When we hear of someone not marrying for love, we often assume that person is marrying for money or some other benefit. Sometimes, this is the case. However, there are those that choose not to marry for love for other reasons, and many go on to have fulfilling marriages despite what others might consider to be the "wrong" reasons for marrying.
Even though modern medicine and changing cultural values make it possible to have a family without a spouse, some people marry someone they do not love in order to have a family. Raising children is a difficult and somewhat expensive task. While it can be done alone, there are those who would rather share the work of having a family. Having a spouse can make it easier when things get rough and it's also nice to share the joys of parenting with another person.
In an article on marriage, Aaron Ben-Zeev, philosophy professor and author of "In the Name of Love: Romantic Ideology and its Victims," shares that continued marital passion is rare, citing that less than 10 percent of married couples are passionately in love. Rather than take a risk and compromise their heart, some people choose to find stability through a marriage based on companion love. In these types of marriages, the couple lives comfortably as companions and enjoy the benefits of being legally married. Ben-Zeev also points out that many in companion marriages still seek passionate love through extramarital affairs or by continuing to strive for true love with their partner.
Some choose to marry because of familial expectations rather than love. Lori Santos, executive director of Footsteps, a transition service organization for Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, notes that many in arranged marriages find happiness even if they were not in love when they married. However, she also points out the societal pressure that exists in some cultures to enter an arranged marriage, where families expect their children to marry someone they see as a "good match." While there may not be any violent backlash for not agreeing to an arranged marriage, there is the risk of letting down their loved ones if they choose to make their own match.
An Escape from Loneliness or a Rebellious Impulse
There are those who would rather marry than stay single, to escape loneliness. Unfortunately, those who marry solely to escape loneliness may continue to be lonely in their marriage if they can't build at least a relationship of companion love. There are others who might marry someone out of rebellion toward a parental figure or to hurt someone who has hurt them in the past.
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Ashlea Campbell writes about families, relationships and health-related issues. In addition to writing professionally, she teaches writing courses at Collin College in Plano, Texas. She holds a Masters degree in English education from the University of Kansas.
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