Marriage Vs Cohabitation

Introduction

From the beginning of mankind throughout the worlds history, there have been clearly defined rituals of men. These rituals were definitive and determined greatly the exact moments when a boy became a man. For example, this was the moment when a boy joins other men in the village through the act of circumcision, most of which were done publicly. However, the most significant moment of them all was marriage. As a fact, marriage used to be the ultimate goal of all boys and men; this is because in the old days, it was the only way a guy could be allowed to get sexual with a lady. This is not the case in the modern day world; men no longer have to work as hard to get what they want. Marriage is highly disregarded and is quickly becoming obsolete. So who is getting it wrong? Those who preceded us or us?

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Problem Statement

This is a research proposal essay discussing whether it is better to marry or live together unmarried.

Importance of the Study

The study is significant because the society is quickly losing touch of the sacred union of marriage and instead we find people living together playing husband and wife without a formal agreement. According to symbolic interaction theory, developed by Hebert Blumer, people act the way they do depending on the meaning, priorities and significance of their actions. Scientifically, people act towards the things that are more meaningful to them and neglect the ones that are not. These meanings on the other hand according to Hebert, are derived from social interaction and further modified through the way people interpret them. Taking this and alluding it to the marriage set-up, marriage is losing meaning to the society and it is being viewed more of a luxury than a formality. For this reason, people are adopting a come-we-stay mode of life.

Socially, this is a very dangerous way of life as it lacks some sense of commitment. There is literally nothing binding the two together and the sole reason that they live together is free will which is bound to change any day any time. Perhaps, it is the fear of commitment and accountability that has spirited this way of life.

Literature Review

The fact that it is the right way to go about it, marriage may not be okay for everyone. It is not a one-size-fits-all kind of a situation. Some couple may wish to avoid the protocols and formalities affiliated with legal marriage. Meanwhile, others may as well want to stay with someone but still retain their financial obligations separate and private. Either way, this couples end up living together without being legally married. We find that marriage has some requirements in them which may vary from place to place but the common ones include being licensed, minimum ages and even officiation of the ceremony by a clergy person. On the other hand, cohabitation is a more free way of life and one can enter or exit from any time, at any age without any formal requirements. The main reason cohabitation is preferred to marriage is primarily because it can be ended informally without involving legal divorce and other protocols that are both time and money wasting (Lewis & Programme., 1999).

When it comes to marriage, upon divorce, spouses are legally obligated to divide property under stipulated law methods. For example, the spouse earning a higher wage may be forced to provide financial support to the divorced partner for the rest of his/her life. Yet, you wonder why divorces are practically reaping where one never sowed type of a situation. Cohabitation knows no such laws. If you came with nothing into the social arrangement, you end up with nothing and no one is obligated to support the other financially. No one has to suffer for the other and the whole split is done arbitrarily without involvement of a third party which was not there in the first place when they decided to live together (Perelli-Harris & Gassen, 2012).

In the case of decision making, marriage accords the right of making decision for the spouse in case he/she is not in a capacity to do so. This means should the spouse become sick or mentally incompetent to make a decision, the partner can always suffice. The spouse can make decision on behalf of the partner on issues regarding health, wealth and even general life choices. Nevertheless, cohabitation allows no such rights. It does not matter how close the bond was or how long the relationship has lasted. Legally, you are two separate people with individual separate rights (Juric, 2011).

Research Methods

The research methods to be employed were: descriptive qualitative and experimental.

The main method of gathering data to be employed in our research is obtaining first-hand information from the randomly selected individuals. This will be achieved through conducting interviews and administering questionnaires.

Credible data will also be obtained from journal articles, newspapers and books. Harmonization of data from the primary and secondary sources will be carried out to give a comprehensive picture of the problem statement.

References

Juric, S. (2011). Difference in relationship satisfaction and adult attachment in married and cohabitating couples.

Anthropos, 51-69.

Lewis, J., & Programme., G. B. (1999). Marriage, cohabitation and the law : individualism and obligation. Great Britain, Lord Chancellor’s Department, Research Programme,.

Perelli-Harris, B., ; Gassen, N. S. (2012). How similar are cohabitation and marriage? : Legal approaches to cohabitation across Western Europe. Population and development review, 435-467.