Smashed wedding cake

Is marriage overrated?

Marriage is under closer scrutiny now than ever before. Questions about purpose, durability, and even the prudence in pitching one’s tent with another person have been raised.

It doesn’t help that women have always been more at risk of violence by men who are or have been in their lives.

So the question is: who is marriage for?

The purpose of marriage

The original purposes of marriage were to have somebody to share life with, and to have children. These two basic reasons made a lot of sense when the world was more primitive. Women needed protection from their mates against other males because of the competition for scarce resources. And they got that protection because women were valuable for procreation.

Children were also valuable – they were needed to help with the chores and expand the riches of their parents.

In effect, the men provided, and the women produced more men to grow up and provide (and of course, women too to be married off for monetary gain and to secure other male lines). It all seems barbaric, but you have to understand that it was an effective system. And it worked. Farming was the major enterprise of our forefathers, and large tracts of land needed many hands to work them.

New requirements

Time has passed, and we have changed as people. too. Right now, the world has moved away from physical prowess to intellectual achievement. What this means is that women don’t need a man to slay dragons for them when they could very easily do it themselves. Women are no longer the property of a man for producing children.

Of course, our men are having problems adjusting to this new reality, since we still have to enforce hashtags like #wifenotcook and being known as a ‘daughter of Chimamanda’ is equal to Twitter suicide these days (author and feminist Chimamanda Adichie is quite vocal about women’s issues, and feminist haters have turned her name into a curse word).

Unimaginative men have decided that calling a woman ‘Twitter feminist’ is just about the highest insult they can give, and pastors are running up and down trying to prove that men are ‘the head’. It’s very funny, really, when it’s not annoying.

Marriage isn’t needed for companionship

The defence of companionship raised by marriage has also been answered. Two people committed to each other in a relationship can give companionship. Even friends can live together and support each other through life, finding sexual satisfaction with other people if they need to. This is not a common arrangement, but it’s not unheard of.

Children don’t require marriages

Hasty marriages used to be conducted when a woman falls pregnant (whether willingly or otherwise). The reason is this: illegitimate children could not inherit, or answer their father’s surnames. They were a blight on society.

Today, there is no such thing as illegitimate children anymore. And in the absence of a father’s support or acknowledgement, more often than not, the mother is quite capable of raising her child. In fact, some women prefer it – the ‘industry’ of baby mamas is booming in Nigeria.

On the other hand, the availability of birth control methods has made choosing when to have children so much easier and stress-free. This means that a couple can choose to stay together and have children and share their lives together without conforming to the pressure of marriage.

So when companionship and children are no longer factors, why get married? Is marriage no longer relevant? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook: Love Matters Naija and Love Matters Africa.

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Recent Comments (14)

  1. It is better for children to…
    It is better for children to grow up with parents who are committed to each aka marriage. Absent mothers or fathers lead to disfunctional and hurt children and there is research to prove this. On the other hand that you are married doesnt mean you want to have children! Lastly, I believe there is far much more to marriage than just companionship and children.

    1. Hey Rehab, we appreciate…

      Hey Rehab, we appreciate your contribution. 

  2. My partner is cheating on me…
    My partner is cheating on me and I don’t know what to do. Been married for just 6 years.

    1. Hello, so sorry about this…

      Hello, so sorry about this. Have you raised this with them? It maybe be important to raise this with him to get to know what could be going on or could have led to this. This will help you make a decision on how to proceed. Find a good time to have this conversation, this can be a really difficult conversation to have but this is the only way to get to know what is going on and to make a decision on how to proceed. We wish you all the best, have a look at this articles;-

  3. This is interesting BUT I…
    This is interesting BUT I strongly disagree with you.

    1. Hey, thank you and we do…

      Hey, thank you and we do respect you opinion.

  4. I prefer raising children…
    I prefer raising children together no matter your differences. Children should not know whether you’re cheating on each other or not. Children should live with both parents. It gives them much confidence. They will understand more if one parent passed on than that they separeted.thanks.

    1. Thank you so much for your…

      Thank you so much for your input.

  5. A God fearing lock will…
    A God fearing lock will always sustain each condition that come across, children in a lock is a blessing from God accept and thank him for that .you’ll stay happy as family to raise them .

    1. Hi Anonymous, thank you so…

      Hi Anonymous, thank you so much for your feedback.

    1. Hello Anonymous, thank you…

      Hello Anonymous, thank you for your feedback.

  6. Its obvious the world won’t…
    Its obvious the world won’t stop being obsessed about Marriage
    Listen People only get married because of two reasons and that is
    One-Society Norm-What everyone does
    Two-To Reproduce-Have Kids-What Everyone does
    Its all because society tells them to nothing else
    Everyone knows Marriage enslaves women and still does
    Yet many foolish women still go into it since they so bad want to be slaves
    Married people aren’t in love with each other,its only for fufilling society norms
    And that’s it

    1. Hi Esther, 


      Hi Esther, 

      Interesting input right there! I agree to an extent, that some people get married because that’s what expected of them rather than what they want. However, I feel that not all marriages are bad. There are challenges here and there but it is not always all bad. Some people are in happy marriages. Yet, I would love to hear what has made you believe that marriage enslaves women? Do you have a personal experience you can share? I would be happy to hear from you. 

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