair. A religious leader, the extended family, a good friend, or even a member of a Big Brothers or Big Sisters program can help with the responsibility of parenting. If she needs physical help, she can hire a repairman. If she needs sex, that is also easily available. So who needs a man in the house making non-stop demands? More energy lost than benefits gained. What about a man’s point of view? Sex is very easy to find today, and the variety and availability are huge. If a man needs a social partner, many ladies will gladly join him. How about the need to cook? Ridiculous. He can eat out or order delivery. Who will clean the house? He will do it himself or hire a cleaner. He needs a woman to conceive, yes, but even that can be arranged without being married. So, why marry a nagging woman? There is one function that cannot be delegated, outsourced, or self-fulfilled by either man or woman, and that is love. Love for each other. If there is no love then really, why be married? And notice, in the comparison of who needs whom more, let us face it, men, without hurt ego, men need more the women than vice versa. Not strange than, when I asked all my divorced friends who asked for divorce, he or his wife, in 90% of the cases it was the woman. Now, if love is the reason to be married and we men have very little to offer women, we better offer what they can not outsource and it is love. It used to be men bring the food to the table and women provide love. The roles now got reversed. One more point: If love is the essence of marriage, how much energy are we devoting to keeping the fire burning? What is each one of us doing to feed love? Many take a marriage for granted that it will survive because when the couple courted, many years ago, they loved. Love is a muscle, Master Chariji says. Exercise it or it will atrophy. If starved, it dies. Just thinking, Ichak Kalderon Adizes

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes