What is a marriage?
I remember my first day of family law class. The Professor asked us for a definition of marriage. Eager to impress we all provided a nugget of wisdom. She wrote each nugget on the board. It went something like this:
MARRIAGE IS… when two people… who are in love… and sexually attracted to each other… agree to love each other… and be faithful… forever… in front of society… in a religious and/or civil ceremony… for the purpose of living together… and procreating… etc.
The Professor then proceeded to shred our romantic notions. She asked us if the following were legitimate marriages:
- Ugly couple who is not sexually attracted to each other but want to start a family like everyone else;
- Bride and groom who know that he will be unfaithful but nonetheless choose to marry;
- Couple who signs a prenup;
- Infertile couple;
- Couple in arranged marriage;
- A secret marriage;
By the end of class, we had narrowed it down to:
MARRIAGE IS…a contract between two people to take care of each other for an undefined period of time.